Let’s learn how to make a fan favorite Chinese takeaway at home and even better! Mongolian Beef takes 15 minutes to make and its always a hit with everyone.
What Is Mongolian Beef?
If you’ve never had Mongolian Beef, it’s tenderized crispy pieces of steak and green onions coated in a slightly sweet and savory sauce made up of soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, and garlic.
Contrary to the name, Mongolian Beef supposedly originated from Taiwan not Mongolia. It’s commonly found on menus in American Chinese restaurants.
How to Make Mongolian Beef
The process is super simple and takes about 15 minutes from cooking to plating!
1. Thinly slice flank steak against the grain and coat the strips in cornstarch along with a sprinkle of black pepper.
2. Heat the oil in a wok over high heat. Make sure the wok is very hot as well as the oil. Add the steak, making sure not to overcrowd them. Fry in batches as needed. Only fry for about 1 minute until golden and crispy. Flip over and fry the other side for 1 minute and take out of the wok.
3. Leave about 1 tablespoon of oil left in the wok and drain the rest. Add the garlic, ginger, water, soy sauce, brown sugar, chili paste, and dried chilis if using. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Add in the cornstarch slurry to thicken it up which is equal parts cornstarch and water.
5. Add the fried steak back in along with the scallions and toss quickly just until the sauce thickly coats the steak.
6. Serve warm with rice and enjoy!
Do I Need a Wok to Make This?
A wok is a great kitchen tool to have especially if you love stir-fry. It can get really hot which speeds up the cooking process. Its unique round dome shape allows for heat to be trapped in the center for that perfect sizzle when the food hits the pan. The wok also imparts a subtle distinct flavor that just doesn’t come out in a regular pan.
However, no worries if you are not able to get your hands on a wok. Just use an iron skillet as your next best option. If you don’t have that either, it will still be delicious using a saute pan.
Tips & Notes
- If you don’t have low sodium soy sauce, just combine 5 tablespoons regular soy sauce with 3 tablespoons water and now you have 1/2 cup of low sodium soy sauce.
- Fry the steak in small batches, making sure they’re not overcrowded, for best crispy results.
- The chili paste is completely optional but I highly recommend adding it. It does not make the dish spicy. It just adds a nice tang to balance the sweetness. This is the brand I like using.
What to Serve It With
My favorite way to enjoy Mongolian Beef is with some steamed rice and broccoli! Here are some other dishes you can enjoy with it or similar cuisines for a larger dinner spread:
- Fried Rice
- Chow Mein
- Panda Express Orange Chicken Takeout
- Crab Rangoons
- Honey Walnut Shrimp
- Bang Bang Shrimp
- 1 pound flank steak (sliced thin against the grain)
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger (minced)
- 2 teaspoons fresh garlic (minced)
- 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar or light
- 1/2 tablespoon chili paste
- 7 to 8 dry red chilis (optional)
- 4 scallions (diagonally cut into long strips)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch + 1 tablespoon warm water (mixed together)
- Coat sliced steak in cornstarch and black pepper.
- Heat wok over high heat and add the vegetable oil. Once the oil is very hot, fry the steak in batches making sure not to overcrowd them. Fry on one side for 1 minute and then flip over and fry the other side for 1 more minute. It should be golden and crispy.
- Remove the steak from the wok and leave behind 1 tablespoon of oil in the wok. Drain the rest out.
- Add the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, water, brown sugar, and chili paste. Mix together and then add the dried chilis. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cornstarch slurry and simmer for 1 more minute or until the sauce has thickened.
- Toss back in the steak along with the scallions and mix until the sauce thickly coats the steak.
- Serve warm!