The ingredients of ginger beef can depend on where it is featured, but the Western Canadian version generally consists of deep fried strips of beef coated in a dark sweet sauce that is reminiscent of other Asian sauces based on vinegar and sugar. It also contains flavors of ginger, garlic, and hot peppers, and is commonly served with a small amount of juliennedcarrots and onions in the sauce. Ginger beef is derived from the original Geung Ngao Yuk (Chinese: 薑牛肉) dish.
As with many dishes, the invention of ginger beef is claimed by several restaurants and chefs. However, the most widely accepted origin attributes the dish's development during the mid-1970s by chef George Wong at the Silver Inn in Calgary, Alberta. The dish is now a very important part of culture in Calgary and that part of Canada. A radio segment featuring ginger beef was aired on CBC Radio One programme The Main Ingredient.