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two halves of a garlic-ginger shaved beef sandwich lying on a cutting board - one half of made with whole wheat bread slices is covered in shaved beef, caramelized purple carrots and orange carrot ribbons and the other half has a single beautiful slice of cornabel tomato with stem still intact and 3 tiny baby cornichon style cucumbers sliced lengthwise fresh from the garden lying on the tomato from top to bottom with equal distance between them

Garlic-Ginger Shaved Beef Steak Sandwich

This is the perfect summer sandwich recipe to be savored now while garden-fresh sweet tomatoes and carrots are both in season! Add to that some super-thin slices of delicious (sustainable) Italian shaved beef steak cooked with garlic and ginger in olive oil, and top it off with crunchy baby cucumbers and you have a healthy, delicious lunch or dinner in just 10 minutes. And if you’re trying to consume fewer carbs, skip the bread and go for greens instead! This garlic-ginger beef with caramelized purple and orange carrot ribbons is just as delicious on top of a bed of your favorite leafy greens with tomatoes and cucumbers (or simply eaten by the forkfuls all by themselves). The best part, no sauce needed (really)!

A really quick + delicious sandwich recipe

This has become one of those sandwiches we gravitate towards when we need a really tasty, but healthy and quick lunch or dinner. It requires about 10 minutes of effort for exponential tastebud rewards!  When I don’t feel like standing over the stove or turning on the oven, but I still want something wholesome and substantial, this beefy little sandwich hits the spot every time. And if you have a little extra time on your hands, you can marinate the beef in the olive oil with smashed garlic and ginger beforehand to infuse a stronger garlic-ginger flavor to the beef — it’s super tasty, but not required. 

Inquiring minds wanna know

I’ve been craving a Vietnamese-style salad with seasoned shaved beef that I used to eat at one of my favorite Ramen restaurants in Chengdu, China. I used to go there regularly and order this salad or have it delivered occasionally.  Most times I didn’t bother ordering the ramen at all (which was also delicious). But rather, I’d just order a couple of these amazing smallish-sized salads for my dinner.  I still dream about and crave this salad. Does this sandwich taste anything like that salad? Nope. But it’s what inspired it nonetheless. 

I’d just picked some (super) sweet Cornabel San Marzano tomatoes and baby cornichon cucumbers I have growing in my window box planters. And I’d bought some sweet purple and orange carrots a few days before. I had the shaved beef on hand that was intended to be a salad topper until I had the idea to put it between two pieces of bread. Enjoy it with a side salad or homemade crispy potato chips and it’s a meal even the kiddos will love. 

What makes Cornabel San Marzano tomatoes so special?

For starters, these tomatoes are deceptively sweet (as in really sweet-sweet). Secondly, the Cornabel has very few seeds and a lot of meaty flesh making it perfect for canning tomatoes for ‘sauces and such’ to be eaten later on in the fall and winter months. In fact, they’ve become one of my favorite tomatoes to make pizza and pasta sauce with, but are equally delicious sliced and layered onto sandwiches or chopped and added to salads. This is the first year I’ve been able to grow this particular type of tomato because I happen to be in Italy during the growing season and have access to all the different varieties sold and eaten here.  I chose this one on the advice of the very adept and knowledgeable owner of a local plant store (and I’m really happy I did). I’ll be growing these all season long and in future years.

Shaved beef steak sandwich add-ons

This shaved beef sandwich doesn’t need a single thing more but if we’re feeling indulgent we’ve been known to enjoy some of these things either on top of our steak sandwich or alongside it:

  • homemade crispy french fried onion ring strings
  • buttermilk dipped onion rings
  • homemade twice-fried french fries
  • homemade crispy potato chips
  • crispy delicious fried bacon or speck di Asiago
  • cilantro leaves
  • homemade pickles 
  • homemade pickled smoky red onions
  • homemade or storebought pickled jalapenõs

Garlic-Ginger Shaved Beef Sandwich tips + tricks + FAQ’s

  • What is shaved beef or shaved steak? Shaved beef is typically paper-thin cuts of beef from either the top round or bottom round (shaved beef) or from ribeye, NY strips, etc. (shaved steak).  Shaved beef is often sold as “sandwich steak” or under one of the names of the dishes that it’s used for in various different and delicious cuisines and can include any/all of the below depending on what area of the country you’re in or what kind of market:
    • “beef for braciole” or “carpaccio” (Italian specialty stores/butchers)
    • “rouladen,” beef rolled around bacon, pickles, and onion (German butchers)
    • “bulgogi,” for barbecue (Korean markets)
    • “sukiyaki-style” or “shabu-shabu” (Japenese markets)
    • “fatty beef” or “beef for hot pot” (Chinese markets)
    • “pho” (Vietnamese markets)
  • Is shaved steak or shaved beef tender?  Yes, shaved steak and even shaved top round or bottom round are all tender when sliced across the grain making this a perfect choice of beef to cook for people who may be intimidated by a thicker cut (or more expensive) steak. 
  • If I overcook shaved steak or shaved beef will it still be tender? Yes, even if you overcook shaved beef, it should still be nice and tender-tender! No matter what cut of beef is used, even the tougher cuts will render a tender cooked beef because of how the meat is sliced across the grain.  It cooks in 2-3 minutes and even if you cook it longer than that, it should still be good as long as it’s seasoned well. 
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one half (open-faced style) of the garlic ginger shaved beef sandwich with cornabel tomato and 3 baby cucumbers on top looking like you'd want to eat it even without the other piece of bread

Garlic-Ginger Shaved Beef Steak Sandwich

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  • Author: Kelly
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Diet: Low Calorie


This is the perfect quick and delicious summer sandwich to make!  In less than 10 minutes you can have, thin slices of shaved lean Italian beef pan-seared in olive oil with garlic and ginger, topped with caramelized purple and orange carrot ribbons, a slice of the sweetest Cornabel tomato, and crunchy baby cucumbers (both fresh from the container garden) right on your plate!  This sandwich is SO good! Feel free to switch out the bread for a Pita or tortilla wrap (to make it extra portable for the beach, poolside, or picnic). 


Units Scale
  • 8 ounces (6-8 slices) of shaved lean beef (225g)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (plus more for drizzling over tomatoes)
  • 2 carrots (purple, orange or white or a combination), shaved into ribbons
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1-inch piece of fresh ginger roughly chopped (or more to taste)
  • 1 ripe sweet tomato (like Cornabel San Marzano)
  • 1 small cucumber (crispy garden-fresh or Persian cucumber)
  • salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 4 slices of whole wheat bread (or preferred bread or wrap)


  1. Prepare the tomatoes. Slice the tomato into thin slices, season with sea salt and drizzle with olive oil and set aside on a platter to rest and release their juices. 
  2. Infuse the oil and cook the beef. Preheat a cast-iron skillet to medium-high heat and drizzle the olive oil into the hot pan and add the garlic and ginger, cook until the oil is fragrant and the ginger and garlic have browned, but are not burned. Add the beef slices in a single layer on top of the garlic and ginger (do not overcrowd the pan), season with salt and pepper, and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through and the bottoms are just golden brown. Remove beef to a platter to rest. 
  3. Cook the carrot ribbons. Immediately add the carrot ribbons to the same skillet and season with salt to taste.  Cook the carrots until they are tender and have caramelized and remove to a platter and discard the ginger and garlic. 
  4. Assemble the sandwich. Layer the shaved beef onto a piece of whole wheat bread, add carrot ribbons, sliced tomatoes, and freshly sliced cucumbers, drizzle any juices and oil from the resting tomatoes and beef on top and add another slice of bread.  Cut the sandwich in half and Enjoy! 


  • The beef cooks within a few short minutes, so for the best flavor and sear, ensure both the skillet and the oil are hot before putting the steak in the pan.  
  • Do not overcrowd the pan with the steak or you will steam the meat instead of searing it (but it’ll still taste great no matter what, so don’t stress if you’re fairly new to cooking or pan-searing). 
  • Shave ribbons into thin strips using your vegetable peeler. The carrots cook in just a few short minutes, so be sure not to leave them unattended so they don’t burn.  Shaved carrot ribbons are thin and therefore cook very quickly.
  • Be sure to use all of the olive oil and any cooking juices that accumulate on the platter with the beef and sliced tomatoes as they rest.  This stuff is culinary gold! Be sure to drizzle each sandwich with the “juices” before putting on the last piece of bread and slicing.  Or you can use the sandwich to sop up all of these juices. 
  • You can easily double the meat in this recipe if you want to make an even meatier sandwich.
  • Please use beef raised on sustainable farms as much or as often as you’re able to. And if you’re against the use of beef altogether, use shaved chicken or pork cutlets instead. 
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Sandwiches + Panini + Wraps
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Asian inspired


  • Serving Size: 1 sandwich
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