Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pacifica Thai Beef BBQ Lettuce Wraps… dinner on the Beach!

I live very close to the beach in Pacifica California.  San Francisco is 10 minutes away, so we get the nice summer fog rolling in at sunset often.  The sunsets here are the most spectacular, but on the water it’s clear. One night it was too beautiful to pass up just packing dinner and hiking down to the water and eating dinner there….so we did.  

Here is a great easy to pack and handle dinner (Eat these with your hands)!  The box I used to transport these to the beach became our little dinner table on the blanket…. Pack some fancy wine glasses and a couple bottles of something white and crisp like a Fume or Sauvignon Blanc.  Dessert was the surprise….It was a fun spontaneous Tuesday night…


1 ½ pounds flank steak

Thai Steak Marinade:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Habanero Chili pepper
3 tablespoons Worcheshire sauce
½ cup Rice wine vinegar
1 large zip lock bag

8 leaves Boston lettuce
6 scallions, 3 sliced and 3 cut into thirds
1 package Pad Thai Noodles
8 nice sized leaves of fresh Basil
1 bunch of fresh bean sprouts 
2 Shredded carrots

Thai peanut sauce:
½ cup peanut butter
¼ cup Coconut milk
Juice of one lime
1 Jalapeño chili pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
Pinch of Salt & pepper


For the marinade, add all of the steak marinade ingredients into a blender and blend on high until they are well liquefied.  Place the raw meat into the large zip lock bag and then pour the marinade into the bag and seal.  Flip it around a couple times and then place in the fridge for at least an hour or more.  Oil up your grill with a little Sesame oil, and fire up and get it hot.  Throw the steak on and turn down to medium – Grill to your favorite meat preference….(I made mine medium rare because they still cook a little when they are wrapped up in there on juices during transport)

When they are done, set meat aside to rest for a few minutes and then slice into thin slices.  Pack up meat in an air tight good sealable container.

I cheated and had a box of Pad Thai Noodles box from the grocery store.  I found it in the International food isle section; I thought I’d give them a whirl.  Make them according to directions. When hot, place in a plastic Tupperware-like container too.

In the blender add all of the peanut sauce ingredients and blend on high until smooth, then add them to a small sauce pan and stir mixture over medium high heat until bubbling.  Reduce for 5 minutes until it thickens to a yummy sauce of love.  Place in a good little jar or good sealing container.

Clean the leaves of Butter lettuce and let dry on a paper towel as to do this with the fresh Basil.  I transported these into a nice big zip lock bag.  Bring a spoon for the sauce and a fork for the noodles. Bring some napkins because you really won’t need utensils.  

I put these all in a plastic storage box and grabbed a big blanket and headed for the beach.  Once you get there, spread out your blanket empty your box, turn it over to make a small dining table (Towel tablecloth a nice touch – optional : )

Build your own: In one hand lay the Butter lettuce leaf, add the steak, a helping of Pad Thai noodles, add the fresh crunchy bean sprouts & carrots, a spoonful of peanut sauce and last but not least, the fresh basil.  Roll up and eat these with your hands.  OMG!  These RULE!  It's like a spicy savory thai beef salad in your hands!  They are great cold too!  Then Dessert....

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