It's a fusion tradition that ain't on swanky menus but is very rooted in America's melting pot culture. Just think of cream cheese wontons (right), Soy Vay products, and how many Peking Dragons are open on Christmas. This dude [video] knows what I'm talking about. It's a curious overlap, but this post on the New York Times City Room blog went where few other Jewish-Chinese fusions have gone before.
Pastrami egg rolls and Chinese hot dogs, available at Eden Wok on 34th Street in Manhattan.
It's as if Second Avenue Deli woke up one very twisted morning on Canal Street. Writer Jennifer 8. Lee has identified herself as the fortune cookie anthropologist over the last few years, studying Chinatowns in America and all over the globe for her upcoming book The Fortune Cookie Chronicles. Her corresponding blog documents everything from highly useful fortune cookie knick-knacks to the eternal Chow Mein as the Chosen Food of the Chosen People topic (one of her favorites). Former New York Times food critic Mimi Sheraton also loved to observe the longstanding love affair Jews have had with Chinese food, "particularly the slightly overcooked, mild-flavored Cantonese specialties," she noted.
So if pastrami egg rolls can exist, what other funky Jew-nese fusions we got up our sleeves? Sweet and Sour Matzo Balls? Watercress latkes? Chopped liver-mein? Kung Pow Reuben? Yes, we went there. Eden Wok, if you're reading, hire a recipe developer and get on this.
About the author: Erin Zimmer, Serious Eats's Washington, D.C., correspondent, is a just-graduated Georgetown gal following her nose about town as Washingtonian magazine's Dining intern and Best Bites blogger. She got her start as the Hoya campus paper's food columnist, and since entering "real person-hood" has ached for her dining hall's omelet station.