Despite the name of this dish, Mongolian beef isn’t actually Mongolian.
It originated in Taiwan and has been around for a long time.
The dish is typically made with flank steak, which is made into a stir fry occasionally mixed with vegetables and topped with scallions.
It is cooked in a sweet and salty sauce, which consists of soy sauce and brown sugar.
It is very common to find Mongolian beef on the menu of Americanized Chinese restaurants and is served alongside steamed rice or crispy cellophane noodles, also known as glass noodles, considering its transparent look.
Since this dish originated in Taiwan, all of the cooking methods used are taken from Chinese cuisine opposed to Mongolian cuisine.
There is a variation of the dish known as Mongolian lamb where beef is replaced with lamb.
Although the dish is not usually spicy, you can optionally pair it with dried red chili peppers which make for a sweet and spicy pairing.
If you’d like to make this recipe for yourself, follow the steps below!
- Combine the sliced beef with 1 teaspoon oil, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Marinate for 1 hour.
- Next, dredge the marinated beef slices in the remaining 1/4 cup of cornstarch until lightly coated.
- In a small bowl, mix brown sugar and hot water until the sugar is dissolved. Mix in 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce.
- Heat 1/3 cup vegetable oil in the 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. Turn over and let the other side sear for another 30 seconds. Remove to a sheet pan.
- Drain the oil from the wok, leaving 1 tablespoon behind, and turn the heat to medium-high. Add the ginger and dried chili peppers. After about 15 seconds, add the garlic. Stir for another 10 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 scallions and toss everything together for another 30 seconds. Plate and serve with steamed rice!
- 8 ounces flank steak
- 1 tsp vegetable oil (plus 1/3 cup for frying)
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp cornstarch (plus 1/4 cup, divided)
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/4 cup hot water
- 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp ginger, minced
- 5 dried red chili peppers (optional)
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 scallions, cut in 1 inch slices