Shrimp Crackers: Calbee Kappa Ebisen vs Ebi Senbei

I have loved the classic shrimp cracker Calbee Kappa Ebisen since I was small, but I wasn’t exactly sure whether Kappa Ebisen is classified as an Ebi Senbei or not. 

The Difference: Calbee Kappa Ebisen vs Ebi Senbei

Therefore, today I did some research on the net about the difference between Ebi Senbei and Calbee Kappa Ebisen, and for those who are curious about the result, here I will share what I got from some online sources. 

Ebi Senbei (海老煎餅)

Ebi Senbei

First off, about Ebi Senbei. According to the article “海老煎餅” on Wikipedia Japan, unlike regular Senbei that 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, various ingredients, such as wheat flour, salt, sugar, mirin, wasabi, ume plum, or curry, can be used as a flavoring in Ebi Senbei, so some Japanese shrimp crackers have a sweet taste.

Incidentally, what is made with shrimps and rice, instead of starch, is generally known as “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 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 in Japan.

Made with natural whole shell-on shrimps, Calbee Kappa Ebisen is a light, savory cracker packed with the umami of shrimps.


Calbee Kappa Ebisen Ingredients

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


Based on the article “かっぱえびせん” on Wikipedia Japan, the main ingredients in Calbee Kappa Ebisen are shrimps and wheat flour. But the shrimp cracker also contains starch, so 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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