Dear Ms. Tzang,
With Metro Edmonton’s recent article, a renewed “green onion cakes as Edmonton’s signature dish” debate has begun. I felt that the article itself did not fully explain the rationale for why green onion cakes are Edmonton’s signature dish. You can find a more complete explanation throughout this site.
After reading that you selected green onion cakes as one of the top 50 things that define Edmonton, your comments were of particular interest to me:
“I don’t know if it’s Edmonton’s signature dish but it is one of those anomalies, until I see green onion cakes on the menu at a bar, I wouldn’t call it a signature dish. To me, it’s just not widespread enough.”
In the interest of recruiting you as an ally, allow me to present you with a list of just a few Edmonton bars/pubs that currently have green onion cakes on their menu. I would like to note that this list is by no means exhaustive, but rather a small sampling of the variety of food establishments that are currently serving them. I have purposely left off any of the infinite number of Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants that serve them, as I felt that their inclusion may seem a bit too obvious.
On The Rocks, on Jasper Avenue serves a delightful green onion cake with a sweet chili sauce. The EGOCs here are so popular, they served them at the recent Rocky Mountain Food & Wine Festival. Captain Scott’s Fish and Chips serves them up the same way.
Thirsty Camel on Argyll Rd. serves them up with a more traditional soya-chili sauce as does Rosie’s Karaoke Bar on Whyte.
Underground Tap & Grill has taken things a step farther with it’s Green Onion Cake Sandwich. Asian BBQ pulled pork, suey choy, tomatoes and green onions stuffed on a homemade green onion cake. BOOM!
XIX (Nineteen), a fine dining establishment in Terwillegar, offers a rather unique appetizer: a charred Albacore tuna “Taco”, served on a, you guessed it, green onion cake.
Block 1912, a European cafe, serves them up grilled in Old Strathcona.
Blue Plate Diner, an Edmonton institution, pairs theirs with Sambal Oelek but adds a dollop of green onion sour cream to keep things interesting.
Even O’Byrne’s, which claims to be “Edmonton’s Oldest Irish Pub”, serves them up on a bed of lettuce paired with either sweet chili or Frank’s hot sauce!
The establishments listed here have one very important thing in common. They are all locally owned (no chains or out of towners in the bunch). It takes a real Edmontonian to put a green onion cake on a non-Asian menu.
So, are you ready to proclaim them as Edmonton’s signature dish?