August 25th, 2018
As the world gets flatter and flatter, more the chance to interact with people from different culture. One of the biggest movements in modern society is a “Halal food”. Today in this article, I’d like to show you what “Halal” means, and how Japanese cuisine can adopt to the new trend of food.
1, What is Halal?
2, Halal and Haram
3, No.1 Halal-friendly country, Singapore
4, Japanese food and Halal
5, Halal Bento by SAMURICE
You might have seen “Halal-certificate” or “Halal food” stamp on the package of food. These stamps are to prove that the food was processed without pork or alcohol. There is no Halal certificate that is global standard, so there are various different types of Halal-approved food.
Since the phrase “Halal food” is known worldwide, it seems like Halal is a rule for food. However, “Halal” is not only about food. It is Arabic word meaning “approved by God”. “Halal” is not only about food but about the entire life of Muslim.
On the contrary,“Haram” means “forbidden” in Arabic. Although there are some sort of things Muslims are not allowed to do or eat, when Muslim accidentally or unknowingly eat “Haram” food, he or she is not guilty. Other than that, when it is under supreme condition or when there are no choice but to eat “Haram” food, he or she is not guilty.
One thing Muslims are not allowed to eat is a pork.
In the Koran, pig is dirty and unclean. Not only as a pork, Muslims are not allowed to eat any food associated with lard or pork-extract. If he or she accidentally eat those foods, he or she is not guilty. However, if there is one single doubt that the food is associated with pig, Muslim should check and make sure there are no pigs involved. Muslims can eat other livestock such as beef or chicken, but there are rules for the way they are processed. If the procedure is not correct, then Muslims are not allowed to eat any kinds of meat.
Another thing that is forbidden for Muslims is an alcohol. Which means not only wine or beer but also things such as ethanol.
Nevertheless, each Muslim has his or her own policy about Haram or Halal food. Some think that it is okay to eat food that is associated with lard as long as they are not eating pork. Some think that using a knife once used for pork is not acceptable. Some think that it is okay to use an alcohol as an ingredient, while some think not. Because there are no global standard of Halal certificate, each Muslim have to make a decision by his or her own.
Singapore is one of the most Halal-friendly country in the world. Most of the citizen knows what “Halal”means, and most of the restaurant has their own Halal menu.
In the country like Singapore, market of Halal food is gigantic. Many company tries to get a chance to grow in the market. For instance, there is a Chinese company which spent 2 years to develop Halal dim sum that still has a original flavor. Today this company has more than 80% of the share market of Halal. Halal market might seem like a ceiling to grow, but it can be a chance to grow at the same time.
If Muslims cannot eat pork or take an alcohol, are they happy with Japanese cuisine?
Japanese cuisine use fish more than often, but some dish such as Shabu-shabu or Tonkatsu(fried pork) has a pork.
On the other hand, regulation on alcohol makes Muslims hard to enjoy Japanese food, because Japanese food often uses an alcohol to season ingredients, such as Mirin or Sake (cooking wine). However, it is still possible for Muslims to enjoy Japanese cuisine. There are Mirin or Sake (cooking wine) that has no alcohol in it, so even if a food needs them, Halal certified version is available.
▲Halal Makunouchi Bento
SAMRUICE has a Halal bento that contains no pork or alcohol. We tried to make a bento that can provide Japanese food and culture that can be consumed by Muslims without breaking their law. Our Halal bento is available not only at our outlet shop but also delivery. You can enjoy our Halal bento anytime, anywhere such as lunch meeting, party, or on daily basis.