A Thai-Inspired Surf and Turf Taco Tuesday Meal

Memorable entertaining doesn’t have to be hard. All you need are the right pieces: colorful and flavorful food, variety of fresh, local ingredients to accommodate food allergies, amazing red and white wines, and of course, guests.

My recipe for a no-stress party or fun mid-week meal? It’s simple: a shrimp stir fry with La Crema Monterey Pinot Gris and spicy beef salad with La Crema Monterey Pinot Noir offered as Asian “tacos” or lettuce wraps. Guaranteed crowd pleasers.

Thai-inspired surf-and-turf tacos are perfect for shaking things up a little. They are unexpected. Successful meals begin with the eyes and the nose and these tacos excite both senses.

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Table with Thai-Inspired Surf-and-Turf Ingredients and La Crema Monterey Pinot Noir and La Crema Monterey Pinot Gris

Give yourself a break from your duties as a hostess or host. Put out Thai-inspired surf-and-turf ingredients with your La Crema Monterey Pinot Noir and La Crema Monterey Pinot Gris and let your guests serve themselves.

To beckon family and friends to the dinner table, I love putting out buffets with bowls full of inviting ingredients. Buffet serving also eliminates the hassle of remembering who is allergic to what by keeping allergens separate. Everyone is free to pick and choose from among their favorite bites. This is also a great strategy when some guests prefer spice and others enjoy milder fare (be sure to label!).

Guests customize their Thai Surf and Turf Tacos

Offering toppings individually allows picky eaters to select ingredients they want to eat. Perfect for accommodating food allergies.

I love how guests linger over the table watching how others are assembling their tacos and often debating the merits of sea over land or vice versa. My preference? Both of course! With two great wines from La Crema the only choice you need to make is which lettuce wrap and wine pairing to have first. (I typically start with the shrimp and La Crema Monterey Pinot Gris and then finish with the beef and La Crema Monterey Pinot Noir).

Thai Spicy Beef Salad Ingredients

For the perfect pairing with La Crema Monterey Pinot Noir, marinate flank or skirt steak for at least an hour before broiling. This gives the meat a hint of sweetness that with the unctuousness of the fish sauce complements the wine perfectly.

Colorful and Healthy Ingredients to Pair with Shrimp

Take your favorite Thai stir fry and omit the broth to create a flavorful topping for your next Taco Tuesday.

Thai Surf-and-Turf Lettuce Wraps

Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Thai
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6


  • 3 Tablespoons Canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Fish Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
  • 1.5 to 2 pounds, Flank or Skirt steak, 3/4 to an inch thick
  • 3 Tablespoons Canola oil, divided
  • 1 medium Onion, thinly sliced
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons Tom Yum soup paste. Thai chili paste, or Red curry paste, divided
  • 2 to 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 4 medium Carrots, julienned
  • 2 medium Zucchini, julienned
  • 2 pounds Shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup Lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 4 to 6 medium Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 medium cucumber, diced
  • 2 to 3 heads, Butter Leaf or Iceberg lettuce, washed and separated into individual leaves


  1. In a freezer bag, combine first six ingredients. Add steak. Seal freezer bag and shake until well coated. Place in refrigerator for at least an hour to marinate.
  2. Heat a large skillet or everyday pan over medium heat. When the pan is warm, add 1 Tablespoon of oil.
  3. When the oil is warm (starts to shimmer), add thinly sliced onions and sauté until transparent, about five to eight minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. Position the top rack in your oven about three inches from the top element and preheat your oven on broil or 500 degrees. Remove your steak from the refrigerator and bring up to room temperature.
  5. Rewarm the large skillet or everyday pan, and add another Tablespoon of oil when warm.
  6. When the oil is warm (starts to shimmer), add 1 Tablespoon Tom Yum soup paste or red curry paste and garlic.
  7. When you can smell the garlic, add the carrots.
  8. When the carrots are slightly tender, add the zucchini.
  9. When the zucchini is tender, remove from the heat and set aside.
  10. Place your broiler pan in the oven and preheat. The hot pan will help you get good searing on the surface of the steak.
  11. After five to six minutes, flip the steak so that it cooks evenly.
  12. After another three to four minutes, check the steak for doneness and pull from the oven. For an 3/4 inch thick steak, the meat should be medium rare. For an inch thick steak, cook for another two to three minutes (five to six total) for medium rare.
  13. Let the steak cool slightly.
  14. Rewarm the large skillet or everyday pan, and add another Tablespoon of oil when warm.
  15. When the oil is warm (starts to shimmer), add half of the remaining Tom Yum soup paste or red curry paste and garlic.
  16. Saute the shrimp in batches. Let first side cook partially and then add between a Tablespoon to two Tablespoons of lime juice to your pan.
  17. Flip the shrimp and cook the remaining side. When shrimp turns pink remove from the heat immediately.
  18. Continue until all shrimp has been cooked.
  19. When rested, slice the steak across the grain in 1/4 inch pieces.
  20. Plate and serve immediately.
Arrange ingredients in bowls and let guests serve themselves

Arrange ingredients in bowls on a table or counter and let guests make up their own lettuce cups.

Keep spice on common toppings neutral

Lightly season ingredients that go with both surf and turf lettuce cups with salt and pepper to taste. This way the flavors won’t contrast with your guests choice of wine.

Thai Spicy Beef Salad Reimagined as a Lettuce Wrap

Offer guests either butter leaf or iceberg lettuce to wrap their ingredients.

If you have vegetarians, saute some sliced portobello mushrooms with soy sauce, salt, and garlic powder for your main ingredient. Also, for your sauteed zucchini and carrots, chose a vegetarian Tom Yum soup paste or red curry paste, such as one from Thai Kitchen or Maesri. Be sure to label any vegetables you saute with fish sauce or use a 1:1 mixture of thin soy sauce and mushroom sauce instead.

Reduce the liquid in your stir fry for less mess

Keep things neat by omitting the broth from your stir-fry for an easy to eat bite.

Thai Salads are the Perfect Choice for a Thai-Inspired Taco Tuesday

By selecting items that taste delicious hot or cold, you can put out a buffet that guests can nosh on at their convenience. Perfect for those days when you’d rather be watching the game than in the kitchen serving up food.