Mongolian Beef: One of Our Most Popular Recipes! - The Woks of Life (2024)

Our Mongolian Beef recipe became one of the most popular Woks of Life recipes after we first published it in July 2015, and for good reason!

The Origins of Mongolian Beef

But first. What exactly are the origins of Mongolian Beef? Because it’s definitely not Mongolian…

In fact, in Mongolia, more often than not, home cooks simply boil meat and dip it in sauces. Not exactly a stir-fry.

Everything is served with Bai Jiu, a stiff, white lightning liquor made of sorghum (usually 90 proof or higher!) very popular in China.

(A friend of mine who visits his Mongolian in-laws almost always ends up drunk and horizontal on the couch after the traditional welcome-home dinner!)

As for the true origins of Mongolian beef, my theory is that someone just forgot to add the orange toa wok full ofOrange Beef, and added more sugar instead. Hence, the Mongolian Beef recipe was born. (But, as Judy and the girls would say, that’s just my crazy theory/the ramblings of anold coot!)

Anyway, chalk it up to Chinese-American menu planners and marketers who dubbed the dish “Mongolian Beef.”

It’s a close cousin to “Singapore Noodles,” a dish that many actual Singaporeans scratch their heads over––most likely born in the stainless steel kitchen of a Chinese takeout joint!

The Woks of Life Mongolian Beef Recipe

Now that we have that clear, it doesn’t take a genius to know that despite their somewhat misleading names, these Westernized Asian dishes can be GOOD!

P.F. Chang’s version of this dish is probably the most well-known, but, personally, I think their dish is way too sweet, and it’s definitely too sweet for Judy (which is saying something, since she comes from Shanghai, where sweet-savory dishes are often the main event).

In fact, when Judy found out I was going to make a Mongolian beef recipe, the exclamations were strong and immediate: “Too sweet! Too oily! No good! You’re crazy!”

So, I adjusted.

  • Cut the sugar–wayyy down.
  • Reduce the amount of oil used–wayyy down.

And after the photographs were taken, the Mongolian beef on the plate disappeared before all of our eyes once the rice was served. Amidst the feeding frenzy were these comments, muffled by mouthfuls:

  • Sarah: “Holy crap, that’s tasty!”
  • Kaitlin: “Daaang, gimme more of that rice!”
  • Judy: “WOW. That is SO good!”
  • My humble remark: “Ok, you guys were hungry.”
Mongolian Beef: One of Our Most Popular Recipes! - The Woks of Life (1)

If you would rather have some chicken, then check out our popular Mongolian Chicken recipe!

Note:

This recipe was originally published in 2015. We have since updated it with high-res photos, metric measurements, nutrition information, an instructional VIDEO, and minor adjustments to the recipe for both clarity and convenience. (e.g. the original recipe was for 8 ounces of beef; we have increased it to 1 pound.) Enjoy!

Mongolian Beef Recipe: Instructions

Combine the sliced beef with the marinade ingredients (the neutral oil, Shaoxing wine, light soy sauce, cornstarch, water, and baking soda. Marinate for 1 hour. The beef should still be quite moist after it has marinated. If it looks too dry, add a tablespoon of water to it.

In a small bowl, mix the sauce. Dissolve the brown sugar in the hot water or stock, then stir in the light and dark soy sauces.

Next, dredge the marinated beef slices in the cornstarch until thoroughly coated.

Mongolian Beef: One of Our Most Popular Recipes! - The Woks of Life (2)

Heat 2/3 cup neutral oil in a wok over high heat. Just before the oil starts to smoke, spread the flank steak pieces evenly in the wok, and sear for 1 minute on each side, until you have a crispy coating. Turn off the heat and transfer the beef to a plate.

Mongolian Beef: One of Our Most Popular Recipes! - The Woks of Life (3)
Mongolian Beef: One of Our Most Popular Recipes! - The Woks of Life (4)

Drain the oil from the wok (save it for other cooking), leaving 1 tablespoon behind. Turn the heat to medium-high. Add the ginger and dried chili peppers, if using. If you want the dish spicier, break 1-2 chilies in half.

Mongolian Beef: One of Our Most Popular Recipes! - The Woks of Life (5)

After about 15 seconds, add the garlic and white parts of the scallions. Stir for another 15 seconds and add the premixed sauce.

Mongolian Beef: One of Our Most Popular Recipes! - The Woks of Life (6)

Let the sauce simmer for about 2 minutes, and slowly stir in the cornstarch slurry mixture. Cook until the sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Add the beef and green parts of the scallions, and toss everything together for another 30 seconds. The scallions should just be wilted, and there should be almost no liquid, as the sauce should be clinging to the beef.

Mongolian Beef: One of Our Most Popular Recipes! - The Woks of Life (7)

If you still have sauce, increase the heat slightly and stir until thickened.

Plate and serve with hot steamed rice!

Mongolian Beef: One of Our Most Popular Recipes! - The Woks of Life (8)
Mongolian Beef: One of Our Most Popular Recipes! - The Woks of Life (9)

Looking for more authentic recipes? Subscribe to our email list and be sure to follow us on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube!

4.90 from 413 votes

Mongolian Beef

This Mongolian Beef Recipe is a crispy homemade version that's less sweet and more flavorful than restaurant versions you're probably used to. It's one of our top recipes for a reason!

by: Bill

Course:Beef recipes

Cuisine:Chinese

Mongolian Beef: One of Our Most Popular Recipes! - The Woks of Life (10)

serves: 4

Prep: 35 minutes minutes

Cook: 10 minutes minutes

Total: 45 minutes minutes

Print

Rate

Ingredients

For marinating the beef:

  • 1 pound flank steak (sliced against the grain into 1/4-inch/6mm thick slices)
  • 2 teaspoons neutral oil (such as vegetable, canola, or avocado oil)
  • 2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine (or dry cooking sherry, optional)
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

For the sauce:

  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup hot water (or hot low sodium chicken or beef stock)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce (optional)

For coating and searing the beef:

  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 2/3 cup neutral oil

For the rest of the dish:

  • 1 teaspoon ginger (minced)
  • 8 dried red chili peppers (optional)
  • 3 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 4 scallions (white and green parts separated, cut on the diagonal into 2-inch/5cm pieces)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch (mixed with 2 tablespoons/30ml water to make a slurry)

US CustomaryMetric

Instructions

  • Combine the sliced beef with the marinade ingredients (the neutral oil, Shaoxing wine, light soy sauce, cornstarch, water, and baking soda. Marinate for 1 hour. The beef should still be quite moist after it has marinated. If it looks too dry, add a tablespoon of water to it.

  • In a small bowl, mix the sauce. Dissolve the brown sugar in the hot water or stock, then stir in the light and dark soy sauces.

  • Next, dredge the marinated beef slices in the cornstarch until thoroughly coated.

  • Heat 2/3 cup neutral oil in a wok over high heat. Just before the oil starts to smoke, spread the flank steak pieces evenly in the wok, and sear for 1 minute on each side, until you have a crispy coating. Turn off the heat and transfer the beef to a plate.

  • Drain the oil from the wok (save it for other cooking), leaving 1 tablespoon behind. Turn the heat to medium-high. Add the ginger and dried chili peppers, if using. If you want the dish spicier, break 1-2 chilies in half. After about 15 seconds, add the garlic and white parts of the scallions. Stir for another 15 seconds and add the premixed sauce.

  • Let the sauce simmer for about 2 minutes, and slowly stir in the cornstarch slurry mixture. Cook until the sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.

  • Add the beef and green parts of the scallions, and toss everything together for another 30 seconds. The scallions should just be wilted, and there should be almost no liquid, as the sauce should be clinging to the beef. If you still have sauce, increase the heat slightly and stir until thickened. Plate and serve with steamed rice!

nutrition facts

Calories: 383kcal (19%) Carbohydrates: 31g (10%) Protein: 26g (52%) Fat: 16g (25%) Saturated Fat: 3g (15%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g Monounsaturated Fat: 9g Trans Fat: 0.04g Cholesterol: 68mg (23%) Sodium: 960mg (40%) Potassium: 504mg (14%) Fiber: 1g (4%) Sugar: 14g (16%) Vitamin A: 385IU (8%) Vitamin C: 3mg (4%) Calcium: 53mg (5%) Iron: 3mg (17%)

nutritional info disclaimer

TheWoksofLife.com is written and produced for informational purposes only. While we do our best to provide nutritional information as a general guideline to our readers, we are not certified nutritionists, and the values provided should be considered estimates. Factors such as brands purchased, natural variations in fresh ingredients, etc. will change the nutritional information in any recipe. Various online calculators also provide different results, depending on their sources. To obtain accurate nutritional information for a recipe, use your preferred nutrition calculator to determine nutritional information with the actual ingredients and quantities used.

Did You Make This?Tag us on Instagram @thewoksoflife, subscribe to our email list, and be sure to follow us on social for more recipes!

@thewoksoflife

Mongolian Beef: One of Our Most Popular Recipes! - The Woks of Life (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Merrill Bechtelar CPA

Last Updated:

Views: 6490

Rating: 5 / 5 (70 voted)

Reviews: 93% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Merrill Bechtelar CPA

Birthday: 1996-05-19

Address: Apt. 114 873 White Lodge, Libbyfurt, CA 93006

Phone: +5983010455207

Job: Legacy Representative

Hobby: Blacksmithing, Urban exploration, Sudoku, Slacklining, Creative writing, Community, Letterboxing

Introduction: My name is Merrill Bechtelar CPA, I am a clean, agreeable, glorious, magnificent, witty, enchanting, comfortable person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.