Substitutes for Panko Crumbs


Japanese panko breadcrumbs are a trendy ingredient in modern cuisine. Panko breadcrumbs are coarser and more crunchy than regular breadcrumbs, producing a lighter texture and a more delicate flavor.

Despite their popularity, however, panko breadcrumbs are still a specialty ingredient and might be hard to find in a regular grocery store. Fortunately, there are ways to substitute or make your own panko breadcrumbs.

Store-Bought Breadcrumbs

  • The simplest substitution for panko breadcrumbs is a package of regular breadcrumbs purchased from your local grocery store. Widely-available brands include Progresso and Shake 'N Bake.

Crackers or Toast

  • Ground or crushed crackers also make an acceptable substitute for panko breadcrumbs. Use a buttery kind like Ritz or Townhouse, not saltines.

    Melba toast may also be substituted. Melba toast is crispy, thinly sliced, very dry toast. It is available at some grocery stores in the US and is widely available in the UK.

Homemade Breadcrumbs

  • Homemade breadcrumbs are a good substitute for panko because they are fresher and typically crisper and crunchier than breadcrumbs purchased at the store.

    To make your own breadcrumbs, tear slices of stale bread into small pieces. Use a food processor to shred the pieces into coarse crumbs. Spread the crumbs onto a baking sheet and toast in a preheated 350º F oven until brown and dry.

    You may even be able to experiment with making your own panko breadcrumbs. The difference between panko and regular breadcrumbs is the type of bread used. Panko is made from a specially-baked crustless bread. If you are able to find or make your own panko-style bread, you will be able to make your own panko breadcrumbs.

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