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Jul 10, 2018

Senbei - Japanese Rice Crackers with Furikake {Gluten Free}

Japanese rice crackers, or Senbei, are super crispy crackers that are both salty and sweet, and exceptionally crunchy.

These senbei, made with nori furikake, a seaweed rice seasoning, and glazed with soy and mirin (a sweet Japanese rice wine), are completely compelling. They have a flavor that kind of reminds you of sushi, because of the Nori Furikake incorporated into the dough.

Furikake is a seasoning that is normally added to rice, and usually includes dried fish, sesame, seaweed, salt, and MSG. There are several versions of Furikake, so be sure to check the ingredients, as some flavors include wheat, and are not gluten free. The Nori Furikake in the middle in the photo below is gluten free, but the ones on the left or right are not. All of these Furikake would be excellent in the crackers, but if you are trying to avoid gluten, choose the one in the middle.

The other key ingredient you will need to make these crackers is sweet rice flour. This flour is also known as glutinous rice flour. The photo below is of the flour I used. I'm posting it in case you are looking for it in your Asian market. You can also find it on Amazon (affiliate link). Bob's Red Mill carries it with the label Sweet White Rice Flour.

Rest assured, the name notwithstanding, this rice flour does not contain gluten.

For the cooked white rice called for in the recipe, I used some leftover short grain white rice.

P.S. If you are avoiding gluten, be sure to use Tamari or gluten free soy sauce in the glaze.

These rice crackers, or senbei, will satisfy your appetite for totally crunchy chips, without having to actually indulge in fried chips. They are soooo thin, baked, not fried, and delicious.

To achieve a super thin cracker, you can use the bottom of a drinking glass to flatten the dough, but for the best results, I used this tortilla press. I flattened the balls of dough between two pieces of plastic wrap in the tortilla press, and they were absolutely as thin as can be.

By the way, I could not stop eating them.

For another great rice cracker that also includes almond flour, be sure to try rice and almond thins

I first discovered Japanese rice crackers in college, but I've never even considered that it was possible to make them myself, until challenged to make something gluten free for this month's Bread Bakers event. After the recipe, be sure to check out the rest of the Bread Bakers' gluten free recipes, hosted by Stacy of  Food Lust People Love.

senbei, crackers, Japanese, bread, #BreadBakers, furikake, Asian, mirin, rice, gluten free
crackers, appetizers
Yield: 38 crackers

Senbei - Japanese Rice Crackers with Furikake


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mirin
  • 3/4 cups (120 grams) glutinous/sweet rice flour
  • 1/3 cup (40 grams) cooked white rice
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil
  • 1/4 cup water, plus more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons furikake


  1. Heat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  2. Mix the soy sauce and mirin in a small bowl and set aside. 
  3. In a food processor, add the rice flour, rice, salt, and oil. Pulse until the mixture is sandy. 
  4. Turn on the food processor and slowly add the water. Process for about 30 seconds, until the dough is crumbly. 
  5. Move the mixture to a large bowl. Add the furikake and knead to combine, adding water to form a dough that comes together when squeezed. I had to add about another 1/4 cup of water by tablespoon. 
  6. Between two pieces of plastic wrap, place a heaping teaspoon of dough, formed into a ball. Press the dough with the bottom of a drinking glass or a tortilla press until flattened into a circle. Gently peel the flattened dough off of the plastic wrap and place it on the baking sheet. Continue to measure and flatten the rest of the dough. 
  7. Bake the crackers, one sheet at a time, for 5 to 6 minutes. Turn the crackers over with your hands or a spatula, and bake for another 5 minutes. 
  8. Remove the pan from the oven and lightly  brush the tops of the crackers with the soy/mirin mixture. Return the crackers to the oven and bake for another 3 minutes or so, until lightly browned. Watch closely as the sugar in the mirin can burn. Repeat with the second baking sheet. 
  9. Let the crackers cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container for up to a week. 

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.


Would you like to comment?

  1. It never occurred to me that I could make these either so I was eagerly awaiting your recipe, Karen. Using the tortilla press is genius!

    1. Thank you Stacy! It made such a huge difference.

  2. Wonderful and crisp crackers, make a great snack.

  3. Were they difficult Karen? They look luscious.

    1. They weren't that difficult, but just a little nerve wracking because this was my first time. If you could have seen me sitting by my oven window staring at the baking crackers....

  4. that's a cracker of a recipe, Karen !! I bet they tasted awesome too. Thats a fine art to bake such thin crackers and you made it so well :)

  5. These types of crackers are very popular here, but I have never thought of making them myself. I can see I am going to have to remedy that since all of those ingredients are readily available.

  6. Karen, rice crackers look so delicious. They remind of rice papdi that most Indian households enjoy with rice dishes. However papdi is sun dried and roasted over flames when required.

  7. isnt this an andrea nguyen recipe??

    1. Actually, it's adapted from the book Crackers and Dips by Ivy Manning, as cited in the recipe card.


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