Thai Beef Appetizer Cups

Spicy, salty, sweet and ever so flavourful beef salad

A great little appetizer that can be made ahead and looks, as well as tastes, fabulous.

I have made it for summer parties, Asian-themed dinners and most recently for a thanksgiving celebration (It was the earth in between the abundance of the sea and the heavens.)


(only slightly altered from the recipe collection ‘The Picnic Hamper’)
Serves 6 as a starter

1 red chili
80ml ketjap manis
60-80ml lime juice
1 tbsp sesame oil

250g beef (steak)
2 cucumbers or 12 wonton cups

1/2 stick of lemongrass
40-60ml lime juice
1 red chili
20g mint
20g coriander
1 tbsp fish sauce

  1. Deseed and chop chili. Place into a zip-lock bag or a non-metallic dish.
  2. Add ketjap, lime and sesame oil.
  3. Cut beef into strips and add to the marinade. Store in the fridge for at least 2 hours and up to 24.
  4. Allow the beef to come to room temperature before continuing.
  5. Heat a frying pan and briefly flash fry the beef on a high heat. Make sure not to over-cook the meat.
  6. If using cucumber: Cut the cucumbers into 12 slices (about 3cm each). Using a spoon or melon scooper remove some of the core to shape them into little cups. (If making a little ahead keep them upside down on kitchen paper in an airtight container.)
  7. Finely grate (or chop) the lemongrass.
  8. Deseed and chop the chili.
  9. Combine the fish sauce with the lemongrass and chili.
  10. When you are ready to serve chop the mint and coriander.
  11. Mix the dressing and herbs with the beef.
  12. Spoon a little of the beef into each of the (cucumber) cups.


Tips & Variations

The beef salad as well as the cucumber / woton cups can be prepared ahead. The salad looks fresher if you add the herbs at the last moment, but this is not a must.


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