Even though we’re all from the same Country, those of us on the West Coast aren’t always up on East Coast traditions. I’ve had quick visits to Toronto on many occasions, including one particularly rushed visit as a contestant on CBC’s Dragons Den in 2006, so I can’t say I’ve ever been able to stop and drink in the sights, sounds, and smells of the East Coast the way I would have liked to.

We’ve been focusing on Canadian Cuisine this month on Shelly’s Friday Favourites, and last week Martin kicked off the East Coast in grand style with his post on creating French Canadian Tortiere. So this week, let’s take a look at a few other East Coast recipes you definitely need to try should you find yourself within driving distance of the Atlantic ocean.

The Original Donair from the East Coast of Canada

Adapted from Allrecipes.com

You really do learn something new everyday, because I had no idea the Canadian version of the Donair originated in Halifax. Mahmut Aygun, a Turkish immigrant living in Berlin, created the original donair in 1971 but that version evolved into the ‘Halifax’ donair around 1972 or 1973. The Halifax donair was very sweet, with sugar, garlic, vinegar, and condensed milk making up the ingredients.

This version is based on the Halifax donair, and by all accounts, it’s extremely delicious. Keep in mind that you need a skillet to create the perfect donair, so check out on great skillets.


1 pound ground beef

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon paprika

2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk

1/2 cup white sugar

1/4 cup white vinegar, or to taste

6 large pita bread rounds


1. In a bowl, thoroughly mix together the ground beef, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, paprika, cayenne pepper, and oregano. Pack the spiced meat into a thick loaf shape, cover, and let rest in the refrigerator overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
3. Place the meat loaf onto a baking sheet, and bake for 1 hour, flipping the loaf over halfway through cooking. Allow the meat loaf to cool so it holds together for slicing.
4. Mix together the evaporated milk and white sugar in a bowl, stirring until the sugar is dissolved, and then add the vinegar by teaspoons, mixing together after each addition, to taste. Refrigerate the sauce until serving.
5. Slice the meat loaf into 1/4-inch thick slices, and brown the slices in a skillet over medium heat until both sides are brown and crisp, about 5 minutes per side.
6. Sprinkle the pita bread rounds with a little water, and press each onto a heated skillet to warm up.
7. To serve, place several slices of meat into a warmed pita bread, and spoon about 2 tablespoons of sauce over the meat. Roll the pita bread into a cone shape, wrap in aluminum foil to keep the sauce from dripping out, and serve.



Sushi Pizza

From Kung-food.org

When we go out for dinner, we do sushi almost every time. But apparently the coveted ‘Sushi Pizza’ we’ve all heard about originates in Toronto.

It’s a mini pizza-like creation topped with your favourite sushi ingredients, and if you love sushi, you’ll love sushi pizza.

Ingredients: The Sushi Rice Crust 

  • 2 Cups Sushi Rice
  • 4 tbsp. Rice Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. Mirin (Rice Wine)
  • 2 tsp. Salt
  • 3 tbsp. Sugar
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 8 tsp of oil (separated 2 tsp of oil per pie)

Ingredients: Toppings

  • Spicy Mayo
  • Avocado
  • Tuna/Salmon/halibut or your favorite sushi fish.
  • Smelt Roe
  • Chopped Scallions
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds
  • Julienned Nori

Vegan Toppings

  • Vegan Spicy Mayo
  • Avocado
  • Grilled tofu
  • Chia Seeds
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds
  • Chopped Scallions
  • Julienned Nori

Directions: The Rice

The night before you assemble the pie, cook the sushi rice following the directions on the bag or use a rice cooker.

Directions: The Crust

  1. Assemble the rice into a disk that is about 4-5 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick
  2. Wrap the disk in wax paper and freeze it overnight or store for a week
  3. The day of serving, remove the disk from the freezer and remove the wax paper
  4. In a frying pan, heat up 1 tsp of oil on medium heat
  5. Pan fry one side of the crust allowing the outside to brown
  6. Use another tsp of oil for the other side
  7. It’s best to allow the crust to rest on the heat side, which will brown the one size and heat up the inside more slowly. Remember: you only want to sear the outside of the crust and re-heat the inside, not cook it.

Directions: The Pizza

  1. Spread the spicy mayo and use it as the “sauce” of the pie
  2. Place thinly sliced avocado on the mayo
  3. Place cut fish on the avocado
  4. Sprinkle crab roe on the fish
  5. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on the roe
  6. Top off with scallions and julienned nori

Directions: The Vegan Pizza

  1. Grill tofu until firm and seared
  2. Spread the spicy mayo onto the crust
  3. Place avocado on the mayo
  4. Place tofu on the avocado
  5. Sprinkle chia seeds on the tofu
  6. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on the chia seeds
  7. Top off with chopped scallions and julienned nori

Weekends are the best time to kick back, relax, and try a few new recipes. If you’ve never attempted a sushi pizza or donair, now is the time!

What are your favourite Canadian East Coast recipes?

Shelly Wutke
Editor TV & Home Theatre
I'm a Vancouver freelancer and tech enthusiast. When I'm not writing you'll find me on my farm with my alpacas, chickens, and honeybees. Visit my website Survivemag