Homemade Japanese Rice Crackers Recipe
We all know how unique Japanese food is. One can never get enough of the delicious combinations of flavours and textures. From exquisite restaurant courses to easy snacks - Japanese cuisine has it all.
However, the fact that you can cook most of these dishes in your own kitchen makes it even more inviting. Take Japanese rice crackers or senbei, as they are also known, as an example. Tourists enjoy this savoury dish as much as locals.
And today’s your chance to try these crackers as well. We’ve prepared the easiest senbei rice crackers recipe for you. Just follow the easy steps and bring a bit of Japanese culture to your house.
So, let’s get down to business!
How to Make Japanese Rice Crackers
Senbei are a traditional Japanese snack. They’ve been a part of people’s lives for centuries and haven’t lost their popularity since.
It’s not even surprising.
Senbei are gluten-free, read perfect for a healthy diet, and extremely delicious at the same time. Japanese rice crackers are available in almost all Asian grocery stores. But nothing compares to homemade rice crackers.
To cook authentic crackers at home you should have all the ingredients at hand and follow clear instructions. Thus, to avoid any confusion, jump to the below sections to learn how to make rice crackers.
For the senbei:
- 120 g rice flour
- 40 g white rice (cooked)
- 4 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- ¼ tsp sea salt
For the glaze:
- 2 tsp mirin
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
For the flavouring:
- 3 tsp sesame seeds
- 2 tsp shichimi togarashi
- 5 tsp furikake
- Nori seaweed sheets
Just before we continue with the preparation steps, please note that we’ll be working with the dough. While some find it intimidating, you shouldn’t be scared. It is easier than you think. Just make sure you use the right equipment and follow the instructions.
First things first. Preheat an oven to 190°С and prepare the baking sheets. You can either cover them with parchment paper or grease them with vegetable oil.
Take rice flour, cooked white rice, oil and salt, and mince everything using the food processor. Add water when all the ingredients are well ground and continue mixing until the dough is crumbly.
Place the prepared mixture in a separate bowl and add sesame seeds, furikake, and shichimi togarashi. These are just some of the cracker flavourings. If you like to add some different products here - go ahead!
Feel free to play around to create a perfect combination that suits your palette. Then, knead the dough, so it keeps its shape.
Form even-sized balls from the dough. Then, one by one, place the balls between two sheets of parchment paper or cling film, and flatten them using the rolling pin (or any other object with a flat surface, e.g. a glass). Your crackers should be about 6 cm in diameter.
Place the dough circles on the backing sheet, leaving some space between the pieces, and put them in the oven.
Bake your rice crackers for about 8-10 minutes. Then flip each of them and leave them baking for 8-10 more minutes.
Once the time is up and the crackers are brownish, take them out of the oven and leave them to cool for a bit. After that spread each peace with the glaze we’ve prepared earlier and bake them for 2-3 extra minutes.
When the crackers are lightly brown and crispy, take them out of the oven and set them aside. Wait until they cool and give them a try. Don’t forget to wrap the crackers in nori to make them even tastier.
Alternatively, you can fry the crackers instead of baking them. Even though, the recipe described here is healthier and lower in calories, you might like fried rice crackers more.
Tips for Making Japanese Rice Crackers
So, once you know how to make Japanese rice cakes at home, you might also need a few more tips to avoid any bottlenecks on the way. Let’s check out what we’ve got here.
1. Make sure to choose the right flour. Depending on the rice it’s made of, flour can have some variations of taste. For instance, white rice flour has a rather neutral flavour. So you can easily combine it with a multitude of different ingredients.
At the same time, brown rice flour has a more distinctive nutty taste, meaning you have to balance this bouquet of flavours properly.
2. You shouldn’t limit yourself to savoury flavourings only. If you want Japanese rice crackers to be sweeter, choose the corresponding ingredients and feel free to add them directly to the dough.
Or use a different glazing to top your crackers. We can assure you that these rice crackers taste well in all variations and forms.
3. Just like we’ve mentioned above, you can not only bake senbei but fry them. This option is higher in calories, of course, but, it’s a quicker solution. In this case, you can have good use of kiri mochi, ready-to-use dough.
All you need to do is cut kiri mochi into smaller pieces, fry them in the oil until golden brown and season once ready. That’s it.
But if you want to still stick to the healthier options, just follow this Japanese rice crackers recipe.
How to Store Japanese Rice Crackers
Given the crusty texture, Japanese rice crackers taste the best when they are freshly baked. But if you’ve got some leftovers to store for later, there are a few tips to bear in mind.
Make sure that you keep your cracker in airtight containers or zip-lock bags. This way, senbei rice crackers will stay fresh and crusty, and won’t soften over time. This method allows you to store the leftover rice crackers for up to one week.
It’s not recommended to leave rice crackers in open bowls and containers. When exposed to air for too long, they become stale and then go bad very quickly.
So, what do you think? Are you ready to cook senbei by yourself?
Yes, there are quite a few steps to take, but they are still not too complicated. Once you master this recipe for rice crackers, you’ll always have a delicious snack at hand. Serve it with green tea or eat it as is 一 there are only so many options available.