Is Tteokbokki Halal or Haram?

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Tteokbokki is a popular Korean dish that has recently become popular in Western nations. Cakes, boiled eggs, fish cakes, and scallions make up Tteokbokki. Like other European countries, this healthy and tasty Korean dish is also very famous in the UK.

There are many variations of Tteokbokki like curry-tteokbokki, cream sauce-tteokbokki, jajang-tteokbokki, seafood-tteokbokki, rose-tteokbokki, galbi-tteokbokki. Each has rice cakes (also known as garae-tteok), but they differ in other ingredients and sauces.

Tteokbokki halal haram

Tteokbokki is readily available at street stalls and in snack shops. Also, there are dedicated tteokbokki restaurants. Anyone can also make this dish at home as the packaged rice cakes can be purchased from the market.

Ingredients of Tteokbokki

Traditionally, the making of tteokbokki is from rice cakes, scallions, fish cakes, and sauces. The common ingredients of Kimchi include:

  • Rice Cakes
  • Rice Cake Noodles
  • Scallions
  • Boiled Eggs
  • Dried Kelp
  • Chilli paste
  • Soya Sauce
  • Onions
  • Cabbage
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Garlic

The Making of Tteokbokki

To make tteokbokki, put 4 cups of water into a large pot and add seven large dried anchovies and a 6 by 8 in (15 by 20 cm) piece of dried kelp. Now cook it for fifteen minutes and when water comes to a boil, pull anchovies and kelp out of the pot. Your broth is ready now.

Now take a little bowl for mixing the sauce ingredients in it. Take hot pepper paste with your desired level of spiciness. Then add 1 to 3 teaspoons of hot pepper flakes and 1 to 2 tablespoons of white, granulated sugar. Also, add 1 tablespoon soya sauce and 2 tablespoons minced garlic and stir the mixture well.

Put the sauce ingredients in the broth and cook until they dissolve. Add the fresh rice cakes (about 1 pound) to the broth and cook them over medium heat for 8-10 minutes. Then add other ingredients like cabbage, scallions, eggs, and fish cakes.

Cook the broth over high heat for 4 to 6 minutes. Finally, add some sesame oil and sesame seeds before serving tteokbokki.

Islamic Principle of Halal and Haram

Muslims worldwide seek guidance from Quran and Sunnah for leading their lives according to Islamic teachings. These two primary guidance sources contain timeless principles that modern Muslims can follow without any hesitation.

Like its clear guiding principles for all aspects of human life, Quran has clear injunctions when it comes to whether a food or a particular act is halal or haram.

Allah (SWT), in Surah Al Baqarah, has clarified the halal and haram food for Muslims.

He has only forbidden to you dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah. But whoever is forced [by necessity], neither desiring [it] nor transgressing [its limit], there is no sin upon him. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.(Quran 2:173) 

(Source of above-cited Quranic Verse: https://quran.com/2/173?translations=84,17,95,101,22,20)

This Quranic verse is the guiding principle for distinguishing halal food from haram in Islam. According to this verse of the Holy Quran, carrion, i.e. dead meat, the blood, and swine (pig) meat, is haram. And also, if the slaughtering and dedication of any halal animal to other than Allah, then it is haram.

Similarly, Allah forbids Muslims eating insects and some other haram animals; and drinking alcohol.

Is Tteokbokki Halal or Haram?

Examining the ingredients of tteokbokki, deriving all of them from plants, implies that they are halal. Kelp comes from algae, and therefore, it is also halal. But soya sauce may be halal or haram. Brewed soya sauce contains a considerable amount of alcohol, so it is haram, while all-purpose soya sauce includes no alcohol and, hence, it is halal.

The brewing of soya sauce and using it as an ingredient in tteokbokki is haram. Also, using halal soya sauce will result in tteokbokki being halal.

Final Thoughts

Holy Quran and Sunnah are the two primary sources of guidance for all Muslim populace. So, in light of the Quran and Sunnah, if tteokbokki consists of halal ingredients (halal soya sauce), it is halal. Also, adding any haram ingredient (haram soya sauce) to it implies avoiding eating it as it would be haram.

However, before making a final decision, it is of utmost necessity to seek guidance from an established Islamic scholar of your respective school of thought who can make an informed decision based on the Holy Quran and the Sunnah teachings.

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