Pork rinds panko crumbs are a low-carb crispy substitute to traditional breadcrumbs that can be used in any keto, gluten-free or carnivore recipes.
They are super easy to make at home with just one ingredient! And pork rinds already taste great, so you don’t need to add any spices or even salt – although you can add whatever you like and customize the flavor to your taste buds!
Can you have fried food on keto?
Fried food is most often breaded. Because, of course, it tastes better breaded! Breading provides an extra layer of crunchy deliciousness that makes everything irresistible.
Unfortunately, regular breading is high in carbs and thus not compatible with a keto diet.
If you are eating keto or low-carb, any otherwise perfectly low-carb food becomes off-limits when breaded. KFC chicken? No. Mozzarella sticks? No. Viennese pork schnitzel? No. (I still want to cry at this one)
I don’t feel great about it, but many times when eating out and at work (without better protein choices available) I had to “peel off” the breading of my meat. People looked at me like I was a picky 5 year old – and, to be honest, that’s how I felt like.
Why make pork panko at home
Because it’s not that easy to find at the stores. And although you can find a wide selection of pork panko online, sometimes it can cost a lot more than just buying the plain rinds and processing them yourself.
Yes, there are other things you can use as breadcrumbs on keto. Like almond flour, or make the crumbs out of keto bread. But, compared to pork panko, none are as easy to make (or purchase ready) or have such a nice, plain flavor that goes well with almost anything!
The difference between panko and breadcrumbs
Pork panko is called so (and not “pork breadcrumbs”) because its texture is more like the famous Japanese-style breadcrumb.
Japanese panko (and this keto pork panko) and traditional breadcrumbs can be used interchangeably for breading, with delicious crispy results. But they have some differences:
Japanese panko is crisper and flakier than traditional breadcrumbs. It has an irregular and larger texture. It has a more neutral taste and it doesn’t absorb as much moisture or oil, so it makes a lighter breading that doesn’t get soggy as quickly.
Traditional breadcrumbs are finer and crumblier. They produce a denser and more flavorful coating, with a more compact and softer texture.
When NOT to use panko
For uses other than breading, like adding moisture and retaining flavor, panko is not recommended.
Your best bet, in this case, is the traditional breadcrumbs, which texture is better for absorbing liquids.
So you’ll want to use breadcrumbs instead of panko in recipes like meatballs, meatloaf or stuffing, for example.
If you need a keto substitute for breadcrumbs to be used as such, check out my keto Italian meatballs recipe – I use almond flour granules coated in gelatin as a substitute for breadcrumbs for ultra-moist meatballs.
What do pork rinds taste like
Pork rinds are fried pieces of pork skin. Sinfully crunchy and delicious keto snacks! Pork rinds have an incredibly bland taste which makes them so versatile – they taste like whatever flavor you’ll add to them. They’ve replaced both chips and breakfast cereal in our lives!
The best pork rinds for this recipe
You only really need ONE ingredient for this keto panko recipe – Pork rinds!
You’ll need the puffy type, just the fried skin, without the meat attached (see the photo below for reference). This product usually goes by the name of pork rinds in the US, but you might see it called cracklings or cracklins, chicharrones or chicharrón, or pork puffs/bacon puffs.
To make pork panko, ideally you should get plain salted pork rinds (without extra flavorings). This way, you’ll be able to customize the flavor by adding spices and herbs to your liking.
But nothing is stopping you from making panko with spicy pork rinds, do you hear me? By the way, I think that the vinegar and sea salt flavor makes the perfect breading for battered fish. And having pork rinds on the side (in lieu of fries) is NOT overkill 😜
How to make pork panko from pork rinds
There are several methods to transform your pork rinds into pork panko that can be used as a breadcrumb replacement on keto.
All you have to do is process the pork rinds until they become fine crumbs. The finer you can get the crumbs, the better. Fine crumbs do a better job at sticking to the food and staying in place when frying.
The easiest and fastest way to do this (and the first one in the list below) is by using a food processor. If you don’t have one, no problem: read on to find out how to make pork panko with a rolling pin in a plastic bag or a blender.
Food processor method
This is my favorite way of making pork panko at home. With a large-capacity food processor, you can make a lot of it at once. I can fit a whole 2.5 oz bag f pork rinds in the processor and grind it in one go!
You can also use a smaller food processor or a food chopper which is a similar small appliance with the same style of large blades. But you’ll need to do it in batches.
Blender or magic bullet
It takes longer to crumb the pork rinds into panko using a blender than using a food processor.
It does not matter the size or power of the blender: its blades are much smaller than the ones in a food processor, and their position at the bottom of the jar doesn’t leave much space for contact with the large pork rinds.
But if you don’t have a food processor, a blender is a good option, if you process in batches. Don’t fill the blender more than 1/3 of the way with the rinds at a time.
Plastic bag and rolling pin
Put the pork rinds inside a sturdy Ziploc bag or freezer bag, remove as much of the air from the bag as you can and close it.
Lay down the bag on the counter and, using a rolling pin (or a wine bottle) press down onto the rinds to break them up into smaller pieces.
When the rinds are fairly broken down, start rolling the pin to get the crumb size evened out and as small as you want it to be.
How much pork rinds for a cup of pork panko
Each ounce (~30 grams) of pork rinds will produce nearly 1 cup of pork panko, depending on how fine you’ll grind them.
I like to grind mine as fine as I can, so a 2.5 oz (70 grams) bag of pork rinds turns into a bit less, about 1 3/4 cups.
Customize the flavor
You can easily customize the flavor of your keto pork rind breadcrumbs to better pair with whatever food you plan to coat it with. All you need to do is add your favorite spices and herbs after you process the pork rinds.
Here are some add-ons ideas to spice up your keto panko breadcrumbs:
- Dehydrated onion powder or flakes
- Granulated garlic or garlic powder
- Black or white pepper
- Italian seasoning
- Paprika powder, sweet or smoked
- Parmesan cheese
Just note, salt is probably not something you’ll need to add as the pork rinds are usually salted already.
How to store and keep fresh
Store the homemade pork panko in an airtight container, there’s no need to refrigerate. Follow the best-by date of the pork rinds package.
Copyright Pris Frank for LikeHotKeto. Please DO NOT SCREENSHOT OR COPY/PASTE recipes to social media or websites. We’d LOVE for you to share a link to this recipe instead 🙂 Try the easy sharing buttons below!