One company dared to dream.

Snack maker UHA (pronounced “yoo-ha”) Mikakuto is known for their daring projects. Every once in a while they’ll come up with chewy candies that taste like wine and cheese or salmon, and then also offer a VR unit with a robotic arm that simulates Kanna Hashimoto hand feeding them too you.

Once again, they seemed to have done the impossible and created a snack that holds all the flavor of gyoza but requires no cooking and can be kept in room temperature environments. It’s called Gyoza No Manma and is a part of UHA Mikakuto’s long-running Sozai No Manma series which attempts to replicate fresh foods such as mushrooms or croquettes and convert them into a preserved snack food format.

Also, much like previous Sozai No Manma items, these gyoza are incredibly hard to come by at first, perhaps in a conscious effort by UHA Mikakuto to stir up some mystery and buzz. Luckily, our writer Tasuku Edogawa managed to grab a couple packs for 216 yen (US$1.90) each.

One pack contains four little gyoza snacks that measure about 6 centimeters (2.4 inches) in length and 2 centimeters (0.8 inches) in height. They’re not quite as big as regular gyoza, so if you’re looking for a meal out of Sozai No Manma your stomach will probably still be grumbling afterward.

However, upon opening the pack, Tasuku was greeted by the savory aroma of rayu, a sesame oil sauce with a mild chili flavoring. That alone got his mouth watering in anticipation of some real gyoza.

The illusion of real gyoza continued into the first bite as well. Tasuku was surprised by the crispy outer shell and tended insides. All too quickly, he eagerly wolfed down the four pieces, and then had a sudden craving for a beer.

▼ “I don’t know how they’re made, but the parts stuffed full of exquisitely soft and
delicious ingredients alone were enough to make me want to eat a whole bunch.”

Gyoza No Manma, a name which translates to “Just like Gyoza,” certainly simulates the gyoza experience… but is it gyoza? The name would imply not, but its ingredients are certainly in line with regular gyoza, containing foods such as cabbage, pork, ginger, and chives. At the same time though, its price is outrageous by normal gyoza standards.

It’s an existential dilemma. By design they’d probably be considered gyoza, but one would never eat them as a part of a meal like gyoza. They certainly are made with portability in mind, however. Gyoza No Manma doesn’t even have garlic, meaning you don’t have to worry as much about your breath afterwards.

I guess you could say that Gyoza No Manma is to regular gyoza what Nicorette is to cigarettes. It’s a great substitute for gyoza addicts who may suddenly find themselves needing a fix in an airplane, right before a business meeting, or during childbirth. That in itself makes these a great little snack!

Photos: SoraNews24
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