Green onion cakes are very Edmonton. These delicious, Chinese-style pancakes filled with green onions, are a staple in our city, and we owe it all to a man named Siu To. A man who, starting September 2018, you can meet and learn to make green onion cakes with at Get Cooking in downtown Edmonton. Yes!!!!
I got to experience the pilot class this summer thanks to Edmonton Tourism, and am thrilled to give away a pair of tickets to an upcoming class. Keep reading for a bit of Edmonton green onion cake history, a recap of the class, and to enter for tickets.
Green Onion Cakes: Uniquely Edmonton
Siu To was born and raised in northern China, and loved to cook and entertain at home. He’d often cook for friends, and one of the dishes he made was a green onion cake, a popular dish in the region. There, the green onion cake was larger, sort of like a pizza, Siu To describes. When he moved to Edmonton and opened up his first restaurant in the 1970s, he started serving smaller, personal sized versions of his green onion cake.
This was in 1978, around the same time that some of Edmonton’s (now) longest running summer festivals, like Edmonton Heritage Festival, Edmonton Folk Festival, Taste of Edmonton and Edmonton Fringe Festival, were starting/gaining popularity, so green onion cakes, which in addition to being real tasty, are also fairly cheap and easy to make, and quickly became a popular, must-have on the menus for all of these local festivals and soon found at a bunch of local restaurants too!
Outside of northern China, green onion cakes are uniquely Edmonton. You drive, even to Calgary for example, and you won’t find a green onion cake, or know what it is (unless you’ve had them in Edmonton!) That’s really just a little bit of Edmonton’s green onion cakes history. You can learn more in this Avenue Edmonton article, or this CBC Edmonton article, or you can hear it direct from Siu To himself, in person, at his Green Onion Cake cooking class!
Good Chives Only: an Edmonton Green Onion Cake Experience
Okay so that’s not what the class is called, but it’s a pretty good title right?
Edmonton Tourism, Get Cooking and Siu To teamed up to create this wonderful little class which is literally as perfect for tourists coming to our cities, as it is for locals who want to learn more about one of Edmonton’s most favourite foods.
This is a hands-on workshop, where you make your own homemade green onion cakes using Siu To’s recipe. He’ll also cook up his cakes for you to try while you’re there, and you’ll go home with the recipe!
The inaugural classes run Sept 10, Sept. 21 and Oct. 1, 2018. There are both lunch and dinner class start times.
Depending on when you read this blog post, I’m sure Get Cooking will have added additional classes beyond those first three (because obviously the classes are going to be a hit!)
Green onion cakes are low cost, and simple to make. There’s just a few ingredients (at least, in Siu To’s recipe): flour, shortening, sesame oil, canola oil, baking powder, and of course—green onions!
Now, what you have to know is that not all green onion cakes are the same—in shape and flavour.
Since Siu To’s blessed Edmontonians in 1978, there have been many variations of green onion cakes. Lots of Vietnamese restaurants do a poofier but still delicious version. There are more denser versions you might find in markets or at festivals (I’ve been disappointed in past).
But Siu To’s is seriously, the best.
These days, Siu To isn’t running restaurants anymore. Instead, he’s selling his green onion cakes at local markets. Sometimes he might sell up to 3,000 in a single weekend!
Edmontonians love their green onion cakes.
If you’re from the area, and are a fan of local food, food history, and green onion cakes, then this cooking class is for you!
If you’re travelling to Edmonton and are a fan of food, food history, and love eating foods unique to the region, you’ve got to incorporate this cooking class into your itinerary!
And look for Siu To at the markets (St. Albert Farmer’s Market for sure, and I believe a few others in Edmonton)!!
To celebrate the launch of Siu To’s Green Onion Cake Cooking Classes, enter my giveaway to win a pair of tickets to the class!
** GIVEAWAY **
There’s a few different ways you can enter for a chance to win a pair of tickets to Siu To’s September 21 Green Onion Cakes Lunch-Hour Cooking Class (valued at $110). You can enter on any of the following platforms, or just one. A winner will be randomly selected out of all entries across all platforms:
- Leave a comment on my Facebook Post, tagging a friend you’d take to the class
- Leave a comment on my Instagram Post, following @getcookingyeg and tagging a friend you’d take to the class
- Tweet the following: I think it’s really cool that @getcookingyeg is offering Green Onion Cake cooking classes led by the green onion cakes legend himself—Siu To! @lindork has a preview & giveaway for a pair of cooking class tickets on her blog: https://bit.ly/2C2CVc7 #yeg #yegfood #exploreedmonton
- Leave a comment on this blog post, telling me your experience with green onion cakes! Are they a typical order at a restaurant? A festival favourite? Do you make them at at home already?
Please note: the tickets are for the Sept. 21 lunch-hour class ONLY!
You must be available to attend the class between 12-1 p.m. on Sept. 21.
I will select contact the winner by Sept. 10.
Also, if you are leaving a blog post, note that comments are moderated—so your comment may not appear right away!
Disclaimer: I was invited by Edmonton Tourism to pilot the Green Onion Cakes cooking class with Siu To. The class was complimentary. Get Cooking and Edmonton Tourism also provided me a pair of passes to the class to giveaway for this blog post. This has no impact on opinions stated in this post. I think Siu To is a wonderful, funny and talented man and his green onion cakes recipe is delicious.