You don’t have to be Jewish to love Chinese food. And, if you keep Kosher, the good news is that you don’t have to give up your Chinese food either! There are lots of Chinese recipes that you can make Kosher. And, it you really want to get your Jew on, you can either take-out, or dine-in, a Kosher Chinese restaurant!
Contrary to popular misconception, rabbis or other religious officials do not “bless” food to make it kosher. There are blessings that observant Jews recite over food before eating it, but these blessings have nothing to do with making the food kosher. Food can be kosher without a rabbi or priest ever becoming involved with it: the vegetables from your garden are undoubtedly kosher (as long as they don’t have any bugs, which are not kosher!).
What Makes Food Kosher?
Although the details of what makes certain foods Kosher are extensive, the laws all derive from a few fairly simple, straightforward rules:
- Certain animals may not be eaten at all. This restriction includes the flesh, organs, eggs and milk of the forbidden animals.
- Of the animals that may be eaten, the birds and mammals must be killed in accordance with Jewish law.
- All blood must be drained from meat and poultry or broiled out of it before it is eaten.
- Certain parts of permitted animals may not be eaten.
- Fruits and vegetables are permitted, but must be inspected for bugs (which cannot be eaten).
- Meat (the flesh of birds and mammals) cannot be eaten with dairy. Fish, eggs, fruits, vegetables and grains can be eaten with either meat or dairy. (According to some views, fish may not be eaten with meat).
- Utensils (including pots and pans and other cooking surfaces) that have come into contact with meat may not be used with dairy, and vice versa. Utensils that have come into contact with non-kosher food may not be used with kosher food. This applies only where the contact occurred while the food was hot.
- Grape products made by non-Jews may not be eaten.
- There are a few other rules that are not universal.
There is no such thing as “kosher-style” food. Kosher is not a style of cooking. Chinese food can be kosher if it is prepared in accordance with Jewish law, and there are many fine kosher Chinese restaurants in New York. The Chinese Quest reviewed one such Kosher Chinese restaurant, Cho-Sen Island in Lawrence, NY. And we were pleasantly surprised at really just how good it was!
And the opposite is true too! ==>
Or, does it??
Humbly submitted for your consumption,
—Mee Magnum (“Chop! Chop!”)