Japanese firm tapping halal Japanese dishes in Singapore
SINGAPORE, NNA - Curetex Corp., a Japanese firm producing halal food at home, is using Singapore as a testbed to promote Japanese cuisine permissible under Islamic law as part of its efforts to expand sales of such food products in Japan and Southeast Asia.
The company recently sold both Japanese and Singaporean halal dishes at Isetan Singapore's Scotts store following the launch of a halal-certified food-processing facility in Amakusa, Kumamoto Prefecture, southwestern Japan.
In May, Curetex began using sauce imported from a restaurant at the Bangi Golf Resort, a luxury resort in the central Malaysian state of Selangor, to produce processed chicken and seafood products at the facility authorized by the Nippon Asia Halal Association.
The Japanese association is mutually recognized as a halal-certified body by Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia, its counterpart in the predominantly Muslim country.
The Tokyo-based firm has developed around 10 types of local dishes in Asia, including seafood curry and char-broiled skewed chicken "satay" as well as Japanese dishes such as a rice bowl with sliced raw fish, all halal-accredited.
Muslim tourists to Japan face limited choices of food during their trips as Japanese cuisine often uses soy sauce and Japanese cooking sake (rice wine), which are banned under Islamic due to the inclusion of alcohol.
Curetex adopted kelp-based stock instead of those seasonings with alcohol to add unique Japanese flavor, Ayumi Fujishiro, assistant general manager of Ippin Pte. Ltd., Curetex's Singapore arm, told NNA at its first halal promotional event outside Japan last week.
As the company aims to export its halal food products to Muslim countries, it is establishing a Malaysian unit to sell halal food shipped from the Amakusa facility. (NNA/Kyodo)