Kawara Senbei: Roof Tile-Like Hard Wheat Crackers

“Senbei (せんべい)” is a traditional Japanese rice cracker made from non-glutinous rice called “Uruchi Mai (うるち米)”, the staple of the Japanese diet.

But some exceptions exist, and they don’t consist of rice. For example, what I introduce here “Kawara Senbei (瓦せんべい)” is made from wheat flour, not rice.

Kawara Senbei (瓦せんべい)

Kawara Senbei

Made with wheat flour, sugar, and eggs, Kawara Senbei is a Japanese baked confection with over 100 years of history.

Hence, unlike most Senbei varieties made by baking non-glutinous rice dough and flavored with soy sauce or salt, this wheat cracker has a sweet taste and is not salty at all.

Kawara Senbei Wheat Crackers

When you look at these brown wheat crackers, what comes to your mind first?

Actually, the word “Kawara (瓦)” refers to a traditional Japanese roof tile, and like that, they are shaped.

As you can see in the photo above, Kawara Senbei traditionally has Kanji characters or Hiragana letters branded on the surface and is quite hard in texture.

But in recent years, it seems some products are produced soft.

Ingredients and Taste

Kawara Senbei

The main ingredients (sugar, wheat flour, and eggs) of Kawara Senbei are actually the same as the ones for Castella sponge cake.

As for the taste, these wheat crackers are like Tamago Boro cookies. Yes, they are sweet and delicious!

Where to Buy

Kawara Senbei is known as the regional specialties of Kobe and Takamatsu. This Senbei is not that common so available mainly in large supermarkets.

(Reference Page: Wikipedia 瓦せんべい )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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