Got Beef?

spicy steak sandwiches

For my final sandwich, I plucked up the courage to face a really big fear: cooking steak. My man absolutely adores steak and orders it every chance he gets when dining out. Too scared of failing to measure up to those dishes, I refused to buy beef—let alone make it for dinner—and always chose chicken instead.




How could I learn unless I actually tried? I’m pretty sure the sky wouldn’t fall if I under seasoned it, or the world wouldn’t end if I turned it into leather. So. Deep breath. March into the store, meander to the back, and…  


Freeze. Holy cow, how many different cuts of beef are there?? I thought it would just be ground and… Well, steak. Turns out Safeway sells at least 9 bazillion, half of which sound exactly the same. (Bottom round roast, bottom round steak… Top round roast, round tip roast… Tri-tip, sirloin tip, round tip… Both a dyslexic’s and speed reader’s nightmare!)


I grabbed something with a reasonable price tag, staggered to the cashier, and finally stopped hyperventilating when I buckled myself safely into my car. Back at home, I whisked together a quick marinade for the meat and let it sit in the fridge all day while I tried (unsuccessfully) to forget about it. But I did actually cook the steak, I did actually eat a piece, and I did actually grin at the end.


I did it, I cooked steak, and I’m actually excited to do it again!


spicy steak sandwiches


Spicy Steak Sandwiches

serves 4

Lemon juice can be substituted for the lime, or even white or rice vinegar if you aren’t a fan of citrus. Serve with coleslaw to round out the meal.

¼ c. lime juice (about 6 key limes)

¼ c. water

2 tbsp chili garlic sauce

½ tsp salt

1 lb steak, trimmed (I used stew meat—it doesn’t have to be expensive!)

1 onion, thinly sliced

4 whole-wheat sandwich thins

  1. Combine the first four ingredients (lime juice through salt) in a Ziploc bag. Cut the steak into 1”-wide strips, and add to the bag. Squeeze all of the air out of the bag, seal, and chill for 3 hours, or overnight.
  2. Cook the onion over medium-high heat in a large pan lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray, stirring frequently, until it turns translucent. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and continue cooking and stirring until the onion turns golden. Remove from the pan.
  3. Recoat the pan with nonstick cooking spray, and cook the beef in batches over medium-low heat for about 2-3 min per side, or until just cooked through. (The time will vary with how thick your pieces are.) Let the steak rest for 5-10 min.
  4. While the steak rests, toast the sandwiches thins in a toaster oven until light golden brown. Put one-quarter of the steak on the bottom of each sandwich thin, and top with one-quarter of the onions and the top pieces of bread.


spicy steak sandwiches



October 12, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Midweek Meals.


  1. Brittany replied:

    I am sure your man was oozing with excitement over this steak sandwich! Job well done!

    • foods for the soul replied:

      He was definitely surprised. :] And thank you! Your praise means a lot, especially coming from a vegan!

  2. mrswebbinthekitchen replied:

    Haha way to conquer your fear! Looks like it turned out wonderful. I don’t know a thing about cooking steak, either! But the hubs doesn’t care for it, so I’m alright with that (for now).

    • foods for the soul replied:

      Thank you! I’m sure your Mister enjoys the meats and meal you cook, so no need to worry about cooking steak just yet!

  3. Frank replied:

    If you rest your steak for as long as you cook it, it can turn out to be pretty amazing. Props to keepin’ it manly. (Though steaks are gender neutral).

    • foods for the soul replied:

      Thanks for the advice!! I also realized (after the fact, of course) that I forgot about the trick of cutting it against the grain… That would have helped a bit. But I’m excited to try again, so keep the tips coming!

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