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!

My family loves Chinese food, and I’ve learned how to recreate some of our favorite restaurant classics such as shrimp fried rice, kung pao chicken and this tender and flavorful Mongolian beef. Offer some pan fried noodles on the side for a memorable meal!

A pan of Mongolian beef with tongs in it.

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.

Mongolian beef ingredients

To make this recipe you will need flank steak, cornstarch, vegetable oil, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce, water, brown sugar, green onions, salt and pepper.

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.

Thinly sliced steak coated in cornstarch.

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. Be sure to slice it against the grain for the most tender beef.
  • 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 beef strips in a single layer in batches so that it all ends up browned and delicious. Use a very large pan, or a wok if you have one.
  • If you prefer a spicy dish, you can add up to 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes, or sriracha sauce to taste.
  • Leftovers will stay fresh in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Mongolian beef 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.

Seared crispy flank steak pieces.

recipe faqs

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.

What is Mongolian beef sauce made of?

Mongolian beef sauce is made with soy sauce and brown sugar, along with other flavorings such as garlic and ginger.

What is the difference between Mongolian beef and Kung Pao beef?

Mongolian beef and Kung Pao beef both feature thinly sliced steak cooked in sauce. Mongolian beef tends to be sweeter than Kung Pao beef. Kung Pao beef also contains extra ingredients, such as peanuts, bell peppers, chili peppers and onions.

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A pan full of Mongolian beef with green onions.

flavor variations

While this recipe is fabulous as-is, you can customize the flavors to suit your tastes.

  • Protein: No flank steak on hand? You can also use skirt steak, sirloin or New York strip. This recipe also works with thinly sliced chicken breast.
  • Vegetables: You can stir fry some veggies in the pan after you’ve cooked your beef to add to the finished dish. Some great options include broccoli, zucchini or green beans.
  • Flavorings: You can add other ingredients to the sauce such as sriracha, hoisin sauce, a dash of rice vinegar for a tangy flavor, or chili oil.
  • Toppings: Feel free to top your beef with garnishes such as sesame seeds or crispy noodles.
A bowl of mongolian beef over rice.

This Mongolian beef tastes like something you’d order at your favorite Chinese takeout 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

4.92 from 67 votes

Mongolian Beef

AuthorSara Welch
A pan of Mongolian beef with tongs in it.
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!
Time
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine Asian
Serves 4

Ingredients 

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

  1. 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. Be sure to slice it against the grain for the most tender beef.
  2. 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 beef strips in a single layer in batches so that it all ends up browned and delicious. Use a very large pan, or a wok if you have one.

Nutrition

Calories: 376kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 1400mg | Potassium: 615mg | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 125IU | Vitamin C: 2.3mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 3.3mg

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    AMAZING!!! I made it for 8 servings for leftovers as well, my family loved it, and said it was in the top 5 recipes I have made. I didn’t add any extra salt and used low-salt soy sauce and it was perfect. So good and swear it was better than takeout.

  2. 5 stars
    I have tried many of your recipes, and am never disappointed. I’ve never ever left a review for any recipe (shame on me) but this recipe was so over-the-top enjoyed by my whole family (including a picky teen and a college-age chinese-food-aholic) that I had to write in. Thanks for the recipe! I followed it to a tee and added sriracha to the sauce to spice it up. YUM!!

  3. 5 stars
    I made this last night and I must say – it was fantastic! I have another recipe for PF Chang’s Mongolian Beef that you make in a skillet and this way easier and better. I looked for Mongolian beef specifically for the slow cooker as it was a busy weekday.

    I didn’t even use a great cut of beef – it was top round cut up for stir fry, but it only cooked on low for about 4-5 hours and it was super tender and the sauce was incredibly silky in texture! I guess that was from tossing the cornstarch into the meat.

    The only thing I did differently was to add a bit of crushed red pepper to for just a little heat. My husband absolutely loved it and this recipe will definitely be added into a regular rotation! Thanks!

  4. 4 stars
    Made this tonight. It was easy to make & tasty however I may cut back on the ginger the next time (just don’t tolerate it well). The hubby thought it was good too. Thanks for posting the recipe!!

  5. 5 stars
    We have been making this recipe for probably over a year now. It’s so good!! I usually use a bit more cornstarch tho, because the sauce is never as thick as I want. We mix in cooked broccoli with the meat at the end (and we always use venison. It works with all types of cuts from small roasts to back strap!) and serve over rice.

    1. Sorry if this sounds ignorant , but if I use a minute roast do I cook the roast first or do I thinly slice it while raw and then put it in the pan?

  6. 5 stars
    I’ve made this with steak, tofu (prepared the same way) and now trying salmon tonight. This recipe has become a staple in my house. Better than takeout and east to customize! We add chili oil for heat and whatever veggies we have on hand (green beans are my favorite addition).

  7. 5 stars
    Made this tonight and it was amazing! I did add broccoli and red pepper flakes. Will definitely make this again.

  8. 5 stars
    This was perfect to make since I had all the ingredients laying around the house. It was tasty but next time I might have to double the batch. 4 servings ended up being enough for 2 unless you eat it with vegetables and actually portion size? Lol.

  9. 5 stars
    I sauteed some shiitake mushrooms, 1/2 of diced vidalia onion, and a cup of chopped broccoli. I also whisked all of the sauce ingredients, replacing the water with low sodium beef broth, including a TBS of corn starch, then added it to the cooked beef, onions, mushrooms and broccoli, stirring constantly until it thickened. Served over white rice and sprinkled the green onions on top. It was awesome!

  10. 5 stars
    My whole family loved this Mongolian beef recipe! It was even beter than take out and we will be makign again and again!

  11. 5 stars
    I have everything to make this for Superbowl this weekend except the ginger and off to the Asian market I go thank you for posting this delicious easy recipe

  12. 5 stars
    This recipe was a hit in my household ; everyone enjoyed it! Your steps are easy to follow! Thanks for sharing.😊

  13. 5 stars
    Your photo has me drooling over here. I love the char you got on the flank steak and that sauce just looks heavenly. I can practically taste it through the screen. Definitely want to try this one.

  14. 5 stars
    This was amazing i followed the recipe exactly and it is perfection. My partner wants me to add 1/2 tsp. Of red pepper flake for a little heat i paird it with these garlic pan fried noodles

  15. 5 stars
    This was easy and delicious, I used sirloin instead of flank steak. To me this beat the mongolian beef in restaurants, the flavor of the sauce is spot on!

  16. 5 stars
    With quarantine, it’s hard to find safe, good meals. This is one….just as good as a restaurant would offer!! Added extra veggies, more ginger and a de-seeded serano pepper..

  17. 5 stars
    I made this tonight and it was perfect!! Easy to do and tasty too. Thanks, Used to use my slow cooker but not needed with New York Strip steaks,