Why You Should Cook Chinese Takeout for Christmas This Year

Why You Should Cook Chinese Takeout for Christmas This Year

It might seem like an unusual concept, but Chinese food at Christmas is not a new thing. In fact, for many Jewish Americans it’s almost considered a ‘tradition’ – since both groups do not normally celebrate the Christian holiday, many Chinese takeouts are the only restaurants open on Christmas Day!

The idea of serving an alternative cuisine for the winter holiday is becoming more widespread, and what better festive gift than to surprise your loved ones with a warming, homely taste of the East?

Not only can properly prepared, authentic Chinese food be less labor-intensive than the customary feast with all its excesses, it’s also super healthy and relatively light, leaving you without that seasonal turkey-bloated feeling! Much like a warming mulled wine, the depth and intensity of Chinese flavors are the perfect counterbalance for the chilly weather outside.

Below are some of my favorite Chinese Christmas recipes; so impress at your family gathering with a few of these straightforward dishes and still have energy for the party!

Chinese Takeout for Christmas

Easy Chicken Lettuce Wrap

This starter is fast to prep and cook, full of nutrition, and finger-licking good (paleo-friendly too!)

Easy Chicken Lettuce Wrap

Chinese Beef Dumplings

Little pockets bursting with flavor, replace your pigs in blankets with this healthier Chinese option.

Beef dumplings are an easy dim sum option for a weekday appetizer. You can make them ahead and freeze them for later too.

Chinese Egg Drop Soup

Bring your friends and family out of the cold and into the warmth with this restaurant-inspired Egg Drop soup.

Make the restaurant-style Chinese egg drop soup with the minimum ingredients, within 15 minutes, and without any fuss.

Easy Soy Sauce Noodles

These basic and comforting noodles can be prepped in ten minutes

Easy Soy Sauce Noodles (杨春面) - The most basic and comforting noodles that can be prepped and cooked within 10 minutes. | omnivorescookbook.com

Shrimp Egg Foo Young

Light and airy yet filling, this adaptable Shrimp Egg Foo Young offers that cosy Christmas feeling.

The only Egg Foo Young recipe you need. You can fill your omelet with any fillings you prefer and create a restaurant-style dish in your own kitchen!

Moo Goo Gai Pan

Surprise with a classic stir-fry: moo goo gai pan provides all the winter nutrients you need!

Learn all the tricks to make the best moo goo gai pan that is way better than takeout.

Chinese BBQ Char Siu

Bored of ham? Chinese BBQ Char Siu is the perfect main dish to serve as your Christmas centerpiece.

Chinese BBQ Char Siu - The perfect main dish to serve at a party. It’s also a great staple to have in your fridge because it’s so versatile and can be used in a variety of other dishes. | omnivorescookbook.com

General Tso’s Chicken

Cook this true takeout classic the real Chinese way!

Real deal General Tso's Chicken cooked in a spicy garlicky sauce

Chinese Beef and Broccoli with Tofu

Tofu at Christmas? Yes! Paleo-friendly, this one-pan Chinese beef and broccoli dish is extra hearty and nourishing.

This one-pan, takeout-style Chinese beef and broccoli dish is extra saucy and fast to prepare. It’s a paleo friendly meal that does not require serving with rice.

Shrimp Chow Mien

Shrimp chow mein is loaded with vegetables and abundant flavors. It’s a healthy one-pot meal you can prep and cook in 20 minutes; an ideal Boxing Day lunch.

These fried noodles are loaded with vegetables, and burst with flavor. It’s a quick and healthy one-pot meal you can prep and cook in 20 minutes.

Quinoa Sesame Brittle

This crispy and nutty quinoa sesame brittle makes the perfect sweet Christmas snack without the guilt, at only 150 calories per serving.

Quinoa Sesame Brittle - Only 150 calories per serving, full of nutrition, and just 10 minutes active cooking time. | omnivorescookbook.com

Have a happy Chinese Christmas! 圣诞快乐!


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Meet Maggie

Hi I'm Maggie Zhu! Welcome to my site about modern Chinese cooking - including street food, family recipes, and restaurant dishes. I take a less labor-intensive approach while maintaining the taste and look of the dish. I am originally from Beijing, and now cook from my New York kitchen.

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3 thoughts on “Why You Should Cook Chinese Takeout for Christmas This Year

  1. Shalryn

    Chinese food for Christmas? Lovely thought, but nope. Our family has a 50-year tradition of Chinese for New Year’s. The core menu is steamed rice, fried rice, beef chop suey (with lots of broth), deep-fried battered turkey, sweet-and-sour turkey, dry garlic spare ribs, vegetable stir-fry (with or without noodles), steamed veggies, and egg rolls or spring rolls. From there, the additions to the menu change according to the number of guests and their preferences (and the cook’s urge to experiment) that year. For my family, Christmas dinner is the realm of roasted bird or ham or salmon and all the fixings, but New Year is reserved strictly for Chinese food, and it must be all from scratch, even the noodles. Except for egg roll and won-ton wrappers, because I can never get them thin enough without tearing them.

    1. Maggie Post author

      Hi Shalryn, Chinese food for New Year sounds also great! And you get some interesting dishes there. The sweet and sour turkey sounds very delicious! I’d love to try it out 🙂 It’s really hardcore making everything from scratch. So much work but I’m sure the dinner will be amazing. Egg roll and wonton wrappers, we don’t make them either. It’s too much work, and yes, the store bought one works better. Hopefully this post can be useful when you’re celebrating New Year 🙂
      Happy Holiday!

  2. Lillian

    I love the idea of doing a non traditional holiday dinner. This last new years my boyfriend and I made chow mein, walnut shrimp, and sweet and sour chicken. It was delicious and exciting! Speaking of Christmas dinner, once my siblings and I were left to our own devices because the parents were travelling so we made a complete Italian feast with zuppa Toscana, creamy shrimp pasta, homemade breadsticks. It is an experience I will always treasure.

    I think i will do another Chinese feast for new years this year as your general tso’s chicken recipe looks awesome!