Bonchi Age: Fried Senbei Crackers Popular in Kansai
“Senbei (せんべい, 煎餅)” is a traditional Japanese rice cracker made of non-glutinous rice called “Uruchi-Mai (うるち米)”, the staple of the Japanese diet, which actually comes in various types.
Among others, the baked variety “Yaki Senbei (焼き煎餅)” is the most commonly eaten, but in supermarkets in Japan, you will also most likely see the deep-fried variety “Age Senbei (揚げ煎餅)” and “the wet one “Nure Senbei (濡れ煎餅)“.
Bonchi Age (ぼんち揚)
And when it comes to Age Senbei, what I introduce here, “Bonchi Age (ぼんち揚)” is the most popular product in the Kansai area around Osaka, in contrast to “Kabuki Age (歌舞伎揚げ)” that is best-known in the Kanto region around Tokyo.
Bonchi Age was introduced by the Osaka-based company “Bonchi (ぼんち)” in 1960 initially by the name of “Age Komaru (揚小丸)”, and later in 1963, its name was changed to Bonchi Age.
In 2018, the funky white cat character as the official mascot named “Bonchi Neko (ぼんちネコ)” was born and has since been used on the packaging.
Since this Bonchi Age is a collab product with Nissin and has its “Chicken Ramen (チキンラーメン)” flavor, you can also see the instant ramen’s cute yellow chick mascot “Hiyoko Chan (ひよこちゃん)” on the bag.
Deep-Fried Rice Crackers
These are Bonchi Age Senbei’s deep-fried rice crackers. Bonchi Age has a light crunchy texture compared to Kabuki Age, and its flavor is soy sauce-based.
Bonchi Age is lightly seasoned, but it features an addicting complex umami taste, because of which it has long been loved in Kansai.
Here, thanks to the chicken ramen flavoring used in the sauce applied, these fries are very savory and made me quite satisfied.
In Niigata, it is a little bit difficult to find Bonchi Age, but I think these are definitely a must-try Japanese Senbei!
Ingredients and Nutrition Facts
Lastly, for those of you who want to know the specific ingredients and nutritional values of these Bonchi Age crackers, here are the labels.
(Reference Page: Wikipedia ぼんち揚 )