What is Senbei? Super crunchy Japanese rice cracker

What is Senbei? Super crunchy Japanese rice cracker

Do you know Senbei, Japanese rice cracker? It is very crunchy, crispy and everyone’s favorite! (⌒¬⌒*)

Senbei is a little different from other Wagashi that I am introducing as usually tastes salty, but I am sure you will love it too!


What is Senbei?

Senbei is popular Japanese type of rice cracker that is crunchy and crispy. Usually it is round shaped,flat and made from rice. To make Senbei, you knead rice dough, shape it flat and thin, grill it on an iron pan until it gets nice and toasty, and finally season it with soy sauce or salt.

Related post: top 10 popular japanese sweets (wagashi) that japanese like the most!

There are various of Senbei in terms of texture, shape and taste. Its texture can be hard and crunchy, or light and fluffy. Typical taste of Senbei is soy sauce or salt, but it also can be seasoned with sugar. In addition, some Senbei have rich flavors of multiple ingredients such as plum, shrimp, seaweed and many others.



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You can buy Senbei almost everywhere in Japan. If you step into a convenience store, you will find many kinds and types of Senbei just like potate chips. You can enjoy Senbei with Japanese tea of course but many Japanese people love Senbei together with beer!



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The history of Senbei

Senbei has a long history, and apparently, have existed since the former Han dynasty in China (3B.C.~ 1A.C). After that, Senbei said to have been passed on to Japan from China sometime between 6-8th centuries. At that time, they were made by mixing water with wheat flour and frying with oil. They were different from the rice crackers today that are mostly made with rice.

As for the birthplace of Senbei made with rice in Japan, it is thought to be Soka city in Saitama Prefecture. Soka city has had abundant rice crops since a long time ago and was visited by many tourists as a sightseeing spot.

Also, it was close to Edo (the current Tokyo), so it is also thought that it was influenced by Edo food culture. Many Senbei(s) are still being sold as souvenirs today in Soka city, Saitama Prefecture.


If you are in Japan, please try fresh Senbei!

Did you know you can have freshly toasted Senbei? You can get it at many tourist places such as Soka city, where Senbei began in Japan. You can have hot and fresh but crunchy Senbei! Fresh thing is always better, right?

If you live or visit Tokyo, I recommend you go to Asakusa which is a very popular sightseeing place in Tokyo, to get fresh Senbei!




Please try to find your favorite Senbei!
Matane! (in Japanese, means “see you soon!”)

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