This easy Mongolian Beef Recipe is simple, quick, and downright delicious. It’s a low-carb and low-calorie meal that you will want to make over and over again!
Mongolian beef is an Asian-American inspired dish consisting of thinly sliced beef and stir-fried vegetables (typically just white and green onion). It is usually dressed in a soy sauce-based Mongolian sauce and served with hot white rice. We love making this when we’re craving Asian takeout but tight on time. This quick and easy Mongolian beef recipe is perfect for those busy weeknights.
Is Mongolian beef spicy?
Nope, its typically never spicy. Just like my easy pepper steak recipe, Mongolian beef tastes a lot like most Asian dishes that don’t have any spiciness in them. Its mild, sweet, and has a strong flavor of onion, soy, sauce, and ginger.
Why is it called Mongolian beef?
Although the title of the recipe says Mongolian, there really isn’t any Mongolian origin associated with the dis at all. It actually a Chinese dish that came from the Shangdong province or Xingjiang province.
How to make Mongolian Beef
- Make the sauce– Cook the minced garlic and ginger in a saucepan over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Then add the brown sugar, soy sauce, and water into the saucepan and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.
- Coat the beef– Place the thinly sliced beef into a large bowl and coat the beef in the cornstarch.
- Cook beef in batches– Heat the cup vegetable oil in a wok and cook the beef in 2 batches. Once the beef is cooked remove it and set aside.
- Stir fry onion and garlic– In the same wok, cook the garlic and yellow onion. Then add the cooked beef and sauce, back in and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Mix beef, sauce, and green onion– Add the sliced green onion to the beef and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Serve this Mongolian beef recipe warm over hot rice.
What you need to make this Mongolian beef recipe
The Mongolian sauce:
- vegetable oil– you can also use canola or avocado oil too.
- vegetables– garlic and ginger will bring out most of the flavor in this Mongolian sauce so make sure to be generous.
- Sweetener– brown sugar will give the sauce a sweet sticky consistency, but you can always use honey instead.
- liquids– low sodium soy sauce and water is all you need to make this sauce taste amazing!
Ingredients for the Mongolian beef:
- Beef– flank or top sirloin beef since they have a tender bite to them. Avoid using chuck our round since they are considering tough meat and only work well in beef stew.
- cornstarch– This is a thickening agent that will give the Mongolian beef a thick, sticky and delicious sauce
- Vegetables– all you need is 3 simple things, green and yellow onion and garlic.
- Oil– you want to use a high smoke point oil like vegetable, canola, or avocado oil since the beef needs to be cooked at high heat for a crispy seared texture.
Tips to make this easy Mongolian beef recipe
- Slicing the meat– A great way to get thinly sliced beef is by having the meat partially frozen when you cut it. That way it doesn’t slide around and you achieve super thin slices.
- Cook in batches– In order to get nice and crispy pieces of cooked beef, don’t overcrowd the wok. Cook the beef in batches. Overcrowding will cause a lot of liquid to collect and result in mushy grey looking beef.
- Use dark brown sugar– This will give the beef sauce a deeper and bolder flavor.
- Make it ahead of time– you can chop up all the veggies and make the sauce in advance, that way when dinner time rolls around all you need to do is cook the meat and vegetables and add in the sauce.
What kind of meat is used for Mongolian Beef?
I personally like a sirloin steak in my Mongolian beef recipe because is cooks well when used in stir-frys like pepper steak. It has a little more fat in it and tends to be more tender. Typically Mongolian beef is made with flank steak, however, both of these cuts of meat work great for this recipe. One thing you want to do is to stay away from any kind of stew meat (chuck, round, or shoulder). It tends to be a bit tough and will be better enjoyed in this beef stew recipe.
What to serve with Mongolian Beef?
We love to serve Mongolian beef with hot white rice along with fried bean threads. You can also serve it with some stir-fried vegetables. I usually buy frozen stirfry vegetable mix (sugar snap peas, broccoli, carrot, red bell pepper, etc).
How to Make Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef
slow cooker Mongolian beef is just like the stove-top version but less hassle and just as tasty.
- In a bowl combine the sliced beef and cornstarch, then add it to the slow cooker.
- Add the minced garlic, ginger, brown sugar, soy sauce, and water. Cook on high for 2-3 hours or on low for 4-5 hours.
- Then stir in the sliced green onion and serve.
How long does it keep in the fridge?
Like any homemade beef recipes, be sure to keep them in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days. It microwaves well the next day and makes an excellent work lunch.
Best way to reheat it
You can always place it in the microwave for 30-60 seconds or warm it in a skillet on the cooktop for the best flavor.
Can I freeze Mongolian beef?
Yes, you can! Once you’re done making the recipe and it has had some time to cool down, place the cooked beef in a gallon-sized ziplock bag. Keep frozen for up to 1 month.
Easy Mongolian Beef Recipe
Ingredients for the sauce
Ingredients for the beef
- 2 lb. beef
- 1/3 cup corn starch
- 1 large yellow onion
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cloves garlic minced
- 2 bunches green onion
Make the sauce
- Mince the garlic and ginger and cook it in a saucepan filled with vegetable oil. Cook it over medium-high heat for 1 minute.
- Add the brown sugar, soy sauce, and water. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.
Slice and coat the beef
- Thinly slice the beef into small pieces.
- Coat the beef in the corn starch.
Cook beef in batches
- Heat 1/3 cup vegetable oil in a wok and cook the beef in 2 batches. Once cooked, remove the beef and set aside.
Stir-fry garlic and onion
- In the same wok, cook 1 clove minced garlic over medium heat for 1 minute. Then add the sliced yellow onion and cook until translucent.
Simmer veggies, beef, and sauce
- Add the beef back into the wok and pour in the sauce. Cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add the sliced green onion to the wok and stir for about 2-3 minutes. Serve warm over hot rice.
Tips to make easy Mongolian beef
- Slicing the meat- A great way to get thinly sliced beef is by having the meat partially frozen when you cut it. That way it doesn't slide around and you achieve super thin slices.
- Cook in batches- In order to get nice and crispy pieces of cooked beef, don't overcrowd the wok. Cook the beef in batches. Overcrowding will cause a lot of liquid to collect and result in mushy grey looking beef.
- Use dark brown sugar- This will give the beef sauce a deeper and bolder flavor.
- Make it ahead of time- you can chop up all the veggies and make the sauce in advance, that way when dinner time rolls around all you need to do is cook the meat and vegetables and add in the sauce.
Note: This recipe was originally posted in February 2016. We’ve updated it since.