Published November 1, 2006. From Cook's Illustrated.
In our taste tests, we couldn't distinguish among brands for flavor, but there was a difference in texture.
To see if there really is a difference between the brands of this light, Japanese-style bread-crumb coating, we picked up four samples at Boston-area supermarkets and tested them in two recipes: baked chicken Parmesan and pan-fried breaded pork cutlets. Each brand worked fine in both baked and fried applications, but with slightly different textural qualities. While three brands possessed a delicate crispness, the oil-free brand (purchased from a large natural foods supermarket) provided a much more substantial crunch. In the end, if a super-crunchy—rather than delicate and crisp—texture is what you're aiming for, choose our winner. Otherwise, brand doesn't really matter.