Saturday, August 14, 2010

PANKO

No, this is not a casino game, a dance step or a martial arts maneuver.  It is a cooking ingredient and you should know about it.  Why? Because Panko is so upper crust. In fact, Panko [PAHN-koh] is a large, coarsely ground, crustless bread crumb which gives foods a light, airy taste because they don't absorb as much grease. making your meal lower in fat. Also noteworthy, Panko comes Gluten Free. I'm not usually a fan of fried (tan) food but Panko has me rethinking fried for those times when I would like something with breading but prefer not to have a greasy coating on my tongue not to mention in my belly.

  


You can find this captivating crumb in most grocery stores in the Asian section of your local grocery store as well as in Asian markets and international food stores.  In Japanese cooking Panko is traditionally used as a coating for deep-fried foods and is a great substitute in your recipes calling for breadcrumbs. I want to share some ideas that are just as side step away from the beaten path. 


Criminal Crab Cakes (adapted from this source)
1/2 red onion, diced
1 Tbsp Smart Balance buttery spread
1/4 cup Egg Beaters (or 1 egg)
1/4 cup mayo or Miracle Whip
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 shakes Worcestershire sauce
3 shakes Frank's Red Hot sauce or other hot sauce, or to taste
1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning, or to taste
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1-1/4 cups panko or be boring and use breadcrumbs
1 lb fresh lump crab meat, picked over to remove any bits of shell (can substitute packaged)
Spray Olive oil for frying
In a small frying pan, sauté onion in Smart Balance until translucent. Remove from pan to a large bowl, and let the onions cool. Then, beat in the egg, mayo, mustard, Worcestershire, hot sauce, Old Bay, black pepper and panko. Fold in the crab meat. Form into 8 large patties, and place on a plate. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Spray oil the bottom of a large (12-inch) frying pan, and heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the crab cakes and cook, without moving, 5 minutes or until the bottoms are brown. Then turn and cook the second side, 5 minutes or until brown. Remove from the pan and let drain on a plate covered with a paper towel, to remove excess oil. Serve hot, with tartar sauce if you like.
panko-pea-fritters2
Pea and Potato Panko

This little vegetable pan cake or fritter, presented on a leafy salad green next to seafood, could serve as both carb and vegetable options but it's origin is snack food in India. The lovely Sala at VeggieBelly.com shares this  appetizer also called aloo mutter tikki . Find the recipe here and try this simple, almost homey, with it's mashed potato and pea ingredients, that is cooked it a very shallow layer of oil. I really think you could get kids to eat this if you adjusted the seasonings by removing the cumin and red chili powder. 



Panko 

Stuffed Mushrooms




These morsels are not your usual Italian stuffed shrooms. No no! They are Asian inspired with ingredients like sesame, soy sauce (mirin) and scallions  Our Panko serves to make them crispier with a lighter finish. This recipe, from the POST PUNK KITCHEN calls for baking 20 minutes in a 350 oven, but if it is super hot where you live (yes, we have international friends) I would still make this stove top in a pan with a lid over medium heat. Watch this though, cooking time may vary because the lid will hold in moisture.  When you think your shrooms are nearly done in about 15 minutes or so, remove the lid and cook off condensation. This recipe makes 22 large mushrooms, uh, yeah, feel free to cut it in half unless you're having guests over. Panko Stuffed Mushroom recipe.





Panko Wiener Schnitzel










Admittedly, I find Wiener Schnitzel, a German and Austrian dish, funny to say because of the way it gives a mouth a work out. I also thought it sounded like a hot dog dish when I first heard it. Traditionally it is a 1/2 inch (pounded evenly) thickness of veal or pork but I make it with chicken breast. Cover your choice of meat with plastic wrap to prevent spattering and pound away from you.  Prepare this as you would any pan fried schnitzel, substituting Panko crumbs for the bread crumbs. I'll share the recipe I tried from Group Recipes for Panko Wiener Schnitzel.  The lemon wedges are not just a cute picture accessorie, they really compliment the meal in this case, so include them - they matter.






6 comments:

  1. Great source of recipe, I like the veggie inclusions and thanks for filling me in on this great alternative to heavy breadcrumbs - tasty

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  2. Dear Creatrix,
    Thx for stopping by and leaving a comment!

    ~Olive

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  3. Wonderful recipies,especially with the veggie inclusions and the Panko Pea & potato ,Stuffed Mushrooms ,and the Wiener Schnitzel - YUM, just so inviting . So many Wonderful and Exciting food activities to enjoy, Well done , love your site as well, Take care , mal,..xx

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  4. So, I've unfortunately been a bit busy and missed this one. Awesome recipes, especially the crab cakes. Can't wait to give it a try. Thank you much Olive!

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