With globalization, we got familiar with many delicious delicacies of other regions and cultures. In the UK, various European and non-European cuisines are famous. It’s no surprise that the majority of UK citizens like these famous Japanese cuisines. Mirin is one of the essential ingredients of many Japanese dishes and sides.
Mirin is a type of rice wine with around 40-50% sugar content and only 14% alcohol. It is a staple ingredient that adds flavor to many Japanese dishes.
There are three common Mirin staples, and they are the Hon Mirin (true Mirin), Shio Mirin (Salt Mirin), and Shin Mirin or Mirin-fu Chomiryo (Mirin-like Seasoning). Hon Mirin is true Mirin which contains rice, 14% alcohol and 40-50% sugar. Shio Mirin contains 1.5% salt, while Shin Mirin or Mirin-fu Chomiryo has Mirin flavor, but its alcohol content is only 1%.
Though Mirin is an essential ingredient of many Japanese delicacies, it is also an integral component of many popular Japanese sauces like Kabayaki, Sushi Su, and Teriyaki. Its strong taste gives unique flavors to Japanese cuisines. Though many Britishers consume it without paying much attention to its halal nature, the UK Muslim community pays close attention to its halal or haram nature. In this blog, we will discuss whether Mirin and the foods containing Mirin are halal or haram, so hang on.
How To Make Mirin
True Mirin (Hon Mirin) has three ingredients – steam glutinous rice, cultured rice (also called Koji), and a distilled rice liquor. To make Mirin, a mixture of these three ingredients is left to ferment for a few months to several years. The longer the fermentation process takes, the darker the color is, and the taste will become more intense.
Islamic Principle of Halal and Haram
According to the teachings of the Holy Quran, carrion, i.e. dead meat, the blood (of haram and halal animals), and swine (pig) meat, are haram. And also, if you slaughter any halal animal and dedicate it to others than Allah, it is haram.
Similarly, in Surah Al Maida Verse No 91, Allah (SWT) forbids Muslims from consuming alcohol.
“Satan’s plan is to stir up hostility and hatred between you with intoxicants and gambling and to prevent you from remembering Allah and praying. Will you not then abstain?” (Surah Al Maida, Verse No 91)
Is Mirin Halal or Haram?
According to the above-cited verse, Mirin and any food containing Mirin are haram because of its alcohol content, and alcohol consumption is haram for every Muslim. However, Mirin-like seasoning is considered halal by some Islamic religious authorities (Source: https://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/product/B07QJ2RXXF/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=247&creative=1211&creativeASIN=B07QJ2RXXF&linkCode=as2&tag=fdt0f-22&linkId=cf9908f8e865b0c5863533af6824538c).
So, Hon Mirin is haram, but for Mirin-like seasoning, you have to consult an established Islamic scholar of your school of thought regarding its halal and haram nature.
Mirin is a very popular Japanese food seasoning, so it is widely used for Japanese cooking. If you love Japanese dishes and are a Muslim, then you can use some Mirin substitutes to achieve the same peculiar flavoring in your Japanese recipe.
The most popular halal Mirin substitutes are sugar, dates syrup, and honey. Mirin is a sweet alcoholic seasoning, so using sugar instead of Mirin has almost the same effect in the recipe. Similarly, dates syrup is another halal seasoning used in place of Mirin. It is readily available and can be substituted for Mirin in almost every Japanese dish. Finally, honey has not only a sweet flavor but also many health benefits. Therefore you can use it in any Japanese dish without changing the original food taste.
Over to You
According to Islam, consuming alcohol is haram; therefore, Mirin is haram, though the status of Mirin-like seasoning is debatable. Fortunately, you can use many halal Mirin substitutes in the UK market. It is advisable not to use the Mirin-like seasoning as there are many halal alternatives.
However, if you want to use Mirin-like seasoning, it is better to consult an Islamic scholar of your respective school of thought before making a final decision.