Kosher in Asia: Is It Possible? Tips for Finding Kosher-Friendly Restaurants

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Do you want to explore the culinary delights of Asia but are worried about the food? Well, there’s one thing you need to know before going: is it kosher?

Kosher is a Jewish word that means fit for consumption. It’s a set of religious dietary laws that govern what Jews can and cannot eat. So if you’re looking to eat kosher in Asia, you need to know if the food is fit for a Jew to eat.

In this guide, I’ll take you through all the things you need to know about eating kosher in Asia. Plus, I’ll share some tips on how to find the right food and avoid any pork or shellfish mishaps.

Kosher in Asia

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What Does Kosher Mean? A Traditional and Unique Way of Eating

Kashrut (also kashruth or kashrus) is the set of Jewish religious dietary laws. Food that may be consumed according to halakha (Jewish law) is termed kosher in English, from the Ashkenazi pronunciation of the Hebrew term kashér, meaning “fit” (in this context, fit for consumption).

Kosher is a term used to describe food that is prepared in accordance with Jewish dietary laws. It is a set of rules that govern what can and cannot be eaten, how food should be prepared, and how it should be served. The word “kosher” comes from the Hebrew word “kasher,” which means “fit” or “proper.”

Glatt Kosher and Banquet Halls

In addition to these basic rules, there are also different levels of kosher certification. Glatt kosher, for example, is a higher level of certification that requires even stricter adherence to the rules. Many kosher banquet halls and restaurants offer glatt kosher options for those who require it.

Kosher banquet halls are unique in that they offer a traditional and authentic Jewish dining experience. The food is prepared in accordance with Jewish law, and the atmosphere is often festive and celebratory. Whether you are attending a wedding, bar mitzvah, or other special event, a kosher banquet hall is a great way to experience Jewish culture and cuisine.

Exploring the Possibility of Eating Kosher in Asia

When it comes to finding kosher food in Asia, it can be pretty challenging, but it’s not impossible. Here are some options to consider:

  • Restaurants: In large cities, you can find restaurants that offer kosher meals. However, it’s essential to examine the restaurant and determine whether they follow the dietary restrictions. Some restaurants may offer kosher-style food, but it may not be certified kosher.
  • Supermarkets: Some supermarkets carry kosher products, but the numbers are typically pretty low. You may find certain products originating from Israel or other countries with a higher Jewish population.
  • Specially certified products: Some products require special preparation to be considered kosher. Look for products with a kosher certification symbol on the packaging.

Support for Kosher Consumers in Asia

If you’re traveling to Asia and need help finding kosher food, there are resources available to help you:

  • Websites and smartphone apps: Some websites and smartphone apps can help you locate kosher restaurants and stores near you. One such app is Chanie, which offers a list of kosher restaurants and stores in various cities worldwide.
  • Rabbinical agencies: Some rabbinical agencies offer support for kosher consumers in Asia. For example, the Orthodox Union has a list of certified kosher restaurants and stores in Asia.
  • Airline meals: If you’re flying to Asia, you can request kosher meals on some airlines. El Al, the Israeli airline, offers kosher meals on all flights. Other airlines may offer kosher meals on request, but it’s essential to check with the airline before booking your flight.

Don’t Get Caught Out: What You Need to Know When Choosing Kosher Products in Asia

When searching for Kosher products in Asia, the first thing you need to do is look for the Kosher sign. This sign indicates that the product has been certified as Kosher by a reputable authority. If you’re unsure whether a particular product is Kosher or not, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and avoid it.

Ask for Information

If you’re unsure whether a product is Kosher or not, don’t be afraid to ask for information. The staff at the store should be able to tell you whether a particular product is Kosher or not. If they’re unsure, they may be able to provide you with the contact details of the manufacturer so you can ask them directly.

Access the Internet

If you have access to the internet, you can also do some research to find out whether a particular product is Kosher or not. There are plenty of websites that provide information on Kosher products, including Kosher certification agencies and online stores that sell Kosher products.

Be Wary of Asian Flavors

Asian flavors can be delicious, but they can also be a minefield for Kosher observers. Many Asian soups and noodle cups contain non-Kosher ingredients, such as pork or shellfish. Stick to plain flavors or those that are specifically marked as Kosher.

Refrigeration is Key

When it comes to Kosher products, refrigeration is key. Make sure that any Kosher products you buy are stored at the correct temperature to ensure that they remain safe to eat.

Major Tourist Attractions are a Safe Bet

If you’re traveling to a major tourist attraction in Asia, you’re more likely to find Kosher products. Cities like Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Singapore have a plethora of Kosher restaurants and stores, making it easier to find Kosher products.

Don’t Forget Your Kosher Cards

If you’re a Jewish traveler, it’s always wise to carry Kosher cards with you. These cards provide information on what foods are and aren’t Kosher, making it easier to choose the right products.

Beware of Customs and Epidemics

When traveling to Asia, it’s important to be aware of customs and epidemics. For example, some countries have strict laws on what can and can’t be brought into the country. Additionally, some areas may be affected by epidemics that can be spread through insects. Make sure you do your research before you fly.

Be Careful When Smuggling Kosher Products

If you’re unable to find Kosher products in Asia, it can be tempting to smuggle them in from home. However, this is illegal and can result in serious consequences. It’s always best to find Kosher products locally or to bring them with you in your checked bags.

My Personal Experience

I spent some time touring Asia and found that finding Kosher products could be a challenge. However, I was able to find some great Kosher restaurants and stores in major cities like Tokyo and Hong Kong. I also found that carrying Kosher cards with me was incredibly helpful, as it made it easier to choose the right foods. Finally, I learned that it’s always best to err on the side of caution when it comes to Kosher products in Asia.


So, as you can see, it’s not as easy as you might think to find kosher food in Asia. It’s a good idea to look for kosher certification symbols on the packaging, and you can also find helpful resources online with smartphone apps and websites. 

So, don’t be afraid to ask questions and don’t be afraid to explore!

Check out our new cookbook

Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.