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 long-time favorites in Japan.
While Senbei is made from non-glutinous rice “Uruchi Mai (うるち米)”, the main ingredient of Okaki and Arare is glutinous rice “Mochi Gome (餅米)”. And these crackers usually have a pleasant crunchy bite in common.
However, there is an exceptional variety of Senbei and Okaki, which isn’t crunchy at all. They have a soft, moist, and chewy texture.
Nure Senbei and Nure Okaki
For the texture, the exceptional type of Senbei and Okaki has the word “Nure (ぬれ)” meaning “wet” in their name.
Unlike regular baked Senbei and Okaki, these rice crackers are dipped in soy sauce during the production process, resulting in having a soft limp texture.
Since the seasoning liquid infiltrates while the rice dough is being dipped, Nure Okaki and Nure Senbei pack lots 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, a number of Japanese confectionery makers produce and sell wet Okaki and Senbei like these. But I haven’t heard of “Nure Arare” yet. By the way, Nure Senbei is sometimes abbreviated to “Nuresen (ぬれせん)”.