Calbee Kappa Ebisen vs. Ebi Senbei Shrimp Crackers

I have loved the shrimp cracker from Calbee “Kappa Ebisen (かっぱえびせん)” since I was small. But I wasn’t sure whether the snack was an Ebi Senbei or not. 

Calbee Kappa Ebisen vs. Ebi Senbei

Therefore, today I researched the difference between Ebi Senbei and Calbee Kappa Ebisen, and I got the results below.

Ebi Senbei (海老煎餅)

Ebi Senbei

According to the article “海老煎餅” on Japanese Wikipedia, while regular Senbei is made from non-glutinous rice called “Uruchi Mai (うるち米)”,

the main ingredients in Ebi Senbei are shrimps and starch (typically potato starch).

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

Ebi Senbei 2

Other than starch and shrimps, Ebi Senbei may contain ingredients, such as wheat flour, salt, sugar, mirin, wasabi, ume (plum), and curry, and some have a sweet taste.

Ebi Senbei uses shrimps and starch, but what uses shrimps and rice is given the name of “Ebi Okaki (エビおかき)” or “Ebi Kakimochi (エビかき餅)”.

Calbee Kappa Ebisen (カルビー かっぱえびせん)

Calbee Kappa Ebisen Shrimp Crackers

Meanwhile, Kappa Ebisen is the name of a shrimp cracker produced and sold by Calbee, the largest snack food manufacturer in Japan. 

The product was introduced in 1964 and now has gained wide popularity.

Calbee Kappa Ebisen is made with natural shell-on shrimps. It is a lightly salted, savory cracker packed with the umami of shrimps.


Calbee Kappa Ebisen Ingredients

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

Final Thoughts

Based on the article “かっぱえびせん” on Japanese Wikipedia, the main ingredients in Calbee Kappa Ebisen are shrimps and wheat flour.

But as the snack also contains starch and Ebisen usually stands for Ebi Senbei, I’d say Calbee Kappa Ebisen is a kind of Ebi Senbei.


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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