While tempura and panko are commonly mistaken, panko vs breadcrumbs gets even more confused and mistaken for each other. So, what is the difference between panko and breadcrumbs?
Simple: it’s the way they’re made.
Now, if you know what panko is, you’ll know that panko is breadcrumbs. However, breadcrumbs are a general term and cover a wide variety of different textures and types of it. Panko, in short, is a type of breadcrumb, mainly used in Asian cuisines.
Panko: The Asian Breadcrumb
As mentioned before, panko is a type of breadcrumb and is utilized mostly in Asian cuisines like Ebi Fry or Panko Chicken. Super crunchy, flaky, and small, panko’s unseasoned breadcrumb makes it an ideal choice for things that will be deep fried or baked, as it gives a great crunchy texture on the outside that tempura can’t do as well. However, it also is a great binder for foods, like meatballs or croquettes.
Of the type of breadcrumbs, Panko splits into two categories: white panko, which is made with only the white part of the bread, or golden/tan panko, made with the entire loaf. And while it’s called breadCRUMBS, this particular type is actually more like a flake than a crumb, with it being noticeably large.
Breadcrumbs: The Versatile Crunchy Topping and Binder
Breadcrumbs can be made up of many things besides its crunchy, bread base. If you’ve noticed in your local grocery stores, breadcrumbs can come with seasonings and spices, like Italian Herbs or cheese, unlike its Panko type. Used in European and American dishes, breadcrumbs with seasonings can really help amp the flavor of your meatballs, casseroles, and other dishes.
Because this term is so general, breadcrumbs can come as crumbs, flakes, or what have you, depending on what you need. The versatility of this crunchy topping is amazing, serving many purposes.
So, all in all, panko and breadcrumbs are essentially the same, with panko being a type of breadcrumb and breadcrumbs being… Well, breadcrumbs. Overall, both are tasty, so try them out in different dishes and see how they go!