Business

Singapore serving as a testing ground for halal Japanese dishes prepared in Kumamoto

Nna/kyodo

Curetex Corp. is using Singapore as a test bed 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 Tokyo-based 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.

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 dishes, including seafood curry and charbroiled 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 since Japanese cuisine often uses soy sauce and Japanese cooking sake, which are banned under Islam due to the inclusion of alcohol.

Curetex adopted an alternative kelp-based stock to add a unique Japanese flavor, Ayumi Fujishiro, assistant general manager of Ippin PTE, Curetex’s Singapore arm, said 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.