Shrimp with Broccoli for Hanukah?

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The Jewish fondness for Chinese food is the stuff of legend – and jokes. (Question: If this is year 4705 in the Chinese calendar, and 5768 in the Jewish calendar, what did the Jews eat for the first 1000 years?) But this is no joke: when Congregation Mayim Rabim holds its annual Hannukah party next Sunday, vegetarian Chinese food will be on the menu – provided by Evergreen Taiwanese Restaurant, 2424 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis.

Buddha’s Delight instead of potato pancakes? “We had our food catered by Evergreen last year and it was a big hit,” explained Isaac Kaufman, youth education coordinator for the small reconstructionist congregation. “One of our the thoughts was that once you are a few days into the Hannukah holiday, everybody is kind of bursting from eating too many potato pancakes so we thought that some Taiwanese food like they have at Evergreen would go over well.”

The exact menu hasn’t been determined yet, but Evergreen has a big selection of vegetarian dishes – they specialize in gluten and tofu-based imitation meats carefully crafted to look like real thing – including beef, chicken, shrimp, squid and pork. The party will be held in the basement of the Minneapolis Friends Meeting House, 4401 York Ave. S., Minneapolis from 4 to 7 p.m., ending in time for fans to make it to the Klezmatics Hannukah Party concert at the Cedar Theater. Everyone is welcome – no tickets required but they will take up a collection to cover food costs – probably asking $6 or $7 per person. For more information, call Isaac Kaufman at 612-270-2856.