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Golden Mountain Hotcake

I always like a recipes with stories. The Golden Mountain Hotcake has a very interesting history. It is not very well known.

If you travel back in time to the 1900’s and you ask a Chinese where is North America. He wouldn’t know what you are talking about. That is because North America was known as Jin Shan, Golden Mountain. This was the chosen name for Western Coast of North America because of the gold rush.

Many Chinese men made the three months sea journey to Jin Shan to make their fortune but more often than not they were met with disappointments, racism and outright violence. Some of them went back to face the Fall of the Qin Dynasty, Japanese invasion and civil war. Others stayed and helped to build the American railroads. When that was complete, some of them went north to help build the Canadian Pacific Railway.

One of the reasons that British Columbia joined the Dominion of Canada is the promise of a national railway connecting coast to coast. Some say if we didn’t complete the Canadian Pacific Rail on schedule B.C. would have joined the USA, connecting Alaska with the rest of their continental states. This much is certain, without the hundreds of thousands of Chinese men who worked on the railway we would have a very different North America.

So when the Chinese were faced with racial violence from the Caucasian settlers, the discriminatory immigration laws and the outrageously high Head Tax they were dumb-founded. “All we ever did was to help make you a country Canada. Why do you hate us so much?” Like the Jews in Europe, Chinese were easy scapegoats for hardship of any kind. “They are taking our jobs and our lands!” was the outcry in Vancouver and other parts of BC at that time. Even though without the railway there wouldn’t be any jobs or lands to speak of.

The CPR (Canadian Pacific Rail) punches through some of the most spectacular landscapes in the world.

When disheartened Chinese left Western Canada and went back home they brought with them this recipe for pancakes (aka hotcakes). They improved it by adding more eggs and ripe bananas. When their descendants sailed again for Canada they brought the recipe back with them to restaurants in Chinatown, where it is again modified for local taste. They called them Golden Mountain Hot Cakes in honour of the original promise of the land.

Without further ado here it is.

Name: Golden Mountain Hot Cakes

Difficulty: 6 out of 10

Time: 20 mins

Ingredients: 2 cups of pancake mix (I prefer the Costco brand but any brand works), 3 eggs, 2 ripe bananas, 1/2 cup of organic butter milk, 2 tbsp coconut oil, real Maple syrup (if it doesn’t have a picture of a hoser and some horses in snowy forest on the label beware.)

Step one: beat the eggs, mash the bananas and fold in the pancake mix and milk. Mix until a fairly uniform consistency is achieved.

Step two: heat up a large skillet and drop a teaspoon of coconut oil on it. When the oil melts pour pancake batter it. Cook until bubbly and flip. Cook 6-7 pancakes of descending size until all the batter is exhausted.

Step three: pile the pancakes like a mountain (see photo) and pour maple syrup on top. Add whipped cream or blueberries if desired.

Step four: Serve it to your family while hot. Talk to your kids about the Chinese pioneers who built this country of Canada. Talk to them about your own journey to Jin Shan. Enjoy today, remember yesterday and treasure tomorrow.

David HT Wong’s courageous book documents the struggle of the Chinese Canadians.

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