Ebi Senbei vs Kappa Ebisen : What is the Difference?

Calbee Kappa Ebisen is one of my favorite snack foods. In fact, I have loved the shrimp cracker since I was a kid, but I wasn’t exactly sure whether Kappa Ebisen is classified as a Ebi Senbei or not. 

The Difference between Ebi Senbei and Calbee Kappa Ebisen

Therefore, today I did some research on the difference between Ebi Senbei and Calbee Kappa Ebisen on the net. For those who are curious about this like me, here I will share what I got from several information about them.

Ebi Senbei (海老煎餅)

Ebi Senbei

According to Wikipedia Japan, Ebi Senbei is a traditional Japanese snack food whose main ingredients are shrimps and starch (typically potato starch), though Senbei crackers are usually made of non-glutinous rice.

Actually, “Ebi (海老)” means shrimp in Japanese and, whole shrimps, dried ones or ground ones are prepared for Ebi Senbei, mixed with starch, and baked or deep-fried in oil.

Ebi Senbei 2

Other than starch and shrimps, various ingredients (like wheat flour, salt, sugar, mirin, wasabi, ume plums, curry and so on) can be used in Ebi Senbei, so some Ebi Senbei have a sweet taste.

By the way, what is made from rice and shrimps is generally called “Ebi Okaki (エビおかき)” or “Ebi Kakimochi (エビかき餅)”.

Kappa Ebisen (かっぱ えびせん)

Calbee Kappa Ebisen

Kappa Ebisen is a shrimp cracker produced and sold by Japan’s largest snack food manufacturer Calbee. The product was released in 1964 and now has gained wide popularity in Japan.

Kappa Ebisen Shrimp Crackers

Kappa Ebisen is a light, savory cracker full of umami of shrimps. In fact, the cracker is made with natural whole shrimps without removing the shell.


According to the ingredient list, in addition to shrimps, the Calbee Kappa Ebisen cracker consists primarily of wheat flour, vegetable oil, starch, sugar, and salt.


Wikipedia Japan says that Calbee Kappa Ebisen’s main ingredients are wheat flour and shrimps. But the shrimp cracker also contains starch, so I suppose Calbee Kappa Ebisen is classified as a Ebi Senbei.

What do you think?


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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