Here is another review long in coming, for a Godzilla project that I am surprised exists—the Godzilla Spicy Miso Ball (ゴジラ辛みそ玉)! I originally picked up a three-pack of these in 2019 at the Atami Kaiju Film Festival (pretty sure that’s the only place you can buy them), but I let the dang things expire and never tried them. So when I attended again this year, and they were selling more three-packs for 700 yen, I wanted to buy some and finally try them out.
In Japan, probably the most popular kind of soup you can get is miso soup. Often served with breakfast, or as a side item when buying set meals, miso is a kind of fermented soybean paste which can be mixed and partially dissolved in liquid to create a tasty and savory soup base. Often various other ingredients are mixed in, such as tofu, green onions, seaweed, mushrooms, etc. It’s easy to prepare the stuff at home, whether through purchasing miso paste, or getting instant miso pouches with the ingredients mixed in—just add hot water! The Godzilla Spicy Miso Ball (I keep wanting to write “meat ball”), though, is a different kind of instant miso dish—the paste mixed with several ingredients to make it more soup-worthy, and Godzilla-ish.
The packaging sports Godzilla from King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962) about to attack the Atami Castle, and there is some text explaining the dish below the name of the product:
“Super spicy off-the-cuff miso soup with tons of cayenne pepper to create an image of Godzilla breathing out radioactive fire!”
It appears that the soup includes Izu miso, funori (a kind of algae), wakame (a kind of seaweed), and katsuobushi (tiny pieces of bonito flakes), as well as the cayenne pepper and paprika, etc. And the little flower thing on top apparently is “yaki-fu,” or, as my dictionary explains it, “wheat gluten leavened with baking powder and baked into long bread-like sticks.”
To prepare a serving (which only has three calories somehow apparently!), take one miso ball and add it to 160 ml of freshly boiled water. Mix them together. The seaweed and algae will come free and float in the fog of miso, and you can use a spoon or drink it directly from the cup (which is the more Japanese way of doing it).
I am in the process of moving, but I wanted to try out the soup before I packed up everything, so I prepared a bowl (see pictures). When I drank the stuff, I gingerly used a spoon (American that I am—and also I have a tongue sensitive to heat, also known as a “cat’s tongue” in Japan) and sipped the resulting lightly brown concoction. I had not read the ingredient list before slurping the soup, so I was surprised at how hot the stuff is. The cayenne provides a strong kick which overwhelms the miso and other flavors—mostly I tasted heat, and not much else, and that didn’t change much as I finished up the dish. Of course the yaki-fu had a nice bland flour-taste, though, which helped offset the heat of the cayenne.
In the end, I didn’t really like the Godzilla Spicy Miso Ball so much. I enjoy miso soup, but if I can’t taste the miso flavor very well, it just loses much of its appeal. I do like that this is one of the rare Godzilla foods which is low-calorie and relatively good for you, though, and of course I love that it is such a peculiar sort of treat. Still, even if I get the chance, I don’t think I will buy another round next year.