Beware, The Dumplings Can Be Haram

Given the material used, usually fish meat or chicken mixed with sago flour, dumplings is actually halal food. However, in fact, many also found dumplings made from haram or unclear ingredients. (HalalMUI)

Who is not familiar with dumplings? Meat grinder as content, which is wrapped with dumpling skin, then cooked by steaming and served with peanut sauce is certainly already very familiar among the people of Indonesia, especially for culinary lovers. This simple food from the Chinese country certainly has many fans because it tastes good. But do you know, dumplings can also be indicated as haram? 

Dumplings in Mandarin is better known as shaomai, while in Cantonese it is called siu maai. According to the link on In the Beijing dialect, this food is also written as shaomai. The dumplings were originally only one of the menus contained in Dim Sum food but now dumplings are served by themselves because they taste distinctive, this famous food throughout the Asian continent is said to have originated from Inner Mongolia.

In the process of adapting dumplings to Indonesian flavors, this food certainly has some changes in the shape of the original recipe. Indonesian typical dumplings contain not only beef, or pork as in the original recipe, but are made into mackerel, shrimp, or chicken fish.

The shape also changed slightly, which was originally a cylinder, now shaped like a round meatball. Besides that, in Indonesia dumplings is also served with several types of supplementary ingredients. The dumplings in Indonesia are not just plain served, but are added with a variety of vegetables that are healthy and full of benefits. The additional menu starts from potatoes, cabbage, bitter melon, tofu, and chicken eggs. Sometimes in the dumplings menu are also included brains and wet dumplings which increasingly enrich the taste.

Given the material used, usually fish meat or chicken mixed with sago flour, dumplings is actually halal food. However, in fact, many also found dumplings made from haram or unclear ingredients. (HalalMUI)

Dumplings are assumed to be halal because using chicken meat or fish meat is also worthy of being observed. Because, the additional materials used and how to cook and serve them do not necessarily fulfill the halal rules.

As explained earlier, dumplings use meat as its contents, this is the use of meat that we must be aware of. If dumplings use meat originating from marine animals, such as mackerel, shrimp, and crab fish, we can be sure these dumplings is halal. The fish itself is halal. However, the addition of flour, especially flour, which has gone through industrial processes in factories, deserves close attention. So are other additives such as flavoring, soy sauce, sauce, and so on.

Wheat flour is actually rich in carbohydrate content, but very little vitamin content and minerals. To enrich the nutrient content, some food additives are often added as fortified flour. Decree of the Minister of Health No. 962/Menkes/SK/VII/2003 concerning Flour Fortification stated that flour produced, imported or circulated in Indonesia must contain fortification, which includes: iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), vitamin B1, vitamin B2, and acid folate.

In terms of halalness, wheat flour is relatively no problem. However, various materials and improving agents are susceptible to various contamination of illicit substances. For example, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), and folic acid (folic acid) sourced from plants, is certainly halal consumed. These vitamins change the status to not halal when produced microbiologically using non-halal media.

Other ingredients that are often used as dumplings are ebi, pepper, sugar, salt and soy sauce and sauce. These ingredients, especially dried shrimp (ebi), pepper, sugar, and salt are natural ingredients that are basically halal. (HalalMUI)

Additional Materials Must Be Observed

Sugar, for example. Sugar is made from sap which can come from various, such as: sugar cane, coconut, siwalan, palm oil, and palm. Because it comes from plants, of course the main raw material for sugar is halal. The process of making granulated sugar consists of several stages, starting from the process of extraction, purification, evaporation, crystallization, to drying. In the stages of this process it is possible for illegal ingredients to enter and pollute sugar.

For example, if it involves the refining process, the activated carbon used must be ensured of its halal status. If this activated carbon comes from mining products or from wood charcoal, then certainly not a problem. However, when using bone charcoal, the halal status of the animal must be ascertained. Activated charcoal is forbidden if it comes from the bones of haram animals or halal bones which are not slaughtered in syar’i.

Furthermore, other ingredients added to the hydrolysis process must also be observed. When using synthetic chemicals, it is certainly not a problem. But when using microbial products, it must be ensured that the media used to culture it is halal media.

Likewise with soy sauce, which must be present in every dumplings dish. Soy sauce is obtained from fermented soybeans (white or black soybeans) which are added with various ingredients, such as: yeast (tempeh mushrooms), bay leaves, lemongrass, orange leaves, laos, saffron flowers, brown sugar, salt and water.

The process of making soy sauce is preceded by washing and soaking soybeans, followed by boiling, fermentation, cooking, filtering, and ending with the packaging process. Ketchup which is processed by the standard method above is lawful. (HalalMUI)

What about flavorings? Instant cooking spices are now available in various forms, such as: Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) or vetsin, broth, yeast extract, etc. MSG is one of the most favorite instant spices used, including in processed dumplings. This material is produced on an industrial scale on a microbial basis with a variety of bacterial growth media. One of the frequently used fermentation media is ingredients that contain protein. This protein is very possible derived from animal ingredients or in contact with animal ingredients when making it.

Apart from the ingredients already mentioned, dumplings makers can add other ingredients that are not known to consumers. Therefore, as a Muslim consumer, there is no harm in asking and being aware of what will be consumed. Check the halalness and ask questions before buying is a wise way so that we avoid consuming illicit products. (Zia/FM)  


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