The anime “Mobile Suit Gundam”, or Kido Senshi Gundam as it is know in Japanese, has been a hugely popular series for over 30 years with many spin-offs and affiliated products being produced during that time. The anime has been so popular, that the word “mobile suit”, the name of the large humanoid fighting machines that feature in the series, has become an accepted part of the Japanese language. Now the anime has become a part of Japanese cuisine as well, courtesy of a new food product from Sagamiya Foods Inc. Believe or not, they have made the “Zaku” mobile suit model into Tofu!
The product, called “Zaku Tofu”, is not just a piece of publicity but is a very respectable tofu product made by a company that has been devoted to creating quality tofu for over 60 years. Because the original Zaku mobile suit in the anime is a green color, the Zaku tofu is made from green edamame beans to give it a green hue, instead of the usual white color of tofu made from regular soybeans. The tofu is made in the shape of the head of the Zaku mobile suit and they’ve made sure the packaging is fun as well with Gundam illustrations and logos. A limited number of packages come with a special plastic spoon in the shape of the weapon used by Zaku mobile suits in the anime.
They have even created a special Zaku Tofu website, which may be worth a look for its artistic design and a fun promotional videoclip that artfully combines the world of Gundam and tofu, told as a tale of “space tofu war”. There are also pictures of an artistic culinary creation that recreates the world of Gundam using Zaku tofu. The site is sure to delight any Gundam fan.
I found the Zaku tofu on sale at the local supermarket and of course was anxious to know how it tastes so I bought one and tried it at home with chopped Japanese leeks and soy sauce. Not only was the tofu fun to look at, it was quite tasty too, with a very silky texture and the flavor of edamame matching the soy sauce perfectly. I would probably buy it again if I have the chance.
However, according to an announcement on the Sagamiya website, the Zaku tofu is apparently selling better than expected and the product is currently in short supply at stores across Japan, so it may be a while before I can try the tofu again. They are in the process of increasing production of the tofu, but they have already completed production of the special weapon-style spoons that came included in a limited number of tofu packages.
If you’re interested, the tofu is sold at supermarkets, shopping malls and convenience stores at about 200yen (about $2.40) a piece, provided they are able to keep the production going. If you like tofu, it might be fun to give it a try!