Panko have been used in Asian cuisine for years, but are now becoming more mainstream in Western cooking. Panko are made from a crustless white bread that is processed into flakes and then dried. These breadcrumbs have a dryer and flakier consistency than regular breadcrumbs, and as a result they absorb less oil. Panko produces lighter and crunchier tasting fried food. They're traditionally used in Japanese cooking to make Tonkatsu and Chicken Katsu. In recent years panko is becoming more popular as a casserole topping for Mac and Cheese, Chicken Parmesan and as a crispy coating for Baked Veggie Fries.
Regular breadcrumbs can made from a variety of different breads and crusts. They are processed into a finer crumb than panko, and can be made in your own kitchen with a food processor. They're not as dry and flaky as panko, and have a bread-like consistency when fried. Store-bought breadcrumbs often come with herbs and seasonings already added. Breadcrumbs are a handy staple for breading, stuffing, casserole topping, and binding burgers.