8 Long-Selling Japanese Rice Crackers to Try
Rice is the staple food of the Japanese. 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 wide 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 found in Japanese supermarkets.
8 Best Japanese Rice Crackers
Out of those, today I will introduce 8 best-selling Japanese rice crackers that have been widely enjoyed by us Japanese over the decades.
1. Kaki no Tane (柿の種)
Kaki no Tane (柿の種) is probably the most famous rice cracker in Japan, which is also known as Kameda Crisps in countries other than Japan.
The original product was introduced by Naniwaya Seika Confectionery in 1923, and now Kaki no Tane has become a snack food that represents Japan.
It is a little spicy, savory baked cracker made from glutinous rice and/or non-glutinous rice, and flavored mainly with soy sauce and red chili pepper.
2. Kabukiage (歌舞伎揚)
Image : tanmari.hatenablog.com
It was released in 1960 by Amanoya (天乃屋), and as you can see from the photo above, the Japanese rice cracker features 10 kinds of designs using the family crests of Kabuki.
KabukiAge has a quite hard, crunchy texture and is flavored with a thick sweet soy sauce. Its quality is high in all respects, so it is sometimes said that Kabuki Age is one of the best Age Senbei.
3. Bonchi Age (ぼんち揚)
Image : Amazon.com
On the other hand, Bonchi Age is the most beloved Age Senbei in the Kansai region around Osaka which was put on the market by Bonchi Co.,Ltd in 1960.
Bonchi Age is seasoned with a soy-sauce-based sauce and sugar, and light in texture. It is a crispy Age Senbei with lots of umami from Katsuobushi and kombu powder.
4. Sanko Yuki no Yado (三幸 雪の宿)
Yuki no Yado (雪の宿) is one of the best-selling sweet-tasted rice crackers in Japan. It was introduced by Sanko-Seika Confectionery in 1977.
This rice snack is characterized by the white icing on the surface that is made from sugar, powdered skim milk, milk sugar, and fresh cream from Hokkaido, thanks to which the Yuki no Yado rice cracker has a rich sweetness.
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 rice cracker with an addicting umami taste which was released by Kameda-Seika Confectionery in 1976.
Since the addictive taste comes from “Happy Powder” on the surface, the white powder is also called “Magical Powder”, which tastes kind of like salty sweet.
6. Befco Bakauke (ベフコ ばかうけ)
Bakauke (ばかうけ) are rice crackers with modern flavors that are produced and sold by Kuriyama Beika Confectionery (Befco).
The original product was released in 1990, and now the rice cracker has become a standard snack food in Japan.
Compared to other Japanese rice snacks, the Bakauke crackers are lightly seasoned and gentle in flavor, so they can be a nice treat for kids.
7. Kameda-Seika Soft Salad (亀田製菓 ソフトサラダ)
Kameda-Seika Soft Salad is a long-selling Senbei loved by Japanese of all generations, which went on the market in 1970, and now has become one of the rice crackers most familiar to us.
This Japanese rice cracker has a soft crispy texture that melts in the mouth and features a rich umami taste that comes from the Okinawan salt “Shimamasu (シママース)”.
8. Kameda-Seika PotaPota Yaki (亀田製菓 ぽたぽた焼)
Kameda-Seika PotaPota Yaki, together with Sanko Yuki no Yado, is one of the best and most beloved Senbei with a sweet taste, which was released in 1986, and now has become a standard rice snack in Japan.
The PotaPota Yaki Senbei has a light, crispy texture with a nice melt and is flavored with a sweet soy sauce that has a good old taste.