Chinese Food on Christmas
The custom apparently started in Manhattan, around the turn of the last century. Immigrant Jewish and Chinese neighbors did not share in the celebration of Christmas with other New Yorkers. So it seems that Jews were grateful to find Chinese restaurants were open on a holiday when all other restaurants were closed…
OK, fast forward to today. Jewish people eating Chinese food on Christmas has become an American tradition. It’s become part of the holiday spirit. And nobody’s kvetching.
Roast Duck Two Ways
Sichuan Dan Dan Noodles
Chinese Food at Home
This is not a recipe per se, but a blueprint for a very easy, very tasty Chinese-Jewish-American meal. The ducks are pre-roasted; the dumplings, noodles and sauces come frozen.
Soup Dumplings – Xiao Long Bao
Xiao Long Bao means “little dumpling in a basket.” These broth-filled dumplings are steamed in a bamboo basket.
Steam frozen dumplings in a lined steamer basket over boiling water for 11 minutes. Make sure to leave space between the dumplings so they do not touch as they cook. Let rest, covered, for 2 minutes before serving. Serve with sauces on the side.
Read more about soup dumplings here.
Spicy Chili Crisp
Ginger & Scallion Umami Oil
Classic Black Vinegar
Duck Two Ways
Two 10 oz. roast half ducks (precooked and partially de-boned).
Preheat oven to 400°F. Place ducks in shallow roasting pan. Let ducks sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Brush the skin with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 -20 minutes until the duck meat is hot and the skin is crisping.
Duck #1 with Beijing Zha Jiang Noodle (pictured above)
This Beijing classic is both savory and sweet. It combines premium dark soy with fermented soybean paste for a thick tasty sauce.
Cook wheat noodles according to package instructions. Toss noodles with warm sauce then top with carrot and cucumber slices. Plate duck on top of noodles. Sprinkle with sliced scallion. Serve spicy Chili Crisp sauce on the side.
Duck #2 with Shanghai Scallion Oil Noodle (pictured below)
Fresh green onions are simmered with soy sauce and oil to create an umami-packed sauce.
Cook wheat noodles according to package instructions. Toss noodles with warm sauce and fresh cilantro leaves. Plate duck on top of the noodles. Top duck with crunchy fried onions. Serve Ginger & Scallion sauce on the side.
Read more about pre-roasted duck here.
Sichuan Dan Dan Noodle (pictured below)
Bouncy wheat noodles are mixed with a spicy sesame-based pork (or vegan pork) sauce. Tingly Sichuan peppercorns and aromatic chili oil provide the heat, with Chinese mustard greens and fresh scallions, and peanuts adding crunch.
Cook noodles according to package instructions. Toss noodles with warm sauce. Top with chopped peanuts and scallions.
Note: This is not a kosher meal.