Crunchy puffs of rice, salt, and sugar

May 8, 2009   4 Comments

These lovely little crackers hail from Japan. The ones that I purchased are basically a combination of white rice, sugar, and salt. I found them at Trader Joe's but I have also seen them in the Asian section of a regular grocery store.

Rice crackers

So, are they good for you? No, they aren't. Are they bad for you? Well, I wouldn't say bad, but I think there are better choices. These are crackers, no different from crackers made from wheat. Just because they are made from rice does not mean they are more healthy. In fact, I would choose a whole wheat cracker such as Triscuit over a rice cracker for more nutrition.

Why aren't they super healthy? For this answer, you need a little lesson in how they make white rice. All rice starts out brown, and the brown section is the nutritious part of the seed. A rice kernel is actually the seed from the rice plant. The rice factory takes off the brown part of the rice (the bran layer - the germ of the seed) and chucks it. Then, they grind up the rice and make rice flour, which they turn into rice crackers.

Essentially, all the nutritious part of the rice is tossed away, so you get this light cracker. Then you need to add salt, sugar, chili paste, etc. to make it taste like something.

Is there good news? Rice crackers are low calorie for the quantity. So, if you are trying to lose weight and are addicted to Doritos, these are a good choice.

They are also a delightful change of pace from potato chips and go well with beer. Picture them as Asian pretzels.

My friend, Orchid, writes a fantastic blog about Japanese snacks. Check it out here:

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Great idea for a blog!

I am glad you explained the deal about the rice. I don't think I had ever heard that.

There is a new one (in my country at least) from Arnott's. The Vita-Weat that claims to be processed from BROWN rice with natural ingredients.

Your take on this Brand please? Thanks.

TY for this article!! For the life of me i do not have a sweet tooth --- I LOVE crunchy + salty snack foods & have a weakness for foods such as almonds, sour cream potato chips, wheat thins; so when i discovered Walmart brand "World Table Chili Rice Thins" i fell over!! These are an amazing substitue for fattier crunchy foods.. And they satify the crunch factor 200%, not to mention great flavor and zero guilt. While not calorie-free, a serving of approx. 30 rice thins has 100mg of sodium, 0g sugar, 0mg cholesterol & ~ 140 calories. Not bad, i'm in love!

Shattered to read this. :( Rice crackers are my favourite! Eat them almost every afternoon.

But like you said, better than dorritos.

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