Even though I love Japanese snacks, I have always had a hard time enjoying senbei (rice crackers). The ones I ate always tasted like pure soy sauce and I couldn't get over the saltiness. But about three years ago, one of my friends came back to the US from two years abroad in Hiroshima. She shared some of her favorite senbei, Yuki no Yado, with me.
These are a little different from normal senbei, in that they have a lightly sweet glaze and less soy sauce flavor. I've always been a big fan of salty/sweet combinations (I used to dip my fries in my Frosty), and these were the first sembei I liked.
The crackers had almost no smell (they are made from rice, after all), just a vague saltiness. They were very crunchy, even moreso than American rice cakes. Of course, these were very salty, but the subtle sweetness from the light frosting was really nice. It made for a delicate balance that satisfied many cravings: crunchy, salty, and sweet.
These make a great snack. My only complaint is that they have a weird sort of stale aftertaste (maybe the salad part), but it's nothing a glass of water can't solve. Plus, they taste so good that I don't mind. These made a good gateway senbei for me, as I now have a much better opinion of more traditional senbei than I used to. I'm no expert, though, so please see Japanese Snack Reviews for many informative senbei reviews, including another take on these!
Thanks for the kind words, but I'm no expert on sembei either! ;-) I've just sampled more of it because I have easier access.
I think you might also like the brown sugar double cream ones that I reviewed last week. They have a nice salty sweet thing going on which is similar to the sembei you reviewed here. I just didn't care for this variety because of the soy sauce flavor.
I thought those brown sugar ones sounded good! I think I didn't notice the soy sauce flavor because I'm used to it being stronger (and not liking senbei).
Have you tried 雪の花のおせんべい？
Sweet, with just a hint of salt to satisfy both cravings...sounds similar to these. おいしいよ。
I haven't tried those! I'll have to look for those!
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