Halal Japanese snacks are a great way to satisfy your craving for Japanese treats when you follow a strict halal diet. However, it’s especially difficult when you’re trying to identify halal snacks in a different language and in a country where there are not many Muslims.
So, while there is a huge range of Nippon snacks available, finding snacks that are appropriate for the Muslim diet can prove challenging.
But don’t worry, snack fanatics. We’ve researched the world of Japanese snacks to determine the best-tasting and most accessible Muslim-friendly options.
Our Favourite Halal Japanese Snacks
As we've tried myriads of halal Japanese snacks over the years we've spent in Japan, it's hard to pick one favourite. Here are a few of our favourite sweet and savoury snacks as well as drinks to pair with them to make snack time better.
Sweet Halal Japanese Snacks
Our top 3 sweet treats to try are Mochi daifuku, baked Yatsuhashi and Beni Imo Tart from Okinawa.
Savoury Halal Japanese Snacks
Meanwhile, our top 3 savoury nibbles to try are fried rice crackers, Karamucho and Umaibo. Not all flavours are halal-friendly, so make sure you continue to read to find out which ones are safe for your diet.
Drinks to pair with Halal Japanese Snacks
Other than pairing your treats with green tea or coffee, try out some of our favourite drinks.
In particular, we love Calpis and Hata Ramune. The fizz makes both drinks so refreshing.
As you continue to read, you'll find everything you need to know about the best halal Japanese snacks for you to try in person or to include in a halal Japanese snack box.
Konpeito is a traditional halal Japanese snack that is made from a combination of sugar and natural flavourings. For example, common ones include soda, melon, and sakura.
While Konpeito is very hard to bite into, they have a melt-in-your-mouth flavour and a subtly sweet taste. No alcohol or animal products are usually used. So, you can be assured that these are Muslim-friendly.
These tiny sweet treats usually come in mix-coloured packs owing to their various flavours. So, the Konpeito candies are great as mini-gifts or as a small treat to pair with a drink.
We recommend pairing Konpeito with the halal Hata Ramune drink, which is a classic Japanese drink.
Hata Ramune is a Japanese soda that comes in flavours that make use of Japan’s natural produce. For example, popular ones are peach, strawberry, and melon. However, if it’s your first time trying it out, go for its original ‘ramune’ flavour.
What’s special about the ramune soda drink compared to any other club sodas in the world is the bottle it’s served in. Instead of unscrewing the bottle cap, you have to smack down on its lid to open a Hata ramune bottle!
If you ever visit Japan during summertime, you will find that many vendors sell Ramune as a refreshing drink to beat the summer heat. Fortunately, you don’t need to wait to visit Japan in the summer to try this drink out. Today, you can order most Japanese halal snacks online, including this classic ramune.
Hata Ramune Soda
Mochi Daifuku (Sweet Halal Japanese Snacks)
Mochi daifuku is a very popular Japanese snack consisting of a glutinous rice dough filled with a sweet filling. They are soft in texture and have a rich yet pleasant sweet flavour.
Many mochi daifuku are halal Japanese snacks. However, we should warn you that some products may use animal-based gelatin. Therefore, just be careful to read the ingredient label when purchasing these treats.
Otherwise, you can also choose to make them fresh at home using our mochi daifuku recipe.
Mochi Daifuku (no gelatin, vegan-friendly)
Warabimochi is a delightfully simple but absolutely delicious Japanese snack. It is a jelly-like rice cake that is covered in toasted soybeans and sugar. It tastes even better when drizzled with kuromitsu, a black honey syrup.
The caramel flavour gives this halal Japanese snack an extra punch of sweetness on top of its toasty base.
As warabimochi’s recipe is safe for vegans, this traditional Japanese vegan snack is also Muslim-friendly.
If you are buying a pre-made version, double-check that the ingredients have no gelatin. Some brands might include gelatin for a longer shelf life. However, they are generally safe for Muslim customers to enjoy.
Kaminari Okoshi is a sweet rice puff filled with syrup-coated peanuts. This halal snack is a great alternative to Rice Krispie Treats!
Our favourite part of Kaminari Okoshi is that it folds so many intense flavours together into one bite. The rice puff brings a nice, lightly-toasted base flavour. On top of that, the melted syrup blasts your mouth full of sweetness.
Finally, the peanuts round off the snack with a satisfying crunch. All these ingredients together help create a delightful, lightly-toasted taste that melds into intense sweetness.
These halal Japanese snacks can also be flavoured with green tea, which brightens the treat with a delightful emerald colour.
This snack is a fried cracker made from sliced glutinous rice. It has a light, airy texture. We found that this airiness makes Okaki tasty without making us bloated.
In addition, we also enjoy variations with aromatic toppings, like almonds or sesame. These can add a toasty and nutty crunch to the terrific treat.
Notably, it is also gluten-free. This makes it a fantastic snack for those of us who have to pull double duty as halal and gluten-free diners.
Our next halal Japanese snacks are Arare. They are puffy, bite-sized rice crackers made from glutinous rice.
Arare has a salty, satisfying crunch that rivals any crisp or cracker abroad, making them a fantastic savoury snack. We especially like the ones that are wrapped in nori seaweed.
Arare is commonly paired with beers in Japan. However, for our Muslim readers, we suggest pairing arare with a crisp Muslim-friendly drink, Calpis.
Additionally, keep an eye out for arare made with mirin, as these can contain alcohol.
Arare (Japanese seaweed wrapped)
Calpis Water (Calpico)
Calpis Water is a refreshing drink that is unique to Japan. Also known as Calpico, this drink has a special flavour that we can only describe as a cross between a yoghurt drink and sparkling water. However you describe it, this drink will rock your shorts.
Calpis Water is perfect to pair with many halal Japanese snacks, as its sweetness is not too overpowering. While there are many halal drinks in Japan, these are one of the few beverages we highly recommend.
Morinaga Milk Caramel
The Milk Caramel candy by Morinaga is another candy that deserves a spot on our halal Japanese snacks list. The bittersweet toffee has a deep creaminess that we love.
Unlike the other halal select snacks we’ve mentioned on this list, this treat is great as an on-the-go snack. It also uses entirely Muslim-friendly ingredients. So you can enjoy them worry-free.
Morinaga Milk Caramel
Soba-boro is buckwheat cookies that come from the blend of Japanese and Portuguese cultures. 'Soba' is the Japanese word for buckwheat noodles, meanwhile, 'boro' is a translation of the Portuguese word for cookie.
They are one of the halal Japanese snacks we enjoy most with a side of green tea. We especially love these halal treats' earthy flavour and caramel sweetness.
Yatsuhashi is a dessert snack made of glutinous rice but it comes in various forms. The unbaked version has a soft and stretchy texture. The makers often flavour it with sweet, earthy red bean paste.
However, we also really liked the baked version. It tastes like a sweet cracker with a hint of cinnamon. That said, we think both halal Japanese snacks have a lovely combination of sweetness and savoriness.
Notably, this is a snack with a cultural history. In the traditional capital of Kyoto, vendors sell the treat as a souvenir. While it is always best to enjoy these treats fresh, you can also order these Japanese halal snacks online.
Beni Imo Tart
Next is the beni imo tart, a tiny pastry topped with purple cream from Okinawan red yams. We found the flavour to be decadent, with the crispy tart leading into the silky delight of the cream.
This snack is a famous treat from the island of Okinawa. While most tourists buy these as a gift to bring home, you can also buy these Japanese halal snacks online.
Given the vibrant colours of the yams, this nibble is an excellent addition to any picturesque halal Japanese snack box.
Beni imo tart
Umaibo is one of the most delicious halal Japanese snacks on the market. We found that it tastes akin to sweet corn products such as corn puffs.
If you are wondering whether umaibo is halal, the answer is not all flavours. However, some umaibo versions are safe for Muslims to eat.
We recommend going for corn potage. Like many of their vegetarian flavours, this flavour doesn't use any animal products.
Corn Potage Umaibo
Pocky Japan is tasty stick-shaped biscuits dipped in chocolate. They are also one of the most famous halal Japanese snacks. We found them addictive due to their combination of crunch and sweet chocolate flavour.
While Pocky Japan used to not be halal, the snack’s recipes were recently changed to make it Muslim-friendly. Therefore, meaning that your Pocky Japan halal dreams can now be realized.
Karamucho is a halal Japanese crisp snack that we highly recommend! Spicy, crispy and addictive, Karamucho is one of our favourites in the entire list.
While Japan is not famous for its spicy foods, Karamucho is an exception. Moreover, this amazing potato chip snack is entirely Muslim-friendly.
They have two main flavours, Spicy chilli and Spicy seaweed. Both of which are great choices. Fortunately, you can order them online from Amazon!
Top Halal Japanese Snacks To Try
- Hata Ramune
- Mochi Daifuku
- Morinaga Milk Caramel
- Baked Yatsuhashi
- Beni imo tart
- Pocky Japan
Halal Japanese snacks are nibbles like no other. They pair unique Japanese ingredients with local culinary innovations to create delightful treats.
So now that you’ve gotten through this list, you’re ready to build your own halal Japanese snack box. If you want to dig your teeth into more Asian snacks, such as halal Korean snacks or Asian candy, follow us @honestfoodtalks on Instagram.
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