Uni Senbei: Classic Japanese Sea Urchin Rice Cracker
Sea urchin roe “Uni (雲丹)” is a delicious sushi ingredient loved by foodies around the world.
Uni is not only prepared for dishes. The sea urchin has a distinctive natural umami taste, and in Japan, it is used in snacks as well.
And the representative example of such Japanese treats includes “Uni Senbei (うにせんべい)” or “Uni-Sen (うにせん)”, which I bought today for this blog article.
Uni Senbei or Unisen
Senbei is the most common type of Japanese rice cracker. It is made of non-glutinous “Uruchi” rice, brushed with soy sauce, or lightly salted. But in modern times, Senbei comes in many flavors, including Uni or sea urchin.
As its name indicates, Uni Senbei has a flavor of sea urchin. It is actually a classic Senbei variety that has long been loved in Japan.
With a delightfully crispy texture that melts in the mouth, these rice crackers are packed with the umami of sea urchin, and to make the most of its original taste, these are lightly salted.
These Unisen crackers are similar in shape to “Okaki (おかき)” rice crackers. But unlike Senbei, Okaki is made of pieces of Mochi or glutinous rice.
Specifically, based on the list pictured above, the main ingredients in this Uni Senbei are non-glutinous rice “Uruchi-Mai (うるち米)”, sea urchin, sugar, mirin, sake lees, salt, soy sauce, powdered sea urchin roe, and egg yolk.
Where to Buy
Uni Senbei is an inexpensive, casual snack available in supermarkets and convenience stores around the country. I bought this product for about 110 yen (about 1 USD) at a 7 Eleven near my house, by the way.