Spicy Berbere Steak Sandwich Recipe
Spicy Berbere Steak Sandwich
Flavors of Ethiopia
Total time: 30 to 60 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Difficulty: Easy
Chef's Note

Recipe created by Ashley Seely (New-Brunswick), for Ace Bakery to showcase their breads. 

For 4 sandwiches

- 1 Tbsp. (15 mL) Berbere spice mix (store-bought or homemade recipe below)
- 2 cups (480 mL) plain Balkan yogurt (not low fat)
- 1/3 cup (80 mL) unsalted butter
- 1 Tbsp. (15 mL) fresh garlic
- 2 tsp. (10 mL) fresh ginger
- 2 yellow onions, minced
- 1.5 lbs. (750 g) sirloin steak
- 1½ Tbsp. (22.5 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 8 slices ACE Bakery Sourdough Oval

Lemon Vinaigrette Salad
- ¼ head iceberg lettuce, shredded
- 8 slices tomato, cut in half
- ¼ English cucumber, sliced
- 2 ½ Tbsp. (37.5 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. (15 mL) olive oil
- salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Ehiopian cheese

  1. Bring the yogurt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Boil for 4 or 5 minutes or until the curds have separated from the whey.
  2. Line a sieve with cheesecloth or a clean tea towel and carefully strain the yogurt over a bowl, gathering up the edges of the cheesecloth and squeezing out the excess liquid. This is an Ethiopian style cheese called Ayib and it is a firm, tangy cheese with the texture of dry cottage cheese.


  1. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger, onions, salt and 1 Tbsp. of Berbere Spice Mix. Cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are very soft and golden brown, for about 25 to 30 minutes.
  2. While the onions are cooking, slice the steak across the grain into ¼-inch (6-mm) strips.
  3. Heat a grill pan over medium heat and cook the steak to desired doneness. Add the steak and the lemon juice to the spiced onion mixture, stirring to coat evenly and keep warm. Season with a little salt if desired.

For the Lemon Vinaigrette Salad

  1. Toss together the shredded iceberg lettuce, the tomato and cucumber slices, with the lemon juice and the olive oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper if desired.


  1. Place 4 slices of bread on a cutting board and divide the meat among the bases.
  2. Top with Lemon Vinaigrette Salad, a few crumbles of the fresh cheese, and the top slice of sourdough.
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