Thursday, December 23, 2010

Chinese Food on Christmas--A NYC Jewish Tradition!

Weren't expecting to see a Christmas post on the Kosher Cookbook blog?
Well, for those of us who live in New York City, it is impossible to escape the sights, the sounds and all that seem to envelop the city.
Though clearly there is no Christmas celebration going on in the houses of observant jews...Chinese food on Christmas is a fun ritual with deep roots in NY Jewish culture.
Why Chinese food? Simply put, before the days when almost anything could be gotten at any time and Kosher restaurants were hard to come by, Chinese restaurants were the only ones open on Christmas Eve :)
Not interested in the back story, or find it offensive? You can enjoy this great stir fry recipe on any other day of the year!

Stir-Fried Vegetables with Beef


  • 3 cups small cubes of cooked beef
  • 2 heads of broccoli
  • 2 large peppers (not green)
  • 1 pound baby carrots
  • ½ pound sugarsnap peas
  • 10 ounces assorted mushrooms
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon pure toasted sesame oil
  • salt and pepper


  1. Cut the heads off broccoli (discard stalks) and separate them into florets. Rinse florets well and drain in colander. Add carrots to broccoli.
  2. Rinse and trim snap peas. Set aside.
  3. Rinse, seed, and core peppers. Cut peppers into one inch pieces. Add to peas.
  4. Wipe off mushrooms and trim stems. Slice larger mushrooms and leave small ones whole. Set aside.
  5. Peel and mince garlic cloves.
  6. Heat oil in skillet over medium flame. Add garlic. Saute quickly taking care not to burn garlic. Add broccoli and carrots. Stir well until all vegetables are coated in oil. Cover skillet and cook about seven minutes or until vegetables are almost crisp-tender. Remove cover. Add peas, peppers and cooked beef. Stir briskly. Add mushrooms. Stir two or three minutes longer or just until mushrooms have wilted. Add sesame oil. Stir well. Taste. Season with salt and pepper. Remove vegetables and meat with a slotted spoon and arrange in a serving dish. Serve hot or at room temperature.

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