Japanese Rice Crackers: Senbei (煎餅) vs Okaki (おかき)
Rice crackers can be found in every shape, color and flavor in Japan. From savory to sweet, there’s a rice cracker to fit every occasion and taste. Each region has its own specialty based on local ingredients which are then baked, grilled or fried. Most rice crackers in Japan however, fall into two main categories based on the rice used and their shape: Senbei (煎餅) and Okaki (おかき).
Senbei (煎餅) or Osenbei (お煎餅) are rice crackers made of non-glutinous rice which is formed into big, round circles. Traditionally flavored with soy sauce, senbei are the most common type of rice cracker in Japan and now come in a wide variety of flavors.
Okaki (おかき), on the other hand, are rice crackers made from glutinous rice, or more specifically mochi, which is a traditional Japanese sticky rice cake. The mochi is formed into various shapes, with the smaller version of these rice crackers known as Arare (あられ).
About the author:
Co-founder of Kokoro Care Packages. Lillian is a half-Japanese, half-British Canadian currently living in LA. She spent almost a decade in finance (capital markets) before co-founding Kokoro Care Packages with Aki Sugiyama in 2018. She is passionate about sharing her Japanese heritage and preserving the traditions of Japan. She believes in the power of community and connections, nature and wellness, and the importance of a good night's sleep