Canadian food DYK: Ginger beef was invented in Calgary in 1975

Discover the origins of the famous Canadian dish, ginger beef

Image for Canadian food DYK:
photo courtesy of Mack Male via Flickr.

The polarizing Chinese takeout dish may be inspired by (and is a direct translations of) a northern Chinese dish called geung ngao yuk, but the crunchy, sweet and spicy version that Canadians have grown to love actually originated in 1975 at the Silver Inn Restaurant in Calgary.


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Like many non-Western restaurants at the time, Chinese food wasn’t yet prevalent, and chef George Wong was looking for new ways to attract locals into the restaurant. He began playing around with the recipe, eventually concocting the sweeter, saucier version of the marinated deep-fried beef strips that has become a popular go-to dish on Chinese takeout nights.

The dish is not as prevalent in Eastern Canada, but regardless, over the decades it has become one of our country's most iconic dishes.