8 Best Japanese Rice Crackers Widely Enjoyed in Japan
Rice is the staple food of the Japanese. Not only do we usually have plain white rice at meals, but a wide variety of rice crackers are available at supermarkets and convenience stores in Japan.
When it comes to the type, the 3 traditional Japanese rice crackers, Senbei (せんべい), Okaki (おかき), and Arare (あられ) are commonly eaten. In addition to these, various modern rice crackers have come out one after another.
8 Best Japanese Rice Crackers
Out of those, today I will introduce 8 best-selling rice crackers that have been widely enjoyed by Japanese people for decades.
1. Kaki no Tane (柿の種 : Kameda Crisps)
Kaki no Tane (柿の種) is probably the most famous rice cracker in Japan. It is also known as Kameda Crisps (Amazon.com) in countries other than Japan. The original one was introduced into the market by Naniwa-Ya Seika Confectionery in 1923, and now Kaki no Tane has become a rice snack that represents Japan. It is made not only from glutinous rice but also from non-glutinous rice, and flavored mainly with soy sauce and red chili pepper.
2. Kabukiage (歌舞伎揚)
Image : tanmari.hatenablog.com
KabukiAge (歌舞伎揚) is the most beloved “Age Senbei (揚げ煎餅)” in the Kanto district around Tokyo, where there are few people but know the rice cracker. The deep-fried rice cracker was released in 1960 by Amanoya (天乃屋). As you can see from the above picture, the rice snack has 10 kinds of designs using the family crest of Kabuki. It has a quite hard crunchy texture and is flavored with a thick sweet soy sauce. The level of the snack is high in all respects, so it is 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 area around Osaka, which was released by Bonchi Co.,Ltd in 1960. Bonchi Age is flavored mainly with a soy-sauce-based sauce and sugar, and light in weight and texture as compared to KabukiAge. It is a crisp Age Senbei with plenty of umami.
4. Sanko Yuki no Yado (三幸 雪の宿)
Yuki no Yado (雪の宿) is one of the best-selling rice crackers with a sweet flavor in Japan. It was released by Sanko Confectionery in 1977. The white icing on the surface is made from sugar, powdered skim milk, milk sugar, and fresh cream from Hokkaido. Thanks to that, the Yuki no Yado rice cracker has a rich milk flavor.
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 Japanese rice cracker with an addicting umami flavor. It was released by Kameda-Seika Confectionery in 1976. Actually, the addicting taste comes from “Happy Powder” on the surface, so the powder is also called “Magical Powder”. The Happy Turn rice cracker tastes kind of like salty-sweet. The taste is hard to describe, in a word, just addictive.
6. Befco Bakauke (ベフコ ばかうけ)
Bakauke (ばかうけ) is one of the best modern Japanese rice crackers. The product (Amazon.com) is produced and sold by Kuriyama Beika Confectionery (Befco). The original one was released in 1990, and now the rice cracker has become a standard snack in Japan. The rice snack has a light gentle flavor as a whole, so it 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 rice cracker loved by Japanese people of all generations. It went on the market in 1970, and now it has become one of the most familiar rice crackers to us. This Japanese rice cracker features a soft crispy texture that melts in the mouth in addition to having a rich umami flavor that comes from 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 flavor. The sweet rice cracker was released in 1986, and now it has become a standard rice snack. PotaPota Yaki has a light crispy texture and is flavored with a sweet soy sauce that makes us feel nostalgic.