Panko (Crumbs, Not the Knife Guy)

Tonight on a lark I made stuffed mushrooms. I was at the beach house, and lacked breadcrumbs. What I DID have was an old box of Panko crumbs. Open box, opened ziplock mylar bag, “Best by 26 December 2021”.

They smelled and tasted fine, so I basted in butter and toasted.

100% AOK. I was surprised they had held their freshness so long.

Anyway, FWIW…


Too dry to get moldy (being Panko and all).

And I’m sure the butter and toasting it cured whatever dryness or staleness was present.

Heck, I’ve ate Saltines that were over 10 years past their “use by” date.


I always felt like panko was the failure to breading.But it worked

Good to know. I feel most “best by” date are fairly conservative and most foods last longer than these suggestive dates. Of course, it is no guarantee.


My pantry is full of now expired ingredients that I imagine are still fine. However, recently I’ve been burned more often than pleasantly surprised. On Monday night we had guests over and I used walnuts (I chopped them) which might not have even been expired as part the main dish. The walnuts turned out to be super stale tasting and ruined the whole meal.

From now on I’m buying walnuts the day of use, the same way I buy fish, for immediate consumption only. I was so embarrassed.

My wife uses panko as the breading for her fish and chips. I won’t throw it out too quickly, thanks to you.

Pank also works great ( better than breadcrumbs in a cardboard cannisters) soaked in dairy for things like apanade for meatballs.

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Nuts (and walnuts especially) go rancid quickly at room temp. I buy large bags at Costco and keep them in the freezer - they stay fresh basically forever that way.


Yeah the healthy unsaturated fats are the culprits here. Freezing then is key.

I’ll eat anything basically past their “best by” or “use by” dates but generally not nuts.

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Well, if Wahine’s cracker selections are any measure, it can’t only be dryness. Under the same parameters–box opened and crackers placed in ziplock bag in pantry–none I’ve tried are remotely fresh at 9 months past due.

I only proceeded to use these crumbs because I nosed the bag repeatedly, and there was zero scent of staleness or rancidity. My nose is better than hers, but let’s just say Wahine has a strong and vocal dislike of anything she thinks is unfresh or rancid. Once she reaches that conclusion, it’s folly to proceed.

Alarash brought up walnuts, which are a lonely exception. Wahine can tolerate walnuts that trigger me as being old. And frankly, I’ve detected an “old” taste in many just-purchased bags of walnuts. We had a guest from California earlier this month who housegifted us a bag directly from his trees–now those were fresh!

I use panko in conjunction with my air fryer, seems to do a bit better than regular bread crumbs in that application.

If you keep walnuts in the shell, stored at room temperature, they stay fresh until next harvest. The ones from last fall are still fresh tasting. I found that the shelled ones ( I used to buy the Costco bags) taste stale very quickly, even when frozen. The entire family noticed a difference once we switched to in-shell.

Panko also has “fat” added in some form or another and can go rancid. Same with Poppy Seeds, Pine Nuts, Cornmeal, Wheat Flour (especially Whole Wheat), Brown Rice and other Grains.

I generally do a good job of moving old stuff to front but I’ve definitely had my rotation failures where stuff years past the best by date is found. If it’s dry goods (mac-n-cheese etc) or non-bulging canned or jarred goods, I usually proceed if it smells fine.

Nuts as some others mention are more of a problem. When all 3 of my daughters were home they were always going to Sprouts and buying bulk bags of whatever. These live in a big open box in the pantry with other frequent baking-use items like raisins and other dried fruits, chocolate chips and baking chocolate, coconut etc. They often were repeating items they other sister had just bought two days ago and rarely tried to sort the stuff in the box by date. Whole cashews and almonds seem to do better with time than do pecans and (as mentioned by several above) walnuts.

I found a Swans Down cake flour box unopened that was about 5 years expired. It was fine. I’ve had cornmeal and AP flour start smelling sour, but (not sure if it would have mattered) those weren’t unopened - a case of me accidentally opening a new one and the prior opened one having been shoved behind something else.

Edit - note even very stale (but not rancid) tortilla chips, crackers and the like can be revived by spreading on a sheet pan in a low oven (~ 180°F) for 10 minutes or so.

Probably depends on the brand. Mine just says “wheat sugar yeast salt” for ingredients and lists no fat per 28g serving.

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We buy the larger bags of panko from Costco, and keep it in a cabinet above the ovens…so it doesnt have much of a chance to get damp. We use a lot of panko for various and sundry things, but the bag does last quite a while. I’ve never looked at an expiration date on one, (always smell test pretty much everything…) and have never had a problem with the panko seeming “off”.

Nuts…yeah, pretty much all of them go in the freezer. Especially walnuts and pecans.

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Mac nuts go in my ʻōpū. :slight_smile:

Not sure if this thread is about uses of Panko or shelf life of various dry stuffs. But I rely on panko. Period. For all breading. For panade in meatloaf or meatballs. For all kinds of pan-fried cakes (fish, crab, sauerkrout, zucchini, etc.) It has no whole food ingredients to go stale. Neutral, crunchy when desired, soft and mushy when required. A real workhorse.

For normal breading, the usual seasoned flour → egg-> panko → superb schnitzels.
Pan fry some panko with garlic in olive oil for a veg or casserole topping.
For stiffening up gaspacho and other pureed veg soups.