Easy Mongolian Beef

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Mongolian Beef that’s easy to make in just 30 minutes, crispy, sweet and full of garlic and ginger flavors you love from your favorite Chinese restaurant.

Mongolian Beef that's easy to make in just 30 minutes, crispy, sweet and full of garlic and ginger flavors you love from your favorite Chinese restaurant.

Mongolian Beef is a recipe that I’ve been cooking for clients for many years for a number of reasons. One, people love anything that tastes like Chinese takeout. Two, the sweet flavor of the dark brown sugar mixed with the salty soy sauce and the strong ginger and garlic is incredibly addicting and three you get to enjoy it over a mountain of steamed rice, which if you are anything like me is your happy place. 

Mongolian Beef that's easy to make in just 30 minutes, crispy, sweet and full of garlic and ginger flavors you love from your favorite Chinese restaurant.

This Mongolian Beef is very flavorful and takes just 30 minutes to make from start to finish including all the slicing of the meat! It also uses basic pantry ingredients so don’t worry I am not sending you to the store today for oyster sauce or hoisin sauce. Everything in this recipe is available in every grocery store.

Want to round out your meal with a few more options?

The one thing I want to caution when preparing this dish is how thick you slice the steak. 

Mongolian Beef that's easy to make in just 30 minutes, crispy, sweet and full of garlic and ginger flavors you love from your favorite Chinese restaurant.

If you feel uncomfortable with cutting the steak thinly enough and have an hour or so notice, place the steak in the freezer for one hour. This will freeze it just enough that slicing it will be as easy as slicing a vegetable. The meat will firm up enough that you can slice it even thinner if you’d like.

One more note because I know I am going to get this question in the comments below. Yes, you can use light brown sugar in place of dark brown, and yes you will notice the taste difference. The addition of molasses to the dark brown sugar adds to the depth of flavor in this dish.

So if possible please use dark brown sugar. If you are in a pinch and you only have light brown don’t worry you will still have a very tasty meal. Just promise me the next time you make it you will use dark brown sugar, the flavor difference is noticeable. 

Mongolian Beef that's easy to make in just 30 minutes, crispy, sweet and full of garlic and ginger flavors you love from your favorite Chinese restaurant.

Tools Used in the making of this Easy Mongolian Beef:
Soy Sauce: Nothing much to say here except Kikkoman has the best flavor overall and I always recommend reduced sodium.
Wok: Great for high heat, quick cooking. This wok is a great addition to your kitchen if you love cooking Chinese food or stir fries in general.
Large Frying Pan: I use this Cuisinart for most of my non cast iron cooking unless I am going with a stainless steel option, then I choose my All Clad.

Recipe

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Mongolian Beef

4.91 from 188 votes
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Course: Main
  • Cuisine: Chinese
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder
Mongolian Beef that's easy to make in just 30 minutes, crispy, sweet and full of garlic and ginger flavors you love from your favorite Chinese restaurant.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound flank steak
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger , minced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic , minced
  • 1/3 cup lite soy sauce , low sodium
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 4 stalks scallions , green parts only, cut into 2 inch pieces

Instructions

Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Slice the flank steak against the grain (the grain is the length of the steak) the long way 1/4 inch think pieces and add it to a ziploc bag with the cornstarch.

  2. Press the steak around in the bag making sure each piece is fully coated with cornstarch and leave it to sit.

  3. Add the canola oil to a large frying pan and heat on medium high heat.
  4. Add the steak, shaking off any excess corn starch, to the pan in a single layer and cook on each side for 1 minute.

  5. If you need to cook the steak in batches because your pan isn't big enough do that rather than crowding the pan, you want to get a good sear on the steak and if you crowd the pan your steak with steam instead of sear.
  6. When the steak is done cooking remove it from the pan.
  7. Add the ginger and garlic to the pan and sauté for 10-15 seconds.

  8. Add the soy sauce, water and dark brown sugar to the pan and let it come to a boil.
  9. Add the steak back in and let the sauce thicken for 20-30 seconds.

  10. The cornstarch we used on the steak should thicken the sauce, if you find it isn't thickening enough add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to 1 tablespoon of cold water and stir to dissolve the cornstarch and add it to the pan.
  11. Add the green onions, stir to combine everything, and cook for a final 20-30 seconds.

  12. Serve immediately.

Recipe Video

Nutrition Information

Yield: 4 servings, Amount per serving: 421 calories, Calories: 421g, Carbohydrates: 35g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 68mg, Sodium: 71mg, Potassium: 456mg, Sugar: 26g, Vitamin A: 120g, Vitamin C: 2.9g, Calcium: 59g, Iron: 2.1g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

Keyword: Easy Mongolian Beef
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Mongolian Beef that's easy to make in just 30 minutes, crispy, sweet and full of garlic and ginger flavors you love from your favorite Chinese restaurant.
Mongolian Beef that's easy to make in just 30 minutes, crispy, sweet and full of garlic and ginger flavors you love from your favorite Chinese restaurant.
Mongolian Beef that's easy to make in just 30 minutes, crispy, sweet and full of garlic and ginger flavors you love from your favorite Chinese restaurant.
Mongolian Beef that's easy to make in just 30 minutes, crispy, sweet and full of garlic and ginger flavors you love from your favorite Chinese restaurant.

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Comments

  1. This was good but WAY too sweet for me. I would make again though but i’ll try out cutting the sugar down in half.

  2. Wow Sabrina! Every dish I’ve made from your website has been money money! I’m so glad I found your site. Awesomeness #5STARLEGEND

  3. Easy recipe and taste good. Only change i would make is less sugar for me its too sweet. O didn’t have cornstarch at hand but used wheat flour and it came out good.

  4. I had some beef chuncks but didn’t know what to do with it then I found this one.
    Thats a 10! Amazing flavors.
    The only thing I’ll add is veggies, green beans or broccoli
    Thank you Sabrina!!

  5. I live in Australia and we only have one type of brown sugar! There is no light or dark. Also the only low sodium soy sauce i can find is kikkoman which i think has a different flavour than the chinese varieties. Do you think the kikkoman will be okay?

    1. Hey Lara!
      Another Aussie here. According to the Woolworths app, they sell a 1kg bag of CSR Dark Brown Sugar if you are interested in getting it.
      Jess 🙂

  6. Does this reheat well? Planning on making double the recipe so there is enough to take for lunch . Plan to make this on Saturday and package it up for Monday lunch.

  7. I’m not a very skilled cook, and I definitely made some mistakes, yet it still turned out great
    the only beef I have with it is that the cooking time for the meat wasn’t enough for my taste
    everything else, GREAT

  8. TERRIBLE. There usually isn’t any breading of any sort in mongolion beef, and because of the cornstartch, it just ends up soaking up all the sauce. Looks nothing like the photo either. Followed recipe to a “T” and ended up with mush. It was like eating soggy cereal with meat and sugary soy sauce mixed in. Also, mongolion beef is supposed to be HOT, like with hot pepper flakes or whole chilis added. The little bit of ginger is not appropriate for this dish. Idk what to call this dish, but it is NOT mongolion beef.

  9. As written, this was far too sweet, even for my sugar-loving husband. We will try it again with half the sugar or less.

  10. Made this today and loved it!! Next time I will use 1/3 cup of sugar instead of 1/2 cup and see if that cuts the sweetness – but I loved it!

    1. Made this today and so deliciously. I will made again.I add snow pea and give crunchy. Thanks for the recipe!!

  11. Very easy to make. My only complaint is that it’s way too sweet. Next time I’ll use much less brown sugar. I also would, for my taste, add more garlic and green onion including the tops of the onion.

  12. I’ve tried a few Mongolian beef recipes and this is by far the best I’ve had . We will definitely have this again. LOL

  13. This recipe would be great with 1/10th the sugar. We love the other flavors (garlic, ginger, scallion and soy) and appreciate sugar in moderation. But we followed the recipe and the 1/2 cup of sugar it calls for should be crime. It kills all flavor. Definitely make it but use 1 tablespoon of sugar and the rest to taste.

  14. I don’t typically comment on recipes but this one is amazing. I make it 100% according to the directions and it’s a crowd pleaser every time. Thank you for sharing this!

  15. Stumbled across this recipe tonight not knowing what to make for dinner. Followed the recipe exactly except I did not have flank steak so I used sirloin tip meat. AHHHMAAAZING! The family could not get enough, and it was so easy!
    I never ever leave feedback but I just had to for this gem. A keeper! Thank you!

  16. This is fabulous. I’d been craving this for a while and can’t order it where I am so I made it. Truly terrific – will make again and again!

    1. Brown sugar has the addition of molasses which adds depth of flavor (think a caramel type flavor). If you don’t use this you’ll lose that flavor and it’ll just be straight sweet. If you don’t have it and you’re in a pinch add a bit of molasses or hoisin sauce. If you don’t have that either add a bit of bbq sauce.

  17. So yummy! The country I live in only has light brown sugar, so I added a little maple syrup to substitute the depth from the molasses and it turned out really well! Your recipes are amazing, whenever I tell my husband that what I’m making is from your blog he’s practically giddy waiting for supper!

  18. You had me at a mountain of steamed rice!! I pretty much followed the recipe to the letter except for expanding it for several more people and adding cubed onion to the mix, and topping it with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds. Brilliant!! Everyone has loved it!! Even the baby ( six years old) didn’t have to be coaxed to eat. Thank you for such a wonderful and simple recipe. We will be making this one again!

  19. Can I use slices from a sirloin tip roast? I would use a meat mallet to tenderize the slices. I have used your recipe before with a sirloin steak and it was superb.

    1. I’m afraid it might be too tough to use. Tenderizing would help. If you decide to try, I’d love to know how it turned out for you.