Thai Shaved Steak Lettuce Cups with Peanut Sauce

on March 25, 2021

This amazingly quick dinner is on the table in less than 30 minutes! These Shaved Steak Lettuce Cups have the piquant flavors of Thai food. The meat marinades in a lovely sauce of tamari, fish sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, ginger, and garlic, giving it a sweet, savory, spicy, and tart flavor.

Brown sugar is super important in this recipe. It provides the sweetness necessary for Thai cooking. Allow the meat to marinate for as long as you can before searing it for one minute in a screaming-hot pan. The meat is so thin, it cooks within seconds!

Use any type of lettuce you like. Bibb lettuce adds a wonderfully fresh, crunchy consistency to this dish. Because the meat is so well-seasoned, the fresh crisp vegetables provide a freshness. The balance between savory and fresh makes this healthy meal stand out.

The final element to this dish is a homemade quick peanut sauce that tops the lettuce cups. It provides a creaminess that compliments the steak. This peanut sauce would be delicious served on anything!



  • 2 pounds shaved steak
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 12 ounces mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 1 small onion, diced thin
  • ½ cup beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon Sambal or garlic chili paste
  • 2 heads Bibb lettuce, lettuce leaves removed and left whole
  • Shredded carrots, for serving
  • Cilantro leaves, for serving

For the Peanut Sauce:

  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • ½ tablespoon fish sauce
  • ½ tablespoon lime juice
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • 2-4 tablespoons water
  • Black sesame seeds (optional)


Steps to Make It:

  1. In a large bowl, add the shaved steak, tamari, fish sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, ginger, and garlic. Stir to combine everything, making sure the meat is well-saturated in the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to marinate for 4-8 hours.
  2. When ready to cook, heat a nonstick pan to high heat. Add the olive oil and allow to heat until the oil is shimmering. Delicately place your meat in 3-4 batches over the heat and allow to brown deeply before stirring. Once the meat is browned and cooked through, remove it from the pan. The meat will cook very quickly since it is cut so thin.
  3. After all batches of meat are well browned, remove it to a plate and set aside.
  4. Add a little more oil to the pan and turn the heat down to medium-low. Add the mushrooms and onions, cooking them for 5-6 minutes until soft.
  5. Deglaze the pan with the beef broth and bring it to a simmer. Allow it to reduce for 3-4 minutes until thickened.
  6. Add the meat back into the pan along with the Sambal. Turn the heat to its lowest setting and make the peanut sauce.
  7. In a small bowl, combine all peanut sauce ingredients and whisk them together. Add 2 tablespoons of water at a time to make the sauce a thinner consistency.
  8. To make a lettuce cup, lay down a piece or two of Bibb lettuce. Add the meat and mushrooms on top, then top that with carrots and cilantro leaves. Serve with the peanut sauce for dipping, or spoon it right onto your lettuce cups.