Many recipes simply go to the old favourite of breadcrumbs, but there are alternatives – from cous cous breadcrumbs, or crispy coatings, to other alternatives to standard breadcrumbs and polenta when it comes to coating your foods. If you can’t use breadcrumbs or a polenta coating that a recipe asks for, then there’s a lot of alternatives, from crushed nuts/potato chips, even semolina. Some are great ideas for people who want gluten free breadcrumbs or have other restrictions.
From fish fingers, fishcakes and goujons, to scotch eggs and nibbles – below are some ideas of alternatives to breadcrumbs and even polenta coating alternatives:
- Crushed nuts: you can crush up nuts to coat many foods
- Crushed cornflakes: It’s not just cornflakes you can use instead of breadcrumbs, but crushed rice crispies too
- Crushed potato crisps (US: chips). A great way to use up any you’re not keen on, or that’ve gone stale.
- Semolina: Dried semolina is a straight forward food coating, that gives a nice smooth finish
- Flour/polenta mix: Mix equal amounts of flour and dry polenta
- Just polenta: No need for flour, simply use dried polenta.
- Instant mash: You can use this as it is, or add in further flavourings, such as seasonings, spices and herbs
- Couscous: Use dried, or damp, couscous – which you use will depend on what you’re coating and the end result you’re after. A greasy/fatty/moist item will have its juices soaked up by dry couscous as they cook.
And, don’t forget – you don’t have to buy bright orange breadcrumbs in a box. You can make your own. Simply toast any bread, to the colour you want. Leave the bread out to cool/dry (a toast rack is good). Place the dry toast in a bag and break it up into breadcrumbs.
Alternatives to A Beaten Egg:
If you don’t want to use a beaten egg to get your food coatings to stick, try mayonnaise instead! You’re more in control of the quantity, so there’s no waste. It can be hard to waste an egg if you’re just coating one small thing with breadcrumbs or alternative coatings.