The difference between pork panko and regular panko is the flavor: You get the crisp crunch you associate with bread crumbs, but there’s a salty meatiness that comes from pork panko’s status as, well, a pork product. Sure, it doesn’t 100 percent hit that panko brief, but it handily accomplishes its purpose as a bread crumb replacement. It holds nicely to whatever vehicle you’re applying it to and crisps up like nobody’s business.
Now that I’ve tried it, I’m curious to see what other crispy, porky concoctions I can come up with. How will pork-crusted mozzarella sticks hit me? What if I use them to bind pork meatballs? Maybe ham and cheese croquettes? Porky fried chicken?
To those arching their eyebrows at the idea of pork rinds as a bread crumb replacement, I hear you, believe me. But for those who can’t consume breaded fried foods for whatever reason, pork panko turns out to be an indulgent but unexpected savior.