HOW IS IT MADE?
Sushi is made with sushi rice — white, short-grained, Japanese rice mixed with a dressing made of rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Commonly sake (酒) (pronounced: sa-ki), a traditional Japanese rice wine, or mirin (みりん), a sweet Japanese cooking wine, are added to the sushi rice. Sushi rice is served topped with fresh fish, seafood, egg, fresh vegetables or pickles and served alongside slices of tender pickled ginger, wasabi paste and soy sauce.
Sake is a traditional Japanese rice wine. Its color is clear to white. Sake has an alcohol content of 18-20%, compared to an alcohol content of 12% for typical grape wines. Mirin is a rice wine similar to sake, but very sweet. Mirin has an alcohol content of 14%. When called for, the typical sushi rice recipe uses ¼ cup of sake or mirin. Mirin and sake are stirred to the rice after cooking.
WARNING LEVEL: HIGH
Seafood dishes are often ordered by Muslims who want to avoid eating non-zabiha meat. However, Muslims unfamiliar with Japanese cuisine may not be aware that sushi rice is commonly made with sake or mirin — both Japanese rice wines.
As we have learned in previous issues of Spotlight Halal, Muslims should not automatically assume seafood dishes to be halal. Clam Chowder often contains pork fat, and Shrimp Scampi is made with white wine.
Ask your waiter (before ordering) to check if that restaurant uses sake or mirin in their sushi rice. Sake is almost never listed as an ingredient of sushi on restaurant menus.
AVOID sushi with deep-fried toppings such as deep fried soft shell crab (‘spider roll’), fried tempura shrimp roll (‘crunchy roll,’ ebifurai-maki), and fried oyster rolls. These are likely deep-fried in the same fryer oil as tonkatsu — deep-fried, breaded pork chops.
SPECIAL NOTE: ALCOHOL & COOKING
Beware of any food that is usually, but not always, made with an alcoholic product, even if it has been sautéed, simmered, baked or set on fire. The conventional wisdom accepted by just about everyone is that all the alcohol you add to a dish evaporates during cooking. It’s wrong.
In fact, according to a study conducted by the US Department of Agriculture’s Nutrient Data Laboratory, you have to cook something for a good three hours to remove virtually all traces of alcohol.
SPECIAL NOTE: ARE SHRIMP, OCTOPUS & SQUID HALAL?
Sunni: These foods are halal food in the Malaki, Hanbali and Shafa’i Schools. Within the Hanafi School, there are varying opinions. Shi’a: These foods are not halal in the Jafari School.
[Source : http://spotlighthalal.blogspot.com/2009/01/spotlight-halal-sushi.html]