In Japanese, "pan" means bread and "ko" means small pieces: panko is the Japanese name for sliver-shaped, coarse, crisp breadcrumbs that come from a specially prepared crustless bread. They add a distinctive crunchy texture to food, but the flavor is similar to that of most regular unseasoned bread crumbs.
For similar flavor, regular breadcrumbs may be substituted, but for similar texture, coarsely ground corn flakes are a better choice.
Recipe: "Fried" Panko Chicken Tenders
For more information on substitutions, see our Ingredient Substitutionsguide.