Q. Is Miso Halaal?
Miso is a traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting soybeans with salt and kōji (the fungus Aspergillus oryzae) and sometimes rice, barley, seaweed, or other ingredients. The result is a thick paste used for sauces and spreads, pickling vegetables, fish, or meats, and mixing with dashi soup stock to serve as miso soup, a Japanese culinary staple. High in protein and rich in vitamins and minerals, miso played an important nutritional role in feudal Japan. Miso is still widely used in Japan, both in traditional and modern cooking, and has been gaining worldwide interest.
Typically, miso is salty, but its flavor and aroma depend on the ingredients and fermentation process. Different varieties of miso have been described as salty, sweet, earthy, fruity, and savory.
The ingredients used to produce miso may include any mix of soybeans, barley, rice, buckwheat, millet, rye, wheat, hemp seed, and cycad, among others. Lately, producers in other countries have also begun selling miso made from chickpeas, corn, azuki beans, amaranth, and quinoa. Fermentation time ranges from as little as five days to several years.
Miso’s unique properties and flavour profile can be attributed to the compounds produced through the fermentation process. Miso, depending on the variety, consists of a starter culture called koji, soybeans, and usually a grain (either rice, barley, or rye). The miso goes through a two step process; first creating the koji, and second the koji is combined with the other components and the mixture is left to be enzymatically digested, fermented and aged.
Can Miso be classified as Halaal?
A. Miso is definitely Haraam. One of the Haraam ingredients is alcohol.