This Mongolian beef recipe is thinly sliced steak that’s seared until crispy, then coated in a sweet and savory sauce. A take out favorite that’s super easy to make at home!
I’ve got a LOT of make your own take out recipes on this site – chow mein, moo shu chicken, kung pao shrimp, moo goo gai pan and many more! It’s time to add another one to the collection and therefore I present you with this super flavorful Mongolian beef. It’s both sweet and savory with that crispy beef like you’d get at a restaurant. Best of all, it’s ready in under 30 minutes.
How Do You Make Mongolian Beef?
This recipe starts with flank steak, which is thinly sliced then tossed in a little cornstarch. The meat is seared in a hot pan until a crispy coating is formed. While the meat is cooking, it’s time to make the sauce which consists of soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger and brown sugar. The steak is tossed in the sauce along with a handful of green onions, then you’re ready to eat.
Tips for the perfect stir fry
- Flank steak is easiest to slice thin when it’s partially frozen. Place your meat in the freezer about 30 minutes before you plan to use it.
- You want the meat to sear and not steam, so you’ll need to avoid adding too much meat at once to the pan. I cook my steak in a single layer in batches so that it all ends up browned and delicious.
- No flank steak on hand? You can also use skirt steak, sirloin or New York strip.
- If you prefer a spicy dish, you can add up to 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes, or sriracha sauce to taste.
- While this dish is traditionally served with just beef and green onions, you can add other vegetables to the mix such as broccoli, carrots, mushrooms or bok choy.
WHY IS IT CALLED MONGOLIAN BEEF?
This dish is named after a stir fried dish called Mongolian barbecue, which originated in Taiwan. None of the ingredients or cooking methods were from traditional Mongolian cuisine. This dish is most often found in Chinese-American restaurants in the United States.
This dish is typically served over steamed white rice. You can also serve your beef over brown rice, fried rice, quinoa or stir fry noodles. Another option is to pile your beef into lettuce or cabbage leaves for a lighter dish. I frequently offer a green vegetable on the side such as asparagus, green beans or broccoli.
This Mongolian beef tastes like something you’d order at your favorite Chinese restaurant, with all the convenience of making it yourself at home. If you love Chinese food, this is a must try!
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Mongolian Beef Video
- 1 1/4 lbs flank steak thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup + 2 teaspoons cornstarch divided use
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup green onions cut into 1 inch pieces
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place the flank steak and 1/4 cup cornstarch in a resealable plastic bag, shake to coat evenly.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan over high heat.
- Add the meat in a single layer and season to taste with salt and pepper (keeping in mind the sauce has plenty of salt in it!). Cook for 3-4 minutes per side or until browned. Cook in multiple batches if needed.
- Remove the meat from the pan and place on a plate lined with paper towels.
- Add the garlic and ginger to the pan and cook for 30 seconds. Add the soy sauce, sesame oil, water and brown sugar to the pan and bring to a simmer.
- Mix the 2 teaspoons of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of cold water. Add the cornstarch to the sauce and bring to a boil; boil for 30-60 seconds until just thickened.
- Add the meat and green onions to the pan and toss to coat with the sauce. Serve over rice if desired.
This post was originally published on October 1, 2017 and was updated on November 18, 2019 with new content.