Tag Archives: panko crumbs

Japanese Fried Chicken


It is Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion.  If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing you want to do to cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat.  The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes.  Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

This recipe comes from Cuisine at Home magazine but I’ve adapted to the ingredients I have on hand.  I’ve substituted Chinese rice wine for the mirin called for the in the original recipe and in order to save time I’ve used chicken breast filets instead of buying whole chicken breasts and slicing and pounding them.  If you can’t find filets just buy whole chicken breasts and slice them in half then use a meat mallet to ensure they are of an even thickness. The panko gives the chicken a crunch that holds up to the sauce.  I like to serve the chicken over a bed of rice and use whatever kind I have on hand.  The results?  Every bit of dinner gets eaten.  Now that’s a great way to end a long week.


For the sauce:

2 cup low-sodium chicken broth

2 cups sliced onion

1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce

1/2 cup Chinese rice wine

2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Black pepper to taste

  • Simmer the broth, onion, soy sauce, rice wine, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, sesame oil, and pepper flakes in a medium-sized sauce pan over medium-low heat.
  • Cook until the onions are soft, approximately 20 minutes.
  • Stir in the lemon juice and black pepper and keep warm over low heat until ready to serve.

For the chicken:

8 thin chicken breast filets or 2 whole chicken breasts sliced in half and pounded thin

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

3 eggs

1 tablespoon water

2 cups panko bread crumbs

4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

  • Combine the flour, salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper in a shallow dish.
  • Whisk the eggs and water together in a second shallow dish.
  • Place the panko bread crumbs in a third shallow dish.
  • Coat the cutlets on both sides with the flour mixture then dip in the egg mixture.  All the excess egg to drip off of the chicken.
  • Place the chicken in the dish with the panko crumbs and coat thoroughly.
  • Heat half of the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.
  • Fry the cutlets in two batches, adding more oil as needed, until thoroughly cooked on both sides, adjusting the heat as necessary.
  • Slice the cutlets into strips and serve over a bed of rice with the soy-onion sauce.

Serves:  4



Panko Cookies


I’ve always thought of panko crumbs as a savory ingredient. After all, these crispy Japanese bread crumbs are the perfect coating for crispy fried and baked meats. I never gave them must thought beyond this until I stumbled across this recipe from the Noble Pig food blog. At first I dismissed the recipe but when I looked at it again I figured why not? After all I’m a huge fan of combining sweet and savory, I like panko and I’ve never encountered a Noble Pig recipe that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy. So I gave it a shot and am so glad I did.

The ingredient list and method reminded me of Mexican wedding cookies. Rich in butter with just a few other ingredients–in this case the panko crumbs were substituted for the traditional ground nuts– the dough came together in a matter of minutes and because it didn’t need to chill before baking, your cookies are done in no time. And the taste? My family agreed that they did indeed taste like the afore mentioned wedding cookies but with a slightly moister and lighter texture. The verdict was that these are definite keepers. So much so that I immediately made a second batch to be brought into the office.


1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

2 cups of sifted powdered sugar for coating

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, powdered sugar and vanilla on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the flour and panko, on low speed until blended.
  • Scoop the dough onto the prepared tray (use a one ounce ice cream scoop). Press down slightly on the dough to flatten it to about 1/2 inch tall. Bake for 7 minutes, rotate, and then bake 7 to 8 minutes more or until bottoms of cookies are slightly browned.
  • Cool 10 minutes on baking sheet. Roll warm cookies in the powdered sugar until evenly coated. Place on a wire rack to cool completely before tossing again in the powdered sugar. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Yields 10 cookies

Sesame Crusted Chicken Cutlets w/ Vietnamese Caramel Sauce


Chicken cutlets are a hurried cook’s best friend. They cook up quickly, are versatile, and can serve as a blank palate for whatever flavors you want to add. But the biggest danger to cooking thin filets is over cooking them; in a matter of seconds they can go from perfectly cooked to over done leaving you with meat that is dry and rubbery.

So how do you make sure your filets are perfectly cooked? I like to bread mine with a crispy coating first which helps seal in the juices. This recipe, from Cuisine at Home, yields perfectly cooked chicken cutlets that are crispy, juicing and thanks to the spicy caramel sauce that accompanies them, full of flavor. The triple coating of bread, egg and panko crumbs infused with toasty sesame seeds results in a delicious outer layer that seals in all of the juices. You can make the caramel sauce while the chicken cooks, leaving in the solids as I do or straining them out if you prefer a smooth sauce. I like to keep them in because they add texture and interest. Either way, your results are sure to please. Serve the chicken alongside rice or noodles so you can enjoy every last drop of the caramel sauce.


For the chicken:

4- 3 ounce chicken filets

1 1/2 cup panko crumbs

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1 egg

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

For the sauce:

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup rice vinegar

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 shallot, minced

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

1 tablespoon fresh ginger minced

1 serrano chile, seeded and minced

  • Combine the panko crumbs and sesame seeds in a shallow dish.
  • Beat the egg in a separate shallow dish.
  • In a third shallow dish combine the flour, salt and pepper.
  • Dredge a chicken filet in the flour mixture then dip it into the beaten egg before coating with the panko mixture. Set aside on a plate and repeat.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat until it shimmers.
  • Add the chicken filets and cook, flipping once, until brown on both sides, about 4-5 minutes per side.
  • While the chicken is cooking, place the sugar in a medium skillet set over medium heat. Stirring occasionally, cook the sugar until it has melted and is light brown in color.
  • Combine the vinegar, lemon juice, soy sauce and fish sauce in a small bowl then whisk it into the melted sugar.
  • Stir in the shallots, garlic, ginger and serrano chile.
  • Increase the heat to medium-high and cook until thicken and reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
  • Serve the sauce over the chicken.

Serves 4

Fennel Au Gratin

photo 1-51

Fennel.  It’s the often ignored or misunderstood vegetable with the subtle anise flavor.  It is readily available throughout markets in Europe but seems to be more difficult to find in the U.S.  People seem to either love it, hate it, or have never tried it.  I fall into the first category and am always on the lookout for new ways to use the crunchy vegetable.  If you want to introduce fennel to the uninitiated, try this creamy gratin dish adapted from Fine Cooking magazine.  Roasting the fennel first makes it mild and sweet and any vegetable that is covered in cream and bread crumbs that baked converts even the most anti-vegetable person into a fan.

Try this as a side dish to accompany grilled rib eye steaks with a compound bacon blue cheese butter.  Yum!


3 tablespoons butter

4 medium-sized fennel bulbs, trimmed, cored, and sliced lengthwise into 1/4 inch pieces

1/4 cup finely chopped fennel fronds

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 red onion, thinly sliced

2 bay leaves

1 1/2 cups panko crumbs

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup dry sherry

1 cup heavy cream

Salt & pepper to taste

  • Preheat an oven to 425 degree.  Lightly coat a rimmed 9 x 13 inch casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  • On a large rimmed baking sheet, combine the fennel with 2 tablespoons of the oil, the vinegar, salt and pepper.  Spread into a single layer and roast in the oven until golden brown,  for approximately 30 minutes.  Stir the mixture once or twice during the baking time.
  • After the fennel has roasted, reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.  Spread the fennel evenly along the bottom of the prepared casserole dish.
  • In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and the remaining olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion, bay leaves, salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally,  until golden, 8-10 minutes.
  • Add the sherry to the skillet and scrape up any browned bits that are stuck on the bottom of the pan.
  • Cook until the liquid has evaporated then stir in the heavy cream and 2 tablespoons of fennel fronds.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat then simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the bay leaves from the pan and pour the onion and cream mixture over the top of the fennel.
  • Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a small bowl in the microwave.  Add the panko crumbs, grated parmesan cheese, and remaining fennel fronds.  Toss gently to combine.
  • Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the top of the fennel, onions, and cream.
  • Bake, uncovered, in the oven until the fennel is tender and the panko crumbs have browned, approximately 30 minutes.
  • Allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 8-10

Turkey Tetrazzini

photo 3-41

It is Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing you want to do to cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat.  The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes.  Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

With the past year’s Thanksgiving a distant memory your probably think that all of your leftover turkey is a distant memory.  Each year I feel this way then I stumble across a lingering package of turkey tucked away in the freezer.  My solution?  A quick turkey tetrazzini.  This classic noodle and poultry casserole was a staple in my elementary school cafeterias.  This updated version from Williams Sonoma has done away with the infamous cream of mushroom soup that formed the base of my childhood version and uses real mushrooms and real parmesan cheese.  And best of all, because you are using pre-cooked meat that has defrosted in your refrigerator during the day, dinner can really be on the table in less than 45 minutes.


8 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 shallots, minced

1/2 pound button mushrooms, sliced

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

3 cups chicken broth

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 cups shredded cooked turkey

1/2 pound egg noodles, cooked according to the package instructions

3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

2 green onions, chopped

1 cup panko crumbs

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Lightly grease a 9 x 13 baking dish or 6 individual ramekins with cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a large frying pan set over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter.  Add the shallots and mushrooms and saute until the mushrooms begin to brown, about 5 minutes.  Transfer to a large bowl.
  • In the same pan melt 4 more tablespoons of the butter.  Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes.  Add the broth and bring to a boil.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens, about 4 minutes.  Stir in the salt and pepper.
  • Pour the sauce into the bowl with the mushrooms and add in the turkey, cooked noodles, 1/2 cup of the cheese, and the green onions then stir to combine.
  • Melt the remaining butter in the microwave.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the panko crumbs, remaining cheese, and the melted butter.
  • Transfer the turkey mixture to the prepared baking dish(es) and sprinkle the crumb and cheese mixture evenly over the top.
  • Bake until the tetrazzini is bubbly around the edges and the crumbs are golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Serve immediately.

Serves 6

Baked Fettuccine Alfredo


Fettuccine alfredo is the ultimate comfort food.  Because it is so rich I don’t make it very often but when I do it disappears the minute I put it on the table.  This version, adapted from Cuisine at Home magazine, is a true one dish meal since everything cooks in the oven making clean up a breeze.  I used Parmesan cheese and chicken broth but you can easily substitute vegetable broth to make the dish vegetarian or use pecorino or Asiago or a combination of the three for the Parmesan cheese.  If you don’t have panko bread crumbs use dried white bread instead but don’t skip them.  The crunch on the top of the casserole is what makes this dish so special.


1 lb. dried fettuccine or other long pasta, snapped in half

2 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth

1 1/2 cups hot water

2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 cups half and half

2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons melted butter

1/2 cup panko crumbs

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced

1/4 teaspoon Hungarian paprika

  • Preheat the oven to 400.
  • Combine the pasta, broth, water, garlic, zest, lemon juice, and salt in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.  Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Uncover the dish, stir the pasta with a fork, re-cover, and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
  • Stir in the half and half, 2 cups of cheese, and the pepper.
  • Cover the casserole and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the foil, stir the casserole, and bake for 10 more minutes.
  • Preheat the broiler to high with the rack 6 inches from the heating element.
  • Combine the melted butter, panko crumbs, parsley and 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese.  Sprinkle evenly over the top of the noodles.  Sprinkle the top with the paprika.
  • Return the dish to the oven and broil 3-5 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 6

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