The other day I shared a recipe for panko “fried” chicken — a healthier take on deep fried or pan-fried chicken. The concept of baking breaded chicken (or any other protein) instead of frying it isn’t a new one, but many people use Italian breadcrumbs or crushed cornflakes as the breading. I choose to use whole wheat panko breadcrumbs instead.
- Panko is a Japanese breadcrumb made from bread without crusts. It has a crisper, airier texture than most types of breadcrumbs.
- Panko stays crisp after cooking, unlike other types of breading, which can get soggy.
- Panko is lower in calories, sodium, and fat and higher in fiber than regular breadcrumbs:
- 1/4 cup whole wheat panko (Ian’s brand): 70 calories, 0.5 g fat, 14 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 3 g protein, 23 mg sodium
- 1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs (average brand): 110 calories, 1.5 g fat, 20 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein, 220 mg sodium
- It’s important to p0int out that both Italian panko and Italian regular breadcrumbs are higher in sodium than plain or whole wheat varieties. You’re better off adding your own herbs and spices to reduce sodium levels.
- Most regular breadcrumbs have a long list of ingredients (remember, the longer the list, the more “stuff” is in there), not to mention partially hydrogenated oils (trans-fats), as opposed to panko, which generally has a shorter, more natural list of ingredients:
- Ian’s whole wheat panko ingredient list: Unbleached whole wheat flour, malt extract, yeast, sea salt.
- The average regular breadcrumb ingredient list is too long to post, but to give you an idea, it has a whopping 32 ingredients!!!
Have you ever cooked with panko? What’s your favorite way to use it?
Note: I was not compensated to write about any of the products in the above post, and, as always, all opinions expressed are my own.