Japanese culture

Is Mochi rice cake Halal? This info will help you find a safe one!

Japanese traditional sweet made from rice!

Mochi, a sticky rice cake, is Japanese traditional dessert. As the dessert can be made only after a good harvest, it is sometimes referred to as a food for celebration.

Although the dessert is eaten on a daily basis, it is more enjoyed during New Year and festive seasons. There are so many Mochi fans so let’s see if they are Halal or not!

Is Mochi Halal?

As the food is made from rice, generally this food is considered Halal!

Mochi is made from Glutinous rice, a kind of rice with more sticky and glue-like ingredients than normal rice. In a very traditional recipe, rice and water are the only ingredients of Mochi, so it is a complete Halal meal.

Traditional Mochi making, usually held during New Year season.

People put sugar into Mochi, or make a sweet red bean soup, ground soy bean powder, steamed beans, fruits or mix with some Japanese traditional herb called Yomogi. Whatever the ingredients it is, traditional Japanese Mochi is generally Halal.

Mochi with Yomogi.

What does Muslim have to know about Mochi?

It is great to know that Mochi is generally Halal, however, we still have to tell you not to buy Mochi from some shops, like Conbini. Why is that?

This is because Mochi can contain Gelatin, an animal or pig derived-ingredients! This is to preserve the quality longer, because fresh Mochi made from only rice is very easy to get hard and deteriorate in a short time.

They make sticky Mochi-like dessert using other ingredients.

Sweet Mochi dessert available in Conbini or other shops should be avoided by Muslims to be on a safe side.

This includes Warabi mochi, Strawberry Daifuku or Mochi ice cream.

So, how should we select Mochi in Japan?

Of course, we cannot tell if Mochi is Halal or not only from where they are sold, however, what we can say is choosing a fresh one is always safer.

Another factor that we have to keep in mind is that savory Mochi has more risk of containing haram ingredients.

Mochi is eaten with savory taste, just like with soy sauce and seaweed. They are either dipped in sauce or grilled on a charcoal, or wrapped. As explained in this Japanese seasoning page, these seasonings and condiment can contain tiny portion of alcohol from soy sauce or Mirin, which can be a problem.

Savory Mochi can contain soy sauce and Mirin.

The percentage of such alcohol is quite low and will not make you intoxicated, but please use this basic information to judge if you would like to consume the food or not.

There is also Halal certified Mochi!

In conclusion.

If you have a plan to come to Japan over New Year Holidays, you will have more chance to see Mochi served in a restaurant or in a shop. However, as we have checked, not all the Mochi can be Muslim-friendly, so please have a look at the ingredients carefully to decide.

Also, check our page below to find out Halal Japanese Wagashi and expand your knowledge about our traditional desserts!

Halal Navi