Japan Flavor Report: Slime Nikuman vs. Plain Nikuman

Which one is really the slime?

Just imagine the look on that Slime's face as I took a big meaty bite! Ah wait, you don't have to. You know what a Dragon Quest Slime looks like, you know that plastered-on smile. You have seen the racks of Slime nikuman we posted previously. You may have even socked it to one in a videogame:

 

 

However, today's trip to Family Mart involves a side-by-side nikuman taste test. Is a Slime nikuman really worth the 60 extra yen? The blue baddie costs 170 as compared to 110 (about US $2.19 vs. $1.41). I nabbed the second to last one on the rack, so let's examine:

 

 

Well, the Slime is certainly cuter. You can see that the plain nikuman is bigger, but it's deceptive since the dough outside is fluffier and thicker:

 

 

The regular nikuman was noticeably sweeter than the Slime, but the Slime had more vegetables (bamboo shoots, supposedly!), so it's another instance where you can try to convince yourself something is healthier due to a little bit of texture. Speaking of texture:

 

 

Aside from the artistic effort that deserves to be richly rewarded, you can clearly see where the rest of the price discrepancy comes in once you closely examine the filling; it's more obvious that the Slime nikuman contains real food. The regular one contains basically a sludge (or dare I say, actual slime) with some little bits, while the Slime one has definite chunks of meat and chopped veggies for a firmer texture—something to chew on. I'm not saying we should expect gourmet cuisine from a steamer at a convenience store, but it's nice to recognize what you're eating.  

 

While this 25th Dragon Quest Anniversary promotion lasts, I highly recommend defeating a Slime nikuman if you can get to a Family Mart in Japan.

 

Slime Nikuman Official Website

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