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Water Buffalo Lo Mein?

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The World According to Norman

Years ago I read somewhere that the pig was excluded from dietary approval because it competed for the same food as people.

Oy to be a Goi

Originally people were supposed to be vegetarians (I am octogenarian). God relented and allowed meat but from very few animals.  The beast had to have a cloven hoof, be a mammal, and eat it’s cud: goats, kids, sheep, deer (venison) as well as cattle.  

From Biblical times until today, kosher cattle, lamb and other ruminants underwent a process to remove the blood, forbidden fats and nerves from the animal.  This process is called niqqur in Hebrew, treibering in eastern Yiddish, and porging in western Yiddish.  The forequarter of a steer requires less time to properly prepare this way than the hindquarter, which includes the sciatic nerve and the fats that surround it and must be removed.  

In more modern times, in my opinion, the butchers were lazy and the Jews went without filet mignon.  I suspect that one of the reasons was that no one would be able to eat the whole animal and that the hind quarter went to the Goi.

One Flew Over the Birds Nest

Now don’t let bird fly away. You cannot cook it in its mother’s milk because it is not a mammal. Coq au vin is OK but Chicken a la King is verbotten. I am told this happened about the 4th century CE.

Then there are fish without scales. Tough choice.  Sturgeons are an old style fish, no scales.  So how come Jews need Caviar?

Concept Dish

Now we must consider the official American Mammal: the Bison (Buffalo). Welcome to Kosher for an endangered species. We had Buffalo Burgers in Alaska.

The Native Americans must have been one of the lost tribes as they were very careful to keep up the herds.  It was the need for kosher pelts which got them all killed.  The meat was left to rot.  Clearly there is but one solution.

What we need now is for Chinese restaurants to serve Water Buffalo Lo Mein.


(Author’s Rendering of Water Buffalo Lo Mein)

Who’s with me, and would order Water Buffalo Lo Mein if they saw it on a menu?  C’mon.  Show us your patriotism!

Send in your recipe for Water Buffalo Lo Mein, and get featured in a future article on The Chinese Quest!

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  1. We lived in South Asia for a few years and while beef is very hard to find, water buffalo is not. They called it “buff.” They would cut very small slices as it is not as tender as beef. A friend made a version of buff chow-mein using green beans, soy sauce, sunflower oil and spaghetti noodles which could take the heat from frying without falling apart or getting too soft. I’m not really sure what the recipe was but it was a family favorite!

  2. I’ve seen buffalo for sale at the store, but I confess I never thought about making it in a Chinese dish, but why not?

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