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Jewish Asian Fusion Recipes

May 16, 2022 | by Tamar Genger MA, RD

Celebrate Jewish and Asian American Heritage Month with Matzah Ball Ramen and more.

American Jews have a special love for Chinese and Asian food. Maybe it’s because of the proximity of the Jewish immigrants of New York who settled on the Lower East Side next to the already established Chinatown. Maybe it’s because Asian food does not include milk in the predominantly meat dishes. And of course Chinese restaurants were the only restaurants reliably open on Christmas, creating the modern tradition of Jews eating Chinese to “celebrate” the late winter holiday.

May is Jewish American Heritage Month and Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. It is not a coincidence that we once more find ourselves sharing our space together.

My personal Jewish and Asian connection starts in Shanghai. My grandfather was born in Russia, but when he was little his family was forced to flee the pogroms like so many other Jewish people of the time and he settled in Shanghai before emigrating to Toronto and marrying my grandmother. Read more about the Jewish history in Shanghai here.

While my connection to Asia was short lived, there are many Asian American Jews trying to find their place and their identity. In addition to the well-documented rise of anti-semitism over the past several years, Asian Americans have suffered a staggering rise in hate crimes and violence since COVID-19 arrived on our shores. It’s an unfortunate confluence of events that find Jews and Asian Americans fearful and uncertain during these troubling times.

In searching for ways to build bridges and promote greater understanding and tolerance, I was happy to discover LUNAR. LUNAR cultivates connection, belonging and visibility for Asian American Jews through authentic multimedia storytelling and intersectional community programming. Here is the first episode of LUNAR focusing on food and how the Asian American Jews connect to both their Jewish and Asian cuisines.

To celebrate our unique cultural heritage during the month of May, I am excited to share some favorite Jewish/Asion Fusion recipes from around the web.

Matcha Challah

Combining the flavors of matcha into a gorgeous green challah is the perfect way to blend the two cuisines. Get the recipe here.

Matzah Ball Ramen

If you watched the LUNAR video you will see this idea of combining Matzah Ball Soup with Ramen soup is a no brainer. Get the recipe here.

Gefilte Shu-Mai

This quick and fun Jewish/Asian mash-up recipe is easy to make and can be made ahead of serving. Use prepared gefilte fish to make these dumplings. Get the recipe here.

Japanese Fish Cakes inspired by Gefilte Fish

Kristin from created this Japanese and Jewish recipes to make a kamaboko-inspired gefilte fish. Instead of steaming the patties, I've chosen to pan fry them- this browns them nicely and gives them a nice crunch on the outside. Get the recipe here.

Mochi Latkes

Kristin also developed these incredible savory latkes with mochi. The addition of mochi flour makes the latkes lighter in consistency, yet the chewiness it adds makes it incredibly satisfying, even addicting, she says.

Get the recipe here.

Jewish-Chinese Brisket

Brisket is a famously Jewish food, so this version mixes it up with Asian flavors. Get the recipe here.

Korean Scallion and Kimchi Latkes

Latkes are one of the easiest foods to play with and Kimchi takes them over the top.

Get the recipe here.

Kung Pao Pastrami

Using pastrami in this traditional Sichuan recipe is pure genius and another great Jewish-Asian fusion recipe you will want to try ASAP.

Get the recipe here.

What Jewish-Asian fusion recipe should we work on next?

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