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

4.9 from 159 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. I usually shy away from Asian cooking because I can never seem to get it right. But this was awesome! Whole family loved it (and that’s unusual)! I did cut the dark brown sugar in half after reading the reviews, and it definitely would have been too sweet for my taste with the full amount. Also added 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes with the garlic and ginger. Next time I will double the pepper because there wasn’t any heat at all. But it was still a major hit and super tasty. We used Flat Iron Steak and cooked the meat in two batches, taking seriously your advice about searing not steaming. Super hot pan and oil was key here although it did take a bit longer than a minute per side to achieve browned, crunchy edges. Next time we’ll double the recipe. There wasn’t a morsel left and my husband was sad he wouldn’t have leftovers for lunch.

  2. This was absolutely delicious and incredibly easy!! I did use light brown sugar because that’s what I already had and I don’t regret it a bit! I used the flank steak and it was so tender! I can’t wait to make this again!

  3. This is one of my and my boyfriend’s favorite recipes! So yummy and quick to make. I like the balance of sweet and salty, and will sometimes add a bit of red pepper for a kick of heat!
    Only problem I have is the oil splattering when I add the beef. I’m thinking it might be a moisture or a temperature issue. I’d love some advice to avoid this if someone can provide any!

  4. Excellent! I did not have flank steak, so I used grass-fed round steak, and it was delicious. I was pleasantly surprised that the brown sugar (yes, I used dark) did not overpower the dish. I was immensely surprised that I enjoyed the dish as much as I did because I am a bit of a vegetable freak. It is recipes like this that are helping to convert my husband into a Chinese food fan.

  5. I am fairly new to your site and I am so enjoying making your wonderful recipes. Just made the Easy Mongolian beef over your steamed Chinese rice with a side dish of steamed broccoli. My husband has commented three times on how great this meal tastes and he asked for seconds. The meat is as flavorful and tender as we have ever had at any Asian restaurant. Mongolian beef is his favorite and now I can make it for him. I did not change anything. I am surprised at comments of “too sweet” and “cut back on dark brown sugar”. It was seasoned to perfection. I mixed the sugar in with the low sodium soy sauce and water and everything came together so easily. Already looking over your cooking site for my next meal to prepare.

  6. Really liked how simple this recipe was! I added broccoli because I love Mongolian beef and broccoli, and I doubled the sauce to account for the extra. I saw someone recommend halving the sugar but I would take it farther and suggest quartering it. Even with half the amount, it was very sweet! I also added a good amount of spice because there isn’t any spice to this recipe on its own. Served with rice and had a delicious meal!

  7. Really good concept but far too sweet for my liking. Next time I would cut the sugar in half, if not less than that. It even seemed like a lot of sugar to soy sauce ratio but I figured I’d give it a try.

  8. Started with the sweet and sour chicken recipe from Yiur site. It turn out great then I decide to make the Mongolian beef. The dish is amazing ! I’ll keep discovering your recipes !

  9. Outstanding! Truth is, this recipe deserves 10 stars! Wasn’t sure whether to use light or dark brown sugar as the recipe doesn’t specify, so I did about 25% light, 75% dark. I also only had regular soy sauce (not low sodium), so I was a little bit worried it would be too sweet or too salty. Not at all! I made the soy/water/brown sugar part earlier in the day so the flavors could blend and it would be easier to add when I was cooking. I used a nice ribeye, sliced thin (hint, slice the steak semi-frozen and it’s much easier to slice!) and added over white rice (will try fried rice next time) and it was a HUGE HIT. The bf asked me to save the little bit that was left and add in some left over pork tenderloin to make him a sandwich for today. Plenty of sauce left over. This really was excellent and I can’t wait to make it again. Thank you!!!!!

  10. Outstanding! I wanted to give this 5 stars but the page wouldn’t let me click on them. Truth is, this recipe deserves 10! Wasn’t sure whether to use light or dark brown sugar as the recipe doesn’t specify, so I did about 25% light, 75% dark. I also only had regular soy sauce (not low sodium), so I was a little bit worried it would be too sweet or too salty. Not at all! I made the soy/water/brown sugar part earlier in the day so the flavors could blend and it would be easier to add when I was cooking. I used a nice ribeye, sliced thin (hint, slice the steak semi-frozen and it’s much easier to slice!) and added over white rice (will try fried rice next time) and it was a HUGE HIT. The bf asked me to save the little bit that was left and add in some left over pork tenderloin to make him a sandwich for today. Plenty of sauce left over. This really was excellent and I can’t wait to make it again. Thank you!!!!!

  11. Just made this for my husband & I for tea- it was bloody lovely! Will definitely make it again- may put some peppers & mushrooms in next time for a change. Thanks for a great recipe! Jan

  12. Made this tonight, came out very good! More sweet than expected, however still very good. Next time I make it I will add some heat to it.

    1. Sounds like there was a cornstarch issue. Two things I would do next time: 1. pat the meat dry, it will reduce the moisture and keep the cornstarch from falling off 2. shake off any excess cornstarch before frying. you just want a thin coating.

      Let me know if you try again and these tips work!

  13. Loved the recipe! I did half the sugar and added hot pepper flakes. My husband and I ate it all tonight. Also added way more ginger and garlic but thats because we are weird. My husband couldn’t stop raving though he adored the recipe. Our wok is small so I did 7-9 slices of beef and we used serloin because the store was out of flank but it all turned out great. Always fun to get restaurant food at half the price and less calories.

  14. I surprised my wife with the Mongolian Beef for dinner last week ,OMG,mouth watering, well it was absolutely to die for. This has escalated to our now #1 FAVE

    Step Daughter is coming over tonight and she is going to just love it.

    Making left overs is a must.

    Thanks for the Great Recipe.

  15. I tweaked the recipe a bit so the four stars is because I felt I had to tweak it. I was worried about the beef lacking flavor so I seasoned it with salt, garlic powder, pepper and a tiny bit of red pepper flakes before coating it with corn starch. The beef came out amazing, I followed everything else in the recipe exactly except I added about half as much sugar. My only complaint is wishing I added less Ginger because I’m not such a fan of the taste. My family loved it and I’ll be making it again

  16. Excellent and easy to make. I “velveteen” my beef in corn starch and egg whites for an hour before cooking. Precooked my beef in boiling water for a couple if minutes then browned in batches. Taste and aroma in heavenly.

  17. Delicious! I made it pretty much exactly according to the recipe but I only had powdered ginger and mistakenly only added 1/3 cup dark brown sugar. I have to agree with some that even with only that amount of sugar, it was still a bit too sweet. Think I will do 1/4 cup next time. I also only had regular soy sauce. Sabrina is right. Too salty. Next time I will make sure I buy real ginger and low sodium soy. Thise were my fault though. I only took a star away because I felt it was too sweet. By the way, I’m not a big red meat eater, so I used a rib eye for my bf and sliced chicken for myself. He loved his steak and we both loved the chicken! This recipe is a keeper, thank you!