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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 Japanese Rice Crackers


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 Japanese Rice Crackers

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:

Lillian Rowlatt Co-Founder of Kokoro Care PackagesCo-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



  • Hi Lillian,
    Thanks for this beautiful initiative. I love Japanese food and it’s so nice to learn more about the culturalbackground and traditions via your site!

  • Hi Emily! Thank you for your comment. We’re so happy to hear that you enjoy our culture articles. We like to showcase as many aspects of this wonderful country in addition to its great food!

    Kokoro Care Packages
  • Hi, Lillian! I heard about Kokoro from Just One Cookbook. I just want to thank you for the culture notes you include with your emails. I’m a quarter Japanese and I find these emails very interesting.

    Emily Agunod

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