Halal Korean fishcake for food lovers

Korean Seafood Trade Support Centre’s Lee (left) and KMT Jaya’s Lim showing the Korean products available at all Lotus outlets, including the newly launched halal Korean fishcake – or Eomuk.

MALAYSIANS can now buy the first-ever halal Korean fishcake at all Lotus outlets, thanks to a collaboration between the hypermarket, K•FISH and KMT Jaya Sdn Bhd.

It was aimed to cater to the growing demand for Korean food, especially outside the Klang Valley, said KMT Jaya Sdn Bhd managing director Benny Lim.

“The Korean wave – or Hanryu – has seen people adding Korean food to their home menu, learning about dishes from Korean television programmes, and learning to cook through social media,” he shared.

“Many of the ingredients, however, are not easy to get outside the Klang Valley. This collaboration with Lotus will allow people to access Korean food more easily.”

Lim said recognition of Korean food quality is also growing, due to the country’s strong reputation for stringent food quality.

“Malaysians consume a lot of fishcakes and the Korean fishcake are known for their high quality and high content of fish (72%), making them an excellent source of fish protein for cooking,” he said.

“Our product testing has found that the fishcake also enhances the flavour of local dishes that use fishcake, due to the higher content of fish.

“We see great potential for Korean seafood in Malaysia,” said Lim, whose company has been importing Korean food into Malaysia for the past 27 years.

He said the halal certification will allow all Malaysians to enjoy the fishcake without any concerns. The fishcakes are certified by the Korean Muslim Federation (KMF), which is recognised by the Islamic Development Department (Jakim).

Lim said the biggest challenge initially was sourcing for halal seafood products, as there was no halal Korean fishcake in the market.

This was made possible due to the initiative of the Korean Seafood Trade Support Centre, which promotes Korean seafood under the K•FISH brand.

K•FISH is a Korean seafood quality brand that involves stringent quality and hygiene checks on food items to ensure their safety and quality.

The centre’s managing director, Lee Dong Jun said he was pleased to see halal Korean fishcake now easily available through Lotus’s outlets nationwide.

“We worked very closely with the Busan Fish Cake Co. Ltd. to gain halal certification for the fishcake,” Lee said.

“This was a challenge initially, as a large investment is needed to ensure that the products meet the halal certification requirements, so there must be a clear indication of the return of investment.

“Malaysia’s fish consumption is said to be among the highest in the world, with over 56kg consumed annually. This includes fishcake, which is versatile and used in a variety of local dishes.

“As there is high interest in Korean food, and high demand for fish and fish products, it was worth the effort and investment to bring the halal fishcake to Malaysia,” he highlighted.

Lee (left) showing the Korean products, with Lim looking at the first halal Korean fishcake in Malaysia.Lee (left) showing the Korean products, with Lim looking at the first halal Korean fishcake in Malaysia.

This is the reason why Lotus’s has decided to place the halal Korean fishcake on their shelves, as it will allow them to tap into the growing market for Korean food nationwide and meet the local demand for high quality fish products.

Lee said Korean food products are known for quality, due to the stringent checks conducted by Korean authorities.

“We have a strict inspection regime in Korea to ensure food quality and safety, so that people are able to eat food without any concerns. These checks cover all ingredients that go into the food, even imported items, to ensure that nothing is left out in terms of quality and safety,” Lee explained.

“We are particularly happy with the introduction of halal Korean fishcakes, as it will allow Malaysians to cook Korean food in a more authentic way.

“The fishcake, or Eomuk, is one of three ingredients in the very popular tteokbokki dish. Customers were previously able to purchase halal ricecake and gochujang (chilli paste) only.

“They will now be able to add authentic halal Korean fishcakes to their dish,” he added.

The first halal Korean fishcake - or Eomuk - contains a high percentage of fish, making it an excellent source of protein.The first halal Korean fishcake - or Eomuk - contains a high percentage of fish, making it an excellent source of protein.

The Malaysian K•FISH office, established in 2018, provides a wide range of services for those seeking to import Korean seafood.

Lee said K•FISH is looking forward to working with more Malaysian businesses in developing the Korean seafood market in Malaysia.

In addition to helping Malaysian businesses identify potential suppliers, K•FISH also provides support in many other aspects, such as providing product information, marketing strategies and promotional activities.

Those interested can contact 03-27328411 or visit https://www.k-seafoodtrade.kr/

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