Japanese Wet Rice Crackers: Nure Senbei and Nure Okaki
“Senbei (煎餅)”, “Okaki (おかき)”, and “Arare (あられ)” are 3 major types of traditional Japanese rice crackers which have been favorites of us Japanese for a very long time.
Although Senbei is made of non-glutinous “Uruchi (うるち)” rice while Okaki and Arare are made from glutinous rice called “Mochi Gome (餅米)”, these rice crackers usually have a nice crunchy bite in common.
However, there is an exceptional variety of Senbei and Okaki, which isn’t crunchy at all, but moist, soft, and chewy.
Nure Senbei and Nure Okaki
For the texture, the exceptional type of Senbei and Okaki has the word “Nure (ぬれ)” meaning being “wet” in the name. Unlike regular baked Senbei and Okaki, these rice crackers are dipped in soy sauce during the production process, resulting in having a soft, moist texture.
Since the soy sauce infiltrates while the rice dough is being dipped, Nure Okaki and Nure Senbei pack a lot of flavor in their dough. As for history, they are actually modern rice crackers; Nure Senbei was first made and sold by a confectionery shop located in Choshi, Chiba Prefecture, “Kashiwaya (柏屋)” (Google Map) in 1963.
Today, some major Japanese confectionery companies also produce and sell wet Okaki and Senbei like these, but I haven’t heard of the wet rice cracker called “Nure Arare” yet. By the way, Nure Senbei is sometimes abbreviated to “Nuresen (ぬれせん)”.