Panko flakes, a dry Japanese crumb breading is used as a coating for fish, seafood, meat and poultry recipes. Traditionally made from wheat-based bread that's shredded and dried, panko is unique in that the jaggedy little flakes absorb less oil than flour coatings. Another positive attribute of foods fried in panko flakes is that they resist sogginess as they cool.
In my gluten eating days I enjoyed using panko flakes to make delicious fried dishes like "cracked conch," a classic Caribbean seafood dish, so when I found Jeff Nathan's Gluten Free Panko Flakes at my local market - and after checking out the ingredients list, I was anxious to give this new gluten-free breading product a try.
I wasn't disappointed.
Gluten-Free Panko Flakes
According to Barron's New Food Lover's Companion panko originated in Japan and "is a type of crisp, large breadcrumb. The crumbs are used to coat foods for frying or sauteing. Because it's coarser than most bread crumbs, panko creates a deliciously crunchy crust."
Panko crumbs are a staple of Asian recipes. The unique texture of panko absorbs less fat when foods are coated and fried in it, creating a light, delicious, crunchy texture. Many delicious gluten-free recipes including crab cakes, salmon croquettes and chicken nuggets call for some type of gluten-free bread, cracker crumb or cereal crumbs. Ready-made gluten-free panko flakes are a convenient and ideal ingredient to use in such recipes.
Rice-Free Ingredients and Kosher for Passover
For those of us trying to reduce the amount of rice in our gluten-free diet in light of the Consumer Report findings on Arsenic in Rice, the first thing that attracted me to Jeff Nathan's Gluten Free Panko Flakes was the ingredient list.
Jeff Nathan Gluten Free Panko Flakes are available in two forms, plain and seasoned. Both products are Kosher for Passover. The plain gluten-free panko flakes are made with:
- Tapioca starch
- Potato Starch
- Potato Flour
- Expeller pressed palm oil
- Natural vinegar
- Egg yolks
The 15 ounce canister with a resealable lid is labeled "Certified Gluten Free," no artifical flavors, colors or preservatives and is Kosher / Parve.
Each canister contains 14 servings and each 1/4- cup serving contains:
- 120 calories
- 0.6 grams saturated fat from palm oil / 0 trans fats
- 10 mg cholesterol
- 120 mg sodium
- 23 grams carbohydrates / 0.6 grams fiber / 0.2 grams sugar (as honey)
- 1 gram protein
Who is Jeff Nathan?
Jeff Nathan is co-owner and Executive chef at Abigael's on Broadway, a NYC restaurant. Chef Nathan appears on his own PBS show, New Jewish Cuisine, has also written two cookbooks, Adventures in Jewish Cooking and Jeff Nathan’s Family Suppers and has the distinction of winning a Bobby Flay Throwdown challenge. Impressive!
Where Do I Buy Chef Nathan's Gluten Free Panko Flakes?
On Abigael's website one 15-ounce can of All Natural Gluten-Free Panko Flakes sells for $15.00 plus $9.00 for shipping and handling. That's a whopping $24.00 per can. I paid about $8.50 for one canister at my local market. I suggest you contact Chef Nathan at his website to find out where you might purchase this product locally.
Compared to the cost of store-bought gluten-free crackers, frequently used to make gluten-free breading crumbs, the price of Jeff Nathan Creations Gluten-Free Panko Flakes is actually a good value - if you can purchase the product locally like I did.
I am a fan of Chef Nathan's Gluten Free Panko Flakes and pack a can when I'm going to be away from home for extended periods of time. It's a terrific, rice-free, versatile addition to my gluten-free pantry.
Guide purchased product for this review.