Types of Onigiri and Onigiri Senbei Rice Crackers

“Onigiri (おにぎり)” is quintessential Japanese comfort food made by forming a handful of steamed plain rice into a ball or triangle shape, which is usually covered with a dry sheet of nori seaweed.

3 Common Types of Onigiri

Although Onigiri is known to many overseas people as “rice ball”, the definition of its shape doesn’t exist, so it is okay to make any shape. 

Onigiri rice ball

Despite that, the Onigiri rice formed by us Japanese can be roughly divided into 3 types; One is ball-shaped and entirely covered in the nori seaweed, as shown above.

Another has a triangle shape and is partly covered with nori like the picture above.

Yaki Onigiri (焼きおにぎり: Grilled Onigiri)

Yaki Onigiri grilled on gridiron

The last one is grilled Onigiri called “Yaki Onigiri (焼きおにぎり)” which is made from a handful of white rice that’s been shaped into a ball or triangle shape, brushed with soy sauce or miso, and grilled on a gridiron.

Masuya Onigiri Senbei

When it comes to Onigiri, there is a famous Japanese rice cracker associated with the shape of Onigiri, which I bought this time for this blog article.

Masuya Onigiri Senbei

The name of the Japanese treat is “Onigiri Senbei (おにぎりせんべい)”, which is a kind of Senbei produced and sold by “Masuya (マスヤ)”, a confectionery company headquartered in Ise, Mie Prefecture.


Masuya Onigiri Senbei Rice Crackers

As you can see in the picture above, the Onigiri Senbei rice cracker literally features its Onigiri-like triangle shape.

The Masuya Onigiri Senbei is a standard snack in western parts of Japan, but to those living in eastern Japan, the product actually isn’t well-recognized.

Onigiri Senbei rice crackers

Made by baking rice dough without using oil, Senbei usually has a hard, crunchy texture, whereas Masuya Onigiri Senbei contains some moisture and is a little limp, not that crunchy.

The Onigiri Senbei rice cracker is flavored with sweet soy sauce, and shreds of nori are partially pasted on the surface. 

Masuya Onigiri Senbei rice crackers

Unlike traditional Senbei, these rice crackers have a mild sweetness and is not hard, so I think they can be a nice treat for kids.

Ingredients and Nutrition Facts

Masuya Onigiri Senbei Ingredients Nutrition Facts Calories Label

Lastly, let’s see the specific ingredients, nutrition facts, and calories.

Based on the label on the back of the package, the main ingredients in Masuya Onigiri Senbei are non-glutinous rice “Uruchi Mai (うるち米)”,  vegetable oil, soy sauce, sugar, dextrin, nori, egg yolk powder, and pork extract.

The calories per bag (14 grams) are 67 kcal, and the Senbei contains 0.25 g salt equivalents in total.

(Reference Page: Wikipedia おにぎりせんべい )


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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