This Mongolian Beef recipe combines thinly sliced and fried Beef with a deliciously sweet soy- based sauce. It’s sure to be a family favorite!
This post is a collaboration with Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner. on behalf of the Beef Checkoff. I received compensation, but all opinions are my own.
What Is Mongolian Beef?
Mongolian Beef is a stir-fried savory meat dish consisting of thinly sliced Beef, green onions, and (occasionally) other mixed vegetables. The Beef and veggies are covered in a brown sugar and soy-based thick sauce popular in Asian-American cuisine. Mongolian Beef is usually not spicy when compared to other popular Chinese-American dishes. Instead, it has a delightful sweet taste.
Despite the word “Mongolian” in it’s name, Mongolian Beef is actually not Mongolian at all. The dish is thought to have originated in Taiwan at Mongolian barbecue restaurants (which also actually do not make authentic Mongolian cuisine). Despite this, the popularity of Mongolian Beef has soured all across the globe, especially in Chinese-American restaurants.
How To Make Mongolian Beef
Let’s be honest — the craving for Asian-American food strikes everyone more often than we realize. The next time you have the craving, know that this Mongolian Beef takes only 10 minutes of prep time and 15 minutes of cook time — that’s quicker than getting Chinese takeout!
- Slice the Beef: Slice the Beef against the grain into 1/8 inch thick slices.
- Make the sauce: In a small bowl, combine the low sodium soy sauce, water, and brown sugar.
- Fry the Beef: Coat the Beef with cornstarch. Preheat a skillet or pan with oil, then sear the Beef in small batches (avoid overcrowding). Remove and set aside.
- Drop in the spices: Add garlic and ginger to the pan, then cook for about a minute.
- Pour in the sauce: Pour the sauce into the pan and simmer.
- Add the Beef: Return the Beef to the pan, toss with the sauce, and allow it to simmer for a few minutes. Garnish with green onions and enjoy!
Hot tip: For a kick of heat, add red pepper flakes to the sauce!
Tips From The Kitchen
If you’re a seasoned cook of Asian-American entreés, you likely know all the tips and tricks to make an absolutely delicious dish! If not, we’ve got you covered nevertheless! Follow these tips to make sure the Beef in this easy Mongolian Beef recipe turns out tender and exceptionally tasty.
- Opt for a quick-cooking Beef cut: Sirloin Steak or Flank Steak are the best cuts of Beef to use for this recipe. More expensive tender cuts are great too; however, stay away from ultra-tough cuts like stew meat.
- Freeze the Beef briefly prior to slicing: Freeze the Beef for about 15-20 minutes to make it easier to cut into thin slices.
- Slice the Beef thinly, uniformly, and against the grain: For more tender, flavorful, and less chewy bites, slice the Beef against the grain into even, thin strips.
- Avoid overcrowding the pan: As much as is possible, avoid overcrowding the pan to ensure the Beef cooks evenly. A large wok or large pan is great for this recipe. If needed, cook in small batches.
- Use fresh spices: Freshly minced garlic and ginger are vital for the best flavor.
- Add in more ingredients (optional): Mongolian Beef typically doesn’t include vegetables, but feel free to add more of your favorite stir-fry veggies like sliced red bell peppers, broccoli, onions, or scallions.
- Splash in rice vinegar (optional): For a bright, acidic tang, add in a small splash of rice vinegar to the sauce.
- Garnish: Garnish your dish with toasted sesame seeds or sliced green onions for fresh flavor and texture.
Serving Mongolian Beef
When you’re thinking of what to serve Mongolian Beef with, visualize what other items may be on a Chinese restaurant menu. The number one go-to is a bed of rice, spicy chili noodles, or veggie lo mein. Or, serve the Beef with a few veggie sides like roasted broccolini, air fryer brussels sprouts, or oven roasted carrots and parsnips.
Storing & Reheating
Mongolian Beef is a great entreé to make ahead of time and use for meal prep the next day or throughout the week! Follow these storage and reheating tips for the best tasting leftovers each time.
- Refrigerator: To store for up to four days, place cooled Beef into an airtight container.
- Freezer: To store for up to four months, freeze the Beef in single portions in freezer-safe containers. For best results, thaw overnight.
- Reheating: Reheat refrigerated Beef in the microwave or in the oven until warmed through. Place the Beef in a casserole dish and heat at 300°F for 10 minutes or until warmed through.
Hot tip: When reheating, add a splash of water or broth to the dish to prevent the Beef from drying out.
Is Mongolian Beef healthy?
Mongolian Beef packs a good serving of protein, which is great for a balanced diet. The dish can also be altered to include more veggies, making it even healthier.
What is the difference between Kung Pao Beef, Beijing Beef, and Mongolian Beef?
Kung Pao is made with a spicier (and sweeter) sauce compared to Mongolian Beef, which is mainly just sweet. Kung Pao also usually contains peanuts, peppers, and onions. Beijing Beef is similar to Mongolian Beef but tends to be sweeter and is usually made with stir fried veggies.
Why is the steak in my Mongolian Beef chewy?
Beef may be chewy if it was cut parallel to the grain. To avoid this, cut the Beef across the muscle fibers. Also, make sure to slice the steak thinly.
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- Slice Beef into 1/8 inch thick slices, against the grain.
- Combine together soy sauce, water and brown sugar in a bowl.
- Coat Beef with corn starch. Meanwhile, preheat a pan with oil. Cook beef in small batches without crowding a pan. Remove and set aside.
- Add garlic and ginger to the same pan, cook for about a minute.
- Add sauce ingredients to the the pan, simmer for a minute.
- Add Beef back into to the sauce and let it all simmer for a few minutes. Garnish with green onions and enjoy!