A few years ago I discovered Panko breadcrumbs, and although I stock the normal breadcrumbs in my pantry as well, I far prefer using Panko unless the recipe specifically calls for normal breadcrumbs (as was the case in the pork schitzels I made recently).
I was about to get very descriptive about the differences and similarities between Panko breadcrumbs and normal breadcrumbs, but then decided to simply share this article I came across, which explains it all so clearly with beautiful pictures, that I knew I wouldn’t do it justice; so if you’re inquisitive as to the differences, like I was, then please take a moment to visit this post by Kelli Foster, Whats the difference between panko and breadcrumbs.
In short, Panko is a type of breadcrumb, but is a larger “flake” instead of a “crumb” and only made from a certain type of white bread. It gives a crispier coating as it doesn’t allow as much oil through to the food than the smaller “breadier” crumb. More often than not, Panko are sold as plain while standard bread crumbs can often be flavoured. I prefer to flavour my own dishes and as we don’t use a lot of bread, certainly not white, I very seldom have the opportunity to make my own.
This deliciously quick and tasty mid-week meal only takes around 10 minutes to prepare, a few minutes to rest (the fish, not me!), and then another 10 minutes or so cooking time. I shallow-fried these pieces, but I’ve also prepared fish by oven-baking them once coated. Recipe to follow later.
New Zealand’s fish selection is very different to those found around the coast of Southern Africa (or anywhere else in the world I hear you say, but as I’ve only lived in these two areas, I prefer to talk about what I know) so it took a while to find my preferred type of fish for various dishes.Check out this super source of information for fish around New Zealand’s waters so you can search the fish I refer to, check out it’s nutritional value and cooking uses to help you find a local alternative http://www.seafood.co.nz/species/.
ingredients: (serves 3 – 4)
2 Tbsp vegetable oil (I like Rice Bran)
400 g Trevally fillets (or any other medium firm white fish)
½ cup plain flour
1 – 2 eggs, depending on their size
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 baking tray and a piece of baking parchment cut to size
1 lemon cut into quarters
- Measure out your flour into a low-sided bowl and add the salt and pepper to season. Beat the egg/s in a separate bowl large enough to fit the fish pieces into. Combine the Panko crumbs and Parmesan cheese in a third bowl/dish and set aside.
- Wash and trim the fish, taking care to remove any bones or skin/scales. Pat dry using kitchen paper towel. Cut into fillets. The fish should be dry for the next step.
- Thoroughly coat the fish pieces in the flour before dipping them into the beaten egg. Allow the excess egg to dribble off before placing the egg-coated fish into the breadcrumb/cheese mixture. Coat well.
- Place the crumbed fish onto the baking parchment on the tray. Repeat step 3 until all the fish pieces/fillets are coated. Place the tray in the fridge for a few minutes so the coating can set.
- Heat the oil in a saucepan over a moderate heat and gently fry the fish a couple of minutes per side until it is golden brown and the fish is cooked through.
- Drain on more paper towel and serve immediately sprinkled with a little lemon juice and freshly made lemon mayonnaise (grate the lemon rind into a couple of tablespoons of ready-made tangy mayonnaise – add a squeeze of the juice and use as a dipping sauce).