Panko (pronounced "pahn-ko") is the Japanese word for breadcrumbs. Unlike typical breadcrumbs, however, these have a flake-like composition and larger surface area, which achieves a crispness that's airier, less dense, and longer-lasting than their conventional counterparts.
White panko is made from crustless bread, while tan panko is made using the entire loaf. Both can be found at Asian markets, and used as a topping for fried foods or as a binding agent in dishes such as crab cakes. We've used it to incorporate texture into everything from crab dip to goat cheese and pesto macaroni.