The Secret To Crispy Schnitzel Probably Isn't What You Expect

Schnitzel isn't just fun to say and challenging to spell; It's also downright delicious. How couldn't it be with thin, tender cuts of meat, such as veal, pork, chicken, or beef, breaded and fried? It's up in the air as to who invented the schnitzel, with some saying Germany and others saying Austria, according to Holy Schnitzel. But the most well-known schnitzel, Wienerschnitzel, reigns from Austria, and beef schnitzel wasn't on anyone's radar until Germans began to migrate to Texas, where beef was readily available, in the 1850s.

The meat chosen is pounded until thin, then traditionally, it's breaded using fine breadcrumbs or panko breadcrumbs, along with flour, then fried. If not done properly, you'll end up with a mushy breading — and that's no fun. Plus, some schnitzels, such as Jagerschnitzel, are served with gravy, per All Tastes German, and the breading needs to stand up to that river of delight.

The secret to the crunchiest schnitzel

So, we know breadcrumbs are required for a schnitzel, but what type should you use? There are differences between panko and regular breadcrumbs, the most common choices. For example, panko crumbs are shredded instead of being pulsated into almost dust in a food processor, as regular breadcrumbs are. The result is a crumb that can withstand oil and puff up while frying, making a crunchier coating. Although any breadcrumb will work, panko is a wise choice.

Still, there's one more secret to making the crunchiest schnitzel, and it may surprise you. The Washington Post writes that using sesame seeds in your schnitzel breading will give a fabulous crunch. According to Soul & Streusel, this method stems from the Israeli style of adding crunch to the breading. You've likely enjoyed sesame seeds in other dishes and noticed how they don't turn to mush, even when drenched in sauces. They are the perfect solution: Simply add them to your panko crumbs and they'll fit right in when coating the meat for your schnitzel. Cover in gravy or go without, and never forget a side of spaetzle.