Local Muslims enjoying halal gyoza (dumplings)
Local Muslims enjoying halal gyoza (dumplings)

With the increasing number of Muslim tourists from Islamic countries to Japan, Nik-koken, a ramen shop located in Wakamatsu Town of Sano City (Tochigi) sells gyoza (dumplings) as per Halal standards. Utsunomiya City (Tochigi) best known for dumplings in Japan, the gyoza at Nikkoken definitely as good as non-Halal ones. These Halal gyoza at Nikkoken have been well received by Muslims as well.


The Halal dumplings at Nikkoken are made by Mr. Dainari Goka (43). Nikkoken supports several cricket teams and many Muslim sports players visiting the restaurant several times. However, customers could not order dumplings because they contained pork etc. Hence, he didn’t feel very good about not being able to serve gyoza to them.


Thereafter, Mr. Goka attended a workshop in June. At that time, he got to know a president of an IT company who disseminates halal related to information online and received a proposal to provide halal dishes at his restaurant.


In the first round of trial and error, Mr. Goka prepared two types of “Tempeh” from chicken and fermented beans. Tempeh is a soy product, commonly consumed by Indonesians. He mixed locally produced Nira (green chive) in each of the Tempeh. Mr. Goka managed to produce Halal dumplings that has a similar taste to non-Halal dumplings. This allows Muslim customers to enjoy the taste of Japanese gyoza. Nikkoken has also decided to exhibit at the “Japan Halal Expo” in November, an international exhibition held for the first time in Chiba Prefecture.


Mr. Goka’s gyoza has become very popular among Muslims living in the city. Mr. Odin Herar Jehagir (30) from Bangladesh said, “I had it for the first time. It is delicious and I would definitely like to eat it again”. Mr. Mohammed Jakkari (36) from Indonesia excitedly said, “We wanted to try Japanese food. This is great.”


Halal Japan Business Association (Tochigi Office), encouraging the spread of Halal consumer goods considers this as an excellent example and hopes that this has nudged more food and services providers to serve the Muslim community. The association expects more initiatives like this one from other prefectures and municipalities, in order to meet to the increasing number of tourists from Islamic countries.(Tomoaki Tazaki)

Shimotuke newspaper

**In the Arabic language, “Halal” means “Permitted” etc. and it refers to the items per-mitted under the Islamic law. Besides pork and alcohol, Muslims avoid seasoning agents that contains non-Halal ingredients. For any other meat, the processing method is stipulated. This does not only apply to food and drink items, but also to cosmetic, pharmaceutical products, etc.


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