Welcome, Guest! - or
Easy to remember!  »  VinNews.com

Queens, NY - Chinese Food for Passover (Hold the Soy Sauce)

Published on: April 14, 2009 01:21 PM
Change text size Text Size  
Bookmark and Share

Queens, NY - For Jews who are tired of eating Seder leftovers during Passover, there is little respite. Most kosher restaurants have chosen to remain shuttered during the observance, since there are only two full days and two half-days of business during the eight days of Passover this year — hardly worth the effort to “re-kasher,” or clean, the kitchen to religious standards.

But there is one oasis: a glatt kosher Chinese restaurant in Forest Hills, Queens, called Cho-Sen Garden. (The only other kosher Chinese restaurant in New York that could rival it for kitschy title is Shang-Chai, in Brooklyn.)

“We’re the only one that is open, because we know what to do,” said Michael Mo, the manager of Cho-Sen Garden.

Staffers are swamped on the days the restaurant is open during Passover. The restaurant has a sister establishment, Cho-Sen Island, in Lawrence, on Long Island. “We spend a lot of money for Pesach,” said Mr. Mo, who is Chinese, using the Hebrew name of the holiday.

Advertisement:

The staff spent Tuesday cleaning the kitchen, he said, explaining that “you have to switch the place upside-down.”

Of course, there is one little problem with being a Chinese restaurant that is open for Passover: The dishes can’t use soy sauce — that mainstay of Chinese cooking.

Soy sauce uses soy and wheat, both no-nos during Passover. And while China has been getting in on the kosher food industry, it has not really adapted for the more niche kosher for Passover industry.

Cho-Sen introduces a special Passover version of its menu. “One hundred percent no noodles, one hundred percent no rice — even I’m working, I can’t eat rice,” Mr. Mo said.

Instead, Cho-Sen serves matzo to its customers. “We put a box on each table,” he said. “It’s like a cracker.”

Indeed, now General Tso’s chicken meets unleavened bread.

The restaurant also adds matzo ball soup alongside egg drop soups on the menu (but don’t offer matzo ball egg drop soup, which is an underrated fusion creation).

The dishes offered include chicken with broccoli, pepper steak, and sweet and sour veal.

How does the restaurant make those without soy sauce? The chef has a secret recipe to capture the taste of soy sauce. “He won’t give it to anybody, he won’t let anybody see it,” Mr. Mo said. (Another employee let some information slip, saying that it involved food coloring.)

There is “imitation soy sauce” (kosher for Passover),
The ingredients in the imitation soy sauce are water, salt, maltodextrin, sugar and spices, according to David Gross, an employee of Kosher.com, which sells kosher foods.

Mr. Mo dismissed the kosher for Passover soy sauce. “Imitation is always imitation,” he said.

Cho-Sen used to cater Seders for Passover, Mr. Mo said.

Chinese food Seders?

No, he said. “When we do Seder, it’s just regular food,” he said.

Chinese food is totally unsuitable for a Seder, Mr. Mo said, adding: “Seder is a long dinner. Chinese food doesn’t stay warm that long. It’s tiny little pieces. It can’t stay warm for four hours.”


More of today's headlines

Cleveland, OH - U.S. agents took suspected Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk from his Ohio home on Tuesday to deport him to Germany where he faces charges in the... Israel - Despite the economic crisis, it seems that Israel's tourism industry can chalk up a better Passover holiday than expected. Although the Israel Airport...

 

Total19

Read Comments (19)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Apr 14, 2009 at 12:26 PM Anonymous Says:

This is somthing wonderful for the yiddeshe community in Queens. Note that the owner said he spent an entire day cleaning the kitchen...they also don't serve gebrucks. I vish ve had such a treat in Monsey. Kol Hakovod to Mr. Mo and the owners of this establishment for making such a nice contribution to simchat pseach.

2

 Apr 14, 2009 at 12:34 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

This is somthing wonderful for the yiddeshe community in Queens. Note that the owner said he spent an entire day cleaning the kitchen...they also don't serve gebrucks. I vish ve had such a treat in Monsey. Kol Hakovod to Mr. Mo and the owners of this establishment for making such a nice contribution to simchat pseach.

Maybe they could cater at the Yankee game

3

 Apr 14, 2009 at 12:41 PM non gebrokts Says:

men miz zich nuchgeben alle taaves, men ken zich nisht tzurikhalten far a por teg?

4

 Apr 14, 2009 at 12:45 PM Anonymous Says:

Seems like it would take more than a day to clean the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant for pesach but maybe they have a chinese mashgiach who is more efficient than my wife..

5

 Apr 14, 2009 at 01:01 PM abi gezint-chinese food lover Says:

what a bunch of FRESERS they r , 2 days pepole, c'mon!

6

 Apr 14, 2009 at 12:58 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

This is somthing wonderful for the yiddeshe community in Queens. Note that the owner said he spent an entire day cleaning the kitchen...they also don't serve gebrucks. I vish ve had such a treat in Monsey. Kol Hakovod to Mr. Mo and the owners of this establishment for making such a nice contribution to simchat pseach.

non-gebrokts matzo ball soup--that's something

Isn't it sad that ther is such a demand--can't we go for a few days without Chinese--the goal that caterers seem to go for is "you can't tell it's Pesach"

7

 Apr 14, 2009 at 01:22 PM Anonymous Says:

The gold standard for pesachdike cooking should be like Posting 6 says: that ve cannot tell whether the food we are eating is chometz or pescachide but rather tastes good. My parents say that when they grew up there were not Chinese restaurants open during yom tov so we have come a long way.

8

 Apr 14, 2009 at 01:21 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

non-gebrokts matzo ball soup--that's something

Isn't it sad that ther is such a demand--can't we go for a few days without Chinese--the goal that caterers seem to go for is "you can't tell it's Pesach"

you seem to forget that there are some people who cannot take off work on chol hamoed. Having kosher restaurants open allows for business lunches / dinners.

9

 Apr 14, 2009 at 01:15 PM Anonymous Says:

What about dishes? Do they serve in the same plates as all year round? Anybody know?

10

 Apr 14, 2009 at 01:08 PM Anonymous Says:

To # 4 if u have shalom bayis issues not evryone on vin needs to read about it unless you are prepering us for a sensainal divorce battle which u can guarenty will be worth following LOL

11

 Apr 14, 2009 at 01:02 PM curious Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

Seems like it would take more than a day to clean the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant for pesach but maybe they have a chinese mashgiach who is more efficient than my wife..

Your wife doesn't have the kind of help they have. Put four five helpers in that kitchen and it could be done. Especially if they start at 7 in the morning straight till 12 midnight and have no crying babies or children to take off the bus. I am sure your wife is doing the best she can. I hope you were being sarcastic and not judgemental of any of them. Have fun helping your wife putting away her PESSACH AND YOURS.

12

 Apr 14, 2009 at 03:11 PM Anonymous Says:

I didn't check them out now on Pesach, but throughout the year I like going there. The food is delicious. My husband especially likes their "house special steak".

13

 Apr 14, 2009 at 04:42 PM Anonymous Says:

We were there because we were far from home all day. We brought a pesadik lunch with us, but were still out at evening, so this was a good solution. The place was packed, not an empty table in either room of the restaurant, and people waiting to be seated. The food was OK, the prices were high.

14

 Apr 14, 2009 at 04:30 PM Klutz Says:

How low have we fallen? So its kosher, but please its only 8 days, cant you survive without all those tayves.

15

 Apr 16, 2009 at 05:01 PM Ya'akov Says:

BS"D
Shalom!
Do they follow Ashkenazi tradition during Pesach? In our tradition we eat rice.
Chag sameach as we conclude the Pesach week.
Ya'akov

16

 Apr 16, 2009 at 09:37 PM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #3  
non gebrokts Says:

men miz zich nuchgeben alle taaves, men ken zich nisht tzurikhalten far a por teg?

If you don't like it, don't go, ober farvos farginst nisht yenem? Iskafiyeh iz far zich nisht far yenem.

17

 Apr 16, 2009 at 09:39 PM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

non-gebrokts matzo ball soup--that's something

Isn't it sad that ther is such a demand--can't we go for a few days without Chinese--the goal that caterers seem to go for is "you can't tell it's Pesach"

We can, but why should we? What exactly is the maaloh in doing without something, especially at a time when we are commanded vesomachto bechagecho? If there's some chashash issur is one thing, but if there isn't then why deprive ourselves of anything davka then?

18

 Apr 15, 2009 at 09:05 AM Common Sense Says:

Some responders, like Klutz #14, were critical and may believe things like Pesach-dik Chinese Glatt are a sign of moral weakness, giving in to chukas goyim, rampant materialism, etc. That we should focus (at least for a week) on things more spiritual than Chinese food. I understand their point of view, but I can also see another...that Judaism is not a religion of denial or self-flagellation. Chinese Glatt is symbolic of the Jewish people adapting some of the nice things in the gentile world, and putting a unique kosher stamp on them.

There is so much tragedy in the world today, so what harm is there in trying to grab onto a little simcha when the opportunity arises? People need to enjoy themselves and to say that they should subsist on matza, potatoes, and borscht for the whole week is unrealistic. Let's just be happy that there are so may Jews these days that care about the Mitzvoth and celebrate that fact--with Shlivovitz or without.

19

 Apr 17, 2009 at 01:35 AM yidel Says:

Reply to #3  
non gebrokts Says:

men miz zich nuchgeben alle taaves, men ken zich nisht tzurikhalten far a por teg?

I'm sure you got ur "taves"...
zei nisht kein tzaddik far yenem.

20

Sign-in to post a comment

Scroll Up
Advertisements:

Sell your scrap gold and broken jewelry and earn hard cash sell gold today!