Japanese firm seeks halal approval for non-alcohol udon soup stock

By Takamasa Hirokawa

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Vegetarian ramen should be next. Almost impossible to find.

-10 ( +8 / -18 )

Why would you want to find that? Boil weeds from your garden

0 ( +15 / -15 )

Thank god I'm atheist and can eat and drink whatever I want without worrying about some ancient books that have not been properly translated.

21 ( +31 / -10 )

We tried to find out if onigiri is halal/kosher but the manufacturer didn’t know ALL the ingredients that were used. Their PR dept. kept answering our questions with “it’s possible.” (Does it have alcohol? Does it have pork?)

6 ( +12 / -6 )

""The finished product, absent of both alcoholic content and animal-derived substances, uses a carefully balanced recipe of ingredients in place of mirin, too.""

Nothing wrong with eating healthier, all for it, LOL

Not only Muslims, Jews, Hindus, some Christians, even some Buddhists, and more do not consume Alcohol or animal-derived substances for health and religious reasons.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Religious laws implemented to prevent abuse of alcohol and to avoid eating quickly spoiling meats. It’s 2022 and half the planet still lacks a common sense approach to spiritual beliefs. To each their own but I would hate to know my life was so controlled by primitive thinking and knowledge. I do hope she’s allowed to patent her work and makes a million as they take Udon to Indonesia.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

I have always believed and preached my family and friend, NEVER consume anything processed, canned, precooked, preserved, nuked, or even instant. So basically buy FRESH and make your own meal when ever you can. Live a healthy life and the benefits are enormous.

-10 ( +5 / -15 )

My pagan beliefs allow me to drink and eat whatever pleases me.

10 ( +18 / -8 )

During her student days, Arum tried to sample a bowl of Sanuki udon at a local restaurant. But it was only when it arrived in front of her that she thought to ask if its soup stock had soy sauce or mirin, sweet cooking rice wine. When the server replied in the affirmative, she had to abandon the meal.

Just eat it; it's not going to kill you.

8 ( +20 / -12 )

It's impossible to be a vegetarian or vegan !

Oh well....get over it !

-13 ( +5 / -18 )

My wife's company briefly flirted with the idea of producing halal and/or kosher products but made no real effort to understand the rigours of application and production. Also, once they realised the cost, they abandoned it. Short sighted to say the least.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Thank god I'm atheist

Good Lord you're funny

12 ( +15 / -3 )

The last Isetan catalogue had a section of goods under the banner of Halal. They seemed to be suggesting halal was superior grade food to others (kodawari). I wonder if it was actually halal.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Yes, and no Indonesians ever drink Bintang, the country's leading beer manufacturer. {sarcasm alert }

Aceh and some other areas are probably most "devout " in avoiding alcohol, eveywhere else it's normal to drink a beer or whatever.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Good for you Arum. You are making a great business case to convince your company it's possible to expand its overseas markets, and also to make life easier for the growing numbers of Muslim residents of Japan. Also shows the way for many other Japanese food producers, restaurants etc, that it's not rocket science to innovate and cater to different dietary needs, while still keeping traditional flavours. Rigid thinking and refusal to innovate and respond are the death of any business, so the company are intelligent to diversify their staff and listen to them.

Remember even 10 or 15 years ago, it would be normal in this country to be met with a blank stare if you asked whether a product contained meat or animal products? Things are changing, and it's thanks to small moves by people with vision, persistence and energy. Gives a bit of hope.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Their religious beliefs must be respected, good to see J-companies are finally realizing this.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

Whilst the dietary requirement of some religious groups may seem ridiculous to some people, it's also a big consumer group that will be a lucrative opportunity for some companies. As the article suggest, there's 2 billion Muslim people in the world so to ignore this massive group and exclude your products to them is a massive missed opportunity.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Change your food culture because we don’t eat that! You adjust and adopt to our norms and culture.

This is how to say it bluntly.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

In fact, it’s almost impossible. To be really considered halal, it would have to be produced , first, by Muslim workers and other staff who are in contact with the ingredients, products, also during quality check in laboratory or during transport, and that implies second, that it has to be handled completely separately from all other production lines, meaning they will need to build in fact a second facility, away from the one they use now. Everything else is not considered halal among the more stricter religious customers who might be the target group for that marketing ‘idea’.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

A lot of food in Japan is very processed so I make my own curries from scratch.

100% my own concoctions so I add what I want…

9 ( +10 / -1 )

I feel sad if I know Japan has to adjust food in restaurants because of a religion.

It is ok otherwise to gain markets for exporting food internatilnally. Business is business, although changed food is another food then.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

Awesome. Finding vegan ingredients in Japan can be really tough. The more variety the better. And if these options can be produced domestically rather than imported from abroad even better.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Hummus with shark fin for Japanese consumers comes next..

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

@ Redstorm

I buy soya sauce from the last man using wooden casks to make it.

There are still a few companies left in Japan, that produce soy sauce naturally in wooden casks. This is one of them:

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

If you think the soup stock is 100% guaranteed void of animal protein then think again.

If you think your diet is 100% void of animal protein because you think your vegetarian or vegan - think again !

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Furthermore it has to actually be produced by Muslims and blessed and pray over ceremoniously and made in the promised land and not made in Japan.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

so Japan is going to be halal country...?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

"Standards for what is halal vary by person”

in other words, there are no set rules and it’s all just inconsistent BS made up as you go along?

Look, if you’re basing your diet on religion, fine. More power to you. But, do it amongst yourself.

Don’t make it a point to have to preach it to others who have other things to worry about.

Bring out the no sugar/low-non fat items first.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Great idea!…..but “I find the idea of Vegetarian ramen should be next. Almost impossible to find” almost but not as silly as vegetarian bacon! :-)

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Yet another cult dictating to their deluded followers what to eat, what to wear and how to beat their wives.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Yet another cult dictating to their deluded followers what to eat, what to wear and how to beat their wives.

I liked the "how to beat their wives" part.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

In fact, it’s almost impossible. To be really considered halal, it would have to be produced , first, by Muslim workers...  they will need to build in fact a second facility, away from the one they use now.

Interesting. Seems there is a great opportunity for a Muslim who can make the significant investment needed. A separate facility, once approved as halal, would not have to restrict itself to udon. It could produce a number Japanese foods for export to a potentially very large global market. The food wouldn't be great and it wouldn't be cheap, but that company would have a virtual monopoly.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I am sorry but I do not agree with not eating something, not because your alergic and not because the taste is not to your liking, but because at somepoint in the past a religious person tells everyone they cant consume this or that because it would be religiously wrong to do so.

I am atheist and if people have other beliefs, thats fine. Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Catholic or any other religion is totally fine. But not eating because it is not kosher, or Halal or any other religious reason. God contacts nobody. Anyone today who says god told them would be admitted for a psychological examination. But in times past, hundreds or thousands of years ago, an individual human says they speak for god and says do not consume milk or do not eat fish or whatever. Or food must be blessed before you can eat it, and the blessing will cost money.

Sorry but as an atheist I do not think it is right. People are missing out on some of life's experiences because someone a couple of thousand years ago thought it would be a good idea to ban it, maybe because they themselves did not like it. A person who likely thought the world was flat and the sun and universe revolved around the flat earth.

It just makes no sense to me.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

And atheist vegetarians and vegans?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It's all about business. More exports, more business.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Good idea, make more money, pre covid Indonesia and Malaysia started to be big markets for tourists coming to Japan.

They are also big markets for possible food exports and love Japanese food.

I am an atheist, but if your religion leaves me alone and makes no "demands" then I am fine with however you live in your personal life.

Where I have a problem is when religious groups try forcing change because of their beliefs.

At my children's public elementary and Jr high way back then a few mixed students were Muslim and the parents complained the lunch menu wasn't Halal. Back then they were told "too bad, don't like it pack their lunches"

My friend's children attend the same 2 schools right now,

Now the schools prepare non pork non alcohol lunches like they do for children with allergies.

But now even that isn't good enough.

Now the problem is that pork and alcohol are in the same facility and classroom and these parents want all pork and alcohol to no longer be served at all.

This is what happens often with religions, if you give them a mm2 they will next demand Km2.

This isn't just Muslims this is all religions.

So think what it ends up, ok no pork no alcohol in any school, wait now the Hindus decide they want no beef, then the no meat, then some hardline Buddhist demands no fish or meat.

This is how school lunch programs ended up being cancelled back home the "demands" from all the special people made it to difficult to continue even trying so the government gave up.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Stop the madness...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

so Japan is going to be halal country...?

A Muslim woman tried Ed to create a halal version of a famous Japanese food so that Muslims can enjoy Japanese cuisine.

Personally, good on this woman for trying to broaden the audience for Japanese cuisine.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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