8 Best Japanese Rice Crackers You Should Try
As you know, rice is the staple of the Japanese diet. Not only do we have steamed plain rice at meals almost every day, but if you have a chance to go to grocery stores in Japan, you can find a large variety of rice crackers.
When it comes to the type of those Japanese rice crackers, Senbei (せんべい), Okaki (おかき), and Arare (あられ) are the most common traditional varieties, but in addition, various modern rice crackers can also be seen.
8 Best Japanese Rice Crackers to Try
Out of those, for people who are interested in Japanese rice crackers, today I will introduce 8 best-selling products that have been widely enjoyed in Japan for decades.
1. Kaki no Tane (柿の種)
First off, Kaki no Tane (柿の種) is probably the most famous rice cracker in Japan, which is known as Kameda Crisps overseas.
The original product was introduced by Naniwaya Seika Confectionery in 1923, and now Kaki no Tane has become a snack that represents Japan.
Flavored mainly with soy sauce and red chili pepper, it is a little spicy, savory baked cracker made from glutinous rice/non-glutinous rice.
2. Kabukiage (歌舞伎揚)
It was put on the market in 1960 by Amanoya (天乃屋), and as you can see from the picture above, this rice cracker has 10 kinds of designs using the family crests of Kabuki.
Flavored with thick sweet soy sauce, KabukiAge has a quite hard, pleasantly crunchy texture. Its quality is high in all respects, so Kabuki Age is arguably one of the best Age Senbei.
3. Bonchi Age (ぼんち揚)
On the other hand, Bonchi Age is the most famous Age Senbei in the Kansai region around Osaka which was put on the market by Bonchi in 1960.
Compared to Kabuki Age, Bonchi Age has a light crispy texture and is seasoned with sweet soy sauce-based sauce with lots of umami from katsuobushi (bonito) and kombu (seaweed).
4. Sanko Yuki no Yado (三幸 雪の宿)
Yuki no Yado (雪の宿) is one of the best sweet-tasting rice crackers in Japan, which was introduced by Sanko-Seika Confectionery in 1977.
This rice snack is especially characterized by white icing on the surface that is made from sugar, powdered skim milk, milk sugar, and fresh cream from Hokkaido.
Thanks to the white things, the Yuki no Yado Senbei takes on a gentle milky sweetness that everyone can like.
5. Kameda Seika Happy Turn (亀田製菓 ハッピーターン)
Happy Turn (ハッピーターン) is a popular modern rice cracker with an addictive umami taste to it, which was introduced by Kameda Seika Confectionery in 1976.
The addicting taste actually comes from “Happy Powder” on the surface, and the white particles are dubbed “Magical Powder” for its deliciousness. Taste-wise, it’s similar to “salty-sweet”.
6. Befco Bakauke (ベフコ ばかうけ)
Produced and sold by Kuriyama Beika Confectionery (Befco), Bakauke (ばかうけ) are rice crackers with modern flavors like curry and cheese.
The original product was released in 1990, and now Befco Bakauke has become one of the standard snacks in Japan.
Compared to other rice crackers, the Bakauke cracker is lightly seasoned and has a gentle mild flavor. So it could be a great treat for kids.
7. Kameda Seika Soft Salad (亀田製菓 ソフトサラダ)
Introduced in 1970, Kameda Seika Soft Salad is a Senbei loved by people of all ages.
Featuring a flavorful umami taste that comes from Okinawan salt “Shimamasu (シママース)”, this Japanese rice cracker tastes so good with a nice crispy melt-in-the-mouth texture to it.
8. Kameda Seika PotaPota Yaki (亀田製菓 ぽたぽた焼)
Introduced in 1986, Kameda Seika PotaPota Yaki, together with Sanko Yuki no Yado, has now become one of the best and most beloved sweet Senbei.
Brushed with a sweet soy sauce kind of reminiscent of Japan’s good old days, the PotaPota Yaki Senbei has also a delightfully crispy melt-in-the-mouth texture.