From our Ask the Chef series:
Q: What is Panko?
A: Panko, pronounced PAHN-koh, has become popular due to the rise in Asian cooking. It is a Japanese-style breadcrumb used when coating foods you intend to deep-fry. Unlike standard breadcrumbs, panko is made from crustless bread which has been coarsely ground. This gives the coating a lighter look with a nice crunch. It also helps the coating stay crispy longer than standard breadcrumbs because it doesn’t absorb as much grease. Panko breadcrumbs are available in the baking aisle of many grocery stores or in Asian markets or specialty stores.