How to Keep Kosher with Meat and Seafood

Keeping kosher is the guiding principle behind Jewish food traditions. The rules of keeping kosher involve how you select food, how you cook it, and how you plan your menus. To keep kosher, you have many rules to follow with meat:

  • Finding kosher animals: The Torah defines kosher animals as those who chew their cud and have split hooves. Beef, veal, and lamb are kosher; pork isn’t. Poultry is also kosher.

  • Butchering: How the meat is butchered also determines whether it is kosher. Butchers must be specially trained so they know how to prepare the meats and which cuts are kosher.

    Shooting animals and poultry makes them not kosher. Thus, wild game isn’t kosher.

  • Koshering: Before you can eat meat or poultry, it must be koshered, or salted.

Seafood has its own set of kosher rules:

  • Kosher fish must have scales and fins. Salmon, trout, tuna, sea bass, cod, haddock, halibut, flounder, sole, whitefish, and most other fish commonly available in markets are kosher.

  • Shellfish, mollusks, and squid aren’t kosher. Monkfish, which doesn’t have scales, isn’t kosher. Neither is eel.

    Surimi, or imitation shellfish, can be kosher if it doesn’t contain shellfish extract.

You must keep meat and dairy foods completely separate to keep kosher.

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