'Chanukah, Oh Chanukah come light the menorah. Let’s have a party. We’ll all dance the hora.’ You know the rest, but what are we going to do on December 24 and 25 when we’re not ready to peel potatoes again or heat up oil for the latkes one more time?
We’ll go out for Chinese, of course.
How did this Jewish connection between Chinese food and December 24th get started? Some say that Chinatown in New York City was close to the Lower East Side and the restaurants there were open that night, so the rest is history.
You don’t have to go out in the freezing cold in your down coat. Pull out your wok, give it a good dusting, make a few phone calls, invite a few friends and family, and start chopping. Soup calls everyone’s name in the winter, so try Won Ton Soup or Hot and Sour Soup. Egg rolls are another favorite. Fill them with bean sprouts and shredded cabbage, then let the frying begin.
Think about Sweet and Sour Chicken, easy to make ahead, but keep the chicken and sauce separate until you’re ready to serve. For something a bit tangier, try Lemon Chicken. If you’re cutting down on calories and oil during Chanukah, try Egg Drop Soup, Ground Beef in Lettuce Cups, Mu Shu Chicken, Chinese Chicken Salad, without the chicken or fried vermicelli noodles, but still delicious, and Almond Cookies to round out your meal. Add store-bought fortune cookies. Do an exchange after each has read their own. Make it into a game of ‘Whose fortune do you want?’
If your crowd wants a movie, try ‘Freaky Friday’ with Jamie Lee Curtis. Find out what happens when mother and daughter are caught fighting in a Chinese restaurant and get each other’s fortune cookie.