Senbei are crispy Japanese crackers made from wheat flour and glutinous rice.
They come in various flavours including miso and even mayonnaise now. Sometimes they are just brushed with sweetened soy sauce; sometimes they also have a seasoning that includes sesame and salt fish. Sweet ones have sugar in them, and sometimes egg.
To make them, the dough is stretched very thinly, then cut into squares or circles about (7 to 8 cm) wide, then baked. Some are baked over a charcoal grill.
The Soka region of Japan is particularly known for the quality of its Senbei. Soka ones are brushed with soy sauce, then put in iron moulds and baked.
In the name Senbei, “bei” means “rice cake”. “Sen”, legend says, was the name of a grandmother named “O-sen” in Soka at some point in history who made and sold them.