Ask any Muslim how they find halal food while travelling overseas and they’d probably give a long story on how they took a detour off the highway just to find a certified halal can of tuna. There’s a couple of things any traveller would do before they start their journey abroad. First, you’d think about what to do and where to go sight-seeing. Then, you’d imagine the colorful culture that you’ll learn and encounter. And most importantly, is to TASTE what the country has to offer.
As Muslims, we simply can’t take food lightly, especially when travelling overseas. We always have the halal and haram to bear in mind. It’s rough, but us Muslims can’t simply walk into any stall and just eat anything during our travels. But take it this way, life is all about challenges and Muslims can handle a lot of it!
So without further ado, here’s some tips on how to find halal food food while travelling overseas:
Tips #1 – Halal Research
Needless to say, everything is pretty easy these days. When is the last time you saw a traveler travelling without a smartphone? We could search ‘halal food in korea’ and then BAM – Google will list out all the links for you. Also, there’s plenty of mobile apps that could help you search for halal restaurants. There’s Have Halal Will Travel, Halal Gourmet Japan and Zabihah.com to name a few. Spend a few minutes finding the app that suits your style best and you’re good to go.
Tips #2 – Choose Vegetarian Food
If somehow, it’s not your day and there’s no halal certified restaurant nearby, another safe option would be to go vegetarian for halal food. Search for any vegetarian or Indian restaurants; most Indian restaurants are vegetarian and they don’t serve meat. To find halal food, an option is to go green!
Tips #3 – Look for Mosques
If you see a mosque, then chances are there’s a halal restaurant nearby. This is because mosques are where Muslims convene, and what entrepreneur or chefs would pass up an opportunity like that? Another bonus tip for Malaysians and Muslims is to find restaurants close to Malaysian Halls. Since most Malaysian Muslim students and travelers would hang around the area, of course there would be halal food nearby. Feel free to ask your fellow brothers and sisters there too!
Tips #4 – Bring Local Halal Food Goodies
Nothing could beat the taste of home. Before travelling, pack any dried or ready-made goods like local spices and condiments. For Malaysian, there’s options like Brahim’s Meals Ready to Eat Rice or sambal bilis and serunding. These options are not only tasty, but it could really save you some time and money while travelling overseas.
Tips #5 – Bring Taharah Soap
Taharah soap (or purification soap) is used to clean the utensils you’d use to cook during your travels. You can find these soaps in shops that sells items for Hajj pilgrimages. Bonus, taharah soap not only cleans till it shines, it also gives you peace of mind.
Tips #6 – Buy Raw Ingredients from Local Stores
If you’re on a budget and travelling for more than a week, there’s high chance that you’d cook your own dishes instead of eating out all the time. Go to local stores and buy halal raw ingredients like fish, seafood, vegetables and fruits. Not only would this cut you some cost, you’d also feel an ease of mind by cooking your own food. Plus, did you know cooking is considered therapeutic?
Tips #7 – Quickly Check the Ingredients
Cooking and eating yourself is cost-saving and healthy, but sometimes you just want a bowl of cereal and a bar of chocolate on the go. So when you’re on the go, use Halal Buddy app when you shop. It will give you an idea of what e-codes or ingredients are and whether it is safe, unsafe or mushbooh for Muslim to eat. Note that not all e-codes are unsafe for Muslims since some are synthetic, made from plant or made from animals. So remember to check the ingredients before you put that cookie back on the shelf! Who knows, even if it’s not halal certified, the ingredients might be completely safe for Muslims.
Original, images and icons sourced from: Explo Rasa – Cara Mudah Elak Makanan Syubhah
Images sourced from: Pexels.com
Icons sourced from: flaticon.com
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