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

4.93 from 219 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 ¼ 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: 433 calories, Calories: 433g, Carbohydrates: 37g, Protein: 27g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 68mg, Sodium: 1152mg, Potassium: 497mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 27g, Vitamin A: 120g, Vitamin C: 3g, Calcium: 63g, Iron: 3g

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. I have never left a comment but WOW!!! So delicious, easy and everyone loved it!! Any tips on how to increase the spice? Red pepper flakes maybe? Thanks!

  2. Oh My God!!! Wow!!! Just made it for the first time and I am so impressed with how quick, easy and delicious this was!!! I highly recommend. I just wish I had made more!

  3. Just made this recipe- absolutely fantastic, I added water chestnuts, orange pepper and beef broth instead of water.
    Thank you, will definitely try more of your recipes.

  4. just read this recipe, not try yet, but i will try it ASAP, seems very delicious and mouth-watering, I’m very excited to cook it. My kids will probably love it.

  5. i have made this recipe many times, it’s amazing. the most recent time i accidentally used light brown sugar instead of dark brown (even though i had it in the cupboard) and she’s right, the taste difference is very noticeable but the dish was still very good. just definitely better with dark brown sugar.

  6. Usually do not leave reviews but this is a great recipe! I’ve made it 4 or 5 five times now and I get rave reviews from my family. I love how simple yet delicious it is.

  7. Really good recipe, outstanding flavor in the sauce as is or with some added veggies. I found the beef to be great tasting but not quite the right texture when compared to Chinese restaurant beef. The second time I made this recipe, I velveted the beef after slicing and the texture was perfect. While not absolutely necessary velveting the beef adds to the tenderness of the beef and makes the texture right.

    Velveting- add a couple of teaspoons of baking soda to the raw meat and let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour before rinsing and then use as directed in the recipe.

    On further review of the recipe, I guess the cornstarch would eventually work to velvet the beef if you let it set long enough. I prefer to use the baking soda and then just dust with cornstarch and use as directed.

  8. I received this recipe from a coworker and tried it out last week. It tasted delicious. I used NY Strip and I would definitely make it again. I made it with white rice and some steamed broccoli. Wishing I had some for leftovers but the family ate it all!

  9. A-MAZ-ING!!! I have never rated or commented on a recipe before, but this one was sooooo delish, I had to leave feedback. My family of 6 all loved this when I made it for dinner last night. I had to increase all of the ingredients (used about 2.5 lbs of top sirloin steak) to feed our family of 6 with 3 hungry teen boys…so it took a while to brown all of the beef in batches, but the results were TOTALLY worth it! My favorite homemade Chinese dish ever. And husband (who isn’t a big fan of Asian dishes) absolutely RAVED about this one 🙂

    Couple of little tweaks I made on the fly: threw a little Mirin & Sesame Oil on the steak strips before coating w/cornstarch. Subbed unsalted beef broth instead of water for the sauce (and made plenty extra!) & threw in a little steamed broccoli at the end. Otherwise followed directions as written. Beef was tender, crispy, saucy and full of flavor!

    Served w/ rice & salad w/ honey ginger dressing. BIG HIT in my house! Thank you for this. So happy to have found it. Will be trying more of your recipes soon.

  10. Made this for dinner, as scripted. By the time I got mine the family was looking for seconds. This will go into our family meal rotation. Thank you.

  11. I made this vegetarian using Gardein beef tips. It was awesome! I added red pepper flakes to the soy mixture, and a half tablespoon of molasses since I only had light brown sugar. I was out of fresh ginger so used crystallized. Added broccoli and 1/2 T more cornstarch. Could have cut back on the sugar since the molasses and crystallized ginger added plenty of sweetness. Loved this recipe!

  12. This was very easy and a crowd pleaser. In addition to the scallions I added some cubed red pepper and some blanched broccoli. The family loves veggies. Will definitely put this into the monthly rotation.

  13. Love your recipies, but i have a question, I prefer weights in ozs or gr I find cups vary in size,
    Thank you
    Mary

  14. This is a great recipe!! My go too.
    I make crispy rice noodles and make white rice. I also used light brown sugar! So yummy!

  15. I almost forgot– if you don’t have dark brown sugar but have a jar of molasses, add a bit to your light brown sugar.

  16. FABULOUS!! Now in a steady dinner rotation. I use up my stored frozen bits of beef like trimmings from filet mignon, prime rib, etc. So the beef is excellent and makes this a less expensive dinner option.

    1. I haven’t made this yet, but it sounds awesome! I was just wondering if anyone has tried to freeze the beef after cooking.

  17. This was delicious. I used light brown sugar because I didn’t have any dark brown sugar on hand. But even with the different sugar type, hubby didn’t stop raving about this dish. I already have dark brown sugar on my shopping list. But this dish is a keeper.

  18. I don’t know if this question has been asked yet or not. But I was wondering if I could use light brown sugar for this. Trying to make it for dinner tonight.

  19. I make it all the time, but I double the sauce because I saute mushrooms, green peppers, red peppers, and onions before adding the sauce parts back in with the beef.

  20. My daughter and I made this tonight and it turned out great! After looking at a few recipes, I followed this. A couple of changes I made. I used top sirloin steak instead of flank. After I cut it, I then doused it with rice vinegar and sesame seed oil before shaking it in the corn starch. I used fresh garlic (instead of minced) about 4-5 cloves through my press. I also added a good helping crushed red peppers to my soy sauce mixture and a little hot chili oil. I steamed broccoli and tossed it in at the end. I also served this over fresh noodles, (you can buy them in the refrigerated section of your local Asian market). that I did toss with sesame seed oil. This was extremely delicious and we will be making it again!!

    1. How much rice vinegar and sesame oil did you toss the meat in? I’m nervous to eyeball it but that sounds delish!

  21. I have just made this for the first time and it was lovely! I didn’t stick strictly to the recipie – chopped up 1 ribeye steak out of the freezer so had half the recipie amount of beef , but I improvised and added a red pepper, baby corn, and 1 chilli. Used same amount of everything else so we had enough sauce. I also only had light muscovado sugar and dark soy sauce (not low salt). Served with rice cooked in coconut milk and pak Choi and it was lovely ? definitely recommended and I will make again. Also 10/10 from my partner he loved it!

  22. I cooked this today and it was delicious! My husband kept saying it was like we were eating at a restaurant. Thank you. This one is definitely a keeper

  23. I made this & doubled the sauce, but did not double anything else & it had an awful flavor, I could not explain the taste to my husband & I looked back at the recipe & realized my mistake. I used Baking Soda rather than Cornstarch. I grabbed the wrong box! Almost had a metallic flavor. (Only way I could explain it)
    I had to throw the entire batch away & start all over again.
    Luckily it is a fast/easy recipe & the 2nd time it tasted great! My husband & daughter loved it!

  24. My go to for easy beef recipe and the fact that its delicious is a major plus. Thanks Sabrina ! Everyone from the toddler to the 10 year old boys of mine loves this.

  25. I absolutely love this recipe! I cook my meat in sesame oil instead. I also use the whole green onion sliced. And I add toasted sesame seeds to all of it.

  26. I make this occasionally, it’s delicious. My partner loves it. Only problem is it’s messy to make so cover the fry pan when searing the meat. I also add bokchoy, onion and sometimes red capsicum or broccoli ? It also reheats fine the next day.

  27. Thank you. Easy, fast and accessible ingredients . And yes – the flank steak meat is a must. Whole Foods has it always.