Sesame Seed Senbei

I came across this senbei recipe while wandering around the internet, looking at Japanese food blogs at 3 a.m. There are many things that seem like great ideas at that time of night, but which seem foolish in the light of day; these crackers are really are good anytime.

These crackers are nice and healthy eaten plain. But they’d be great with a tangy feta, cream cheese and olives, or one of these dips I’ve posted about: Bright Green Edamame Dip or Soybean Hummus.

Sesame Crackers
Goma Senbei!
adapted from Shizuoka Gourmet

  • 1 egg
  • 7 ½ Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons miso
  • 3 to 4 Tablespoons rice flour
  • ½ cup sesame seeds
  • a few drops ginger juice

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
Mix the sugar and egg, until well combined. Add the miso and ginger juice then mix well, carefully so as not to add bubbles.
Toss the flour and sesame seeds together, then stir into the egg mixture.
Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Wet your hands and spread the cracker mixture, pressing it as thinly as you can.
note: next time I’ll make these much thinner by rolling the dough with a sheet of parchment over the dough.
Bake for 10 minutes. Check to see if the cracker is golden brown. It may take longer depending on thickness.
Cut with a sharp knife into equal pieces.
They should become crispy once they have cooled down. If not, bake the cut pieces again at 300°F (150°C) for a few minutes.
Crackers can be stored in an airtight container.

Not only are sesame seeds a very good source of manganese and copper, but they are also a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc and dietary fiber. In addition to these important nutrients, sesame seeds contain two unique substances: sesamin and sesamolin. Both of these substances belong to a group of special beneficial fibers called lignans, and have been shown to have a cholesterol-lowering effect in humans, and to prevent high blood pressure and increase vitamin E supplies in animals. Sesamin has also been found to protect the liver from oxidative damage.

13 thoughts on “Sesame Seed Senbei

  1. Thank you for this recipe, Tess, it’s very tempting!
    Would you mind telling me what kind of miso you recommend for this recipe?
    Thank you!

    • Hi Clotilde,

      I checked out your site and now remember that I read your blog all the time in the early days; I was a (silent) fan! Things changed and so did my blog reading! I’m flattered that you read my blog occasionally! Yours is as it was: beautiful and interesting to read. Congratulations!

      Anyway, I used an organic red miso from Japan—just soybeans, yeast and koji.

      I wouldn’t use a miso with barley or other grains, because they are lumpy. Miso is difficult enough to dissolve evenly.

      There is quite a bit of sugar in these crackers, so if you wanted to emphasize that you could use a white miso. I wouldn’t use Saikyo miso which is harder to find and a bit more expensive: it deserves to be featured in a soup or dressing.

      I would suggest using hulled sesame seeds for these crackers. My husband likes fiber, me: not so much. The seeds I had included the hulls so they took quite a bit of chewing.

      If you experiment with this recipe, you might try using wheat flour. I saw a few comments online about the other two sorts of senbei I posted where people thought rice crackers should not have wheat flour. In the original recipe, the fellow doesn’t specify wheat or rice flour. And I know people with wheat allergies so thought I’d try rice flour.

      I’ve worked with stickier dough, But I wonder if a bit more flour would make the dough easier to roll thin?

  2. Hi Tess,
    I have gluten issues, so all the senbei (I’ve seen it spelled as sembei also), that I’ve ever bought have been out of rice flour. But some sweet senbei are made out of wheat flour too. I love sembei, and I’ve never even thought of making it myself! Sounds like a lot of fun! The tips on the kind of miso are very helpful!

    • I think I’ll have to try this recipe again too. This dough was very sticky.

      A few years ago, people on the Taunton cooking forum were making various kinds of crackers rolling them with pasta machines but this dough was way too sticky for that. At the time I wasn’t interested in making crackers so I didn’t pay attention. I do know that some of the people had gluten issues so maybe there were recipes for rice flour crackers…

        • I tried to post a comment on your blog, but was not able to do it.
          It tells me I must be logged in
          and this is at the bottom of your page:
          Powered by WordPress and WordPress Theme created with Artisteer.

          I am logged in to so what am I supposed to log in to with your site?

  3. Awww that’s really strange… Dunno why you can’t comment since u are log on in WordPress. My best friend owns the site and I have zero tech knowledge so have to ask her :( doh

    Btw I made the sesame seed senbei following ur recipe! It was awesome and I gave it to my mother in law as a birthday/ Xmas gift. She liked it so much that she asked for ur recipe :D thank u so much for posting this awesome recipe! Woot!

  4. @Piggy,
    I am logged in to WordPress.COM so I think you must have a different sort of log-in for folks to comment on your site. You do have a WordPress site, but you may not be aware that there are two very different, separate, and distinct kinds of wordpress. Maybe this would be enlightening:
    You appear to have a self-hosted wp.ORG blog. Because I use I wonder if you have your privacy settings, or comment settings marked so that your blog has some sort of privacy? I am very familiar with wp.COM (but don’t know what’s available on and participate often in that forum, but I don’t know much about wp.ORG.

    At any rate, I’m very happy to hear that you and your mother-in-law liked this recipe. Gifts of homemade food seem to be appreciated by everyone.

    Happy New Year!

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