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5 January 2022

This Mongolian beef recipe is so easy to make with sliced marinated beef stir fried until crispy, then tossed in a sticky brown sauce that is sweet and spicy, served with rice or noodles. So good!

We’re cooking up a batch of Mongolian Beef in the Chili Pepper Madness kitchen tonight, my friends. Would you care for some? Homemade Mongolian beef is easy to make, and we can spice it up as much as we want to.

I’m sure you’ve enjoyed it before at your local Chinese restaurant. Mongolian beef is a famous Chinese stir fry of tender beef stir fried until crispy, then tossed in a sticky sweet brown sauce, served with rice or noodles.

The sauce is usually more sweet than spicy, almost always quite sticky, with a thickness that depends on the restaurant.

This is an easy Mongolian beef recipe you can make at home that is done in 30 minutes or less. I love quick and easy recipes, and stir fries always deliver. 

I always prefer homemade because I can control what goes into it. This particular recipe cuts back on the sugary-sweetness of most recipes, and ups the spice factor with a good handful of dried chili peppers that offer up a nice level of zing.

I think you’ll enjoy this version and can’t wait to hear about it.

Let’s talk about how to make Mongolian Beef, shall we?

Mongolian Beef on a plate with rice

Mongolian Beef Ingredients

  • FOR THE BEEF
  • Flank Steak. You can use other cuts of beef, though flank steak is more commonly used. Skirt steak is a good alternative.
  • Marinade Ingredients. Vegetable oil, soy sauce, cornstarch.
  • FOR THE MONGOLIAN BEEF SAUCE
  • Soy Sauce.
  • Beef Stock. You can use chicken stock or vegetable stock as well. A soy sauce-water combination will work as well.
  • Brown Sugar. For a touch of sweet. Honey is an acceptable substitute.
  • FOR THE MONGOLIAN BEEF STIR FRY
  • Vegetable Oil. For frying. Use your favorite fry oil.
  • Cornstarch. To coat the marinated strips of beef. This will help make the beef crispy.
  • Dried Chilies. Optional, for a spicy version, which I love. Use dried Chinese chilies if you can obtain them. Chili de arbol peppers are perfect for this recipe.
  • Fresh Ginger.
  • Fresh Garlic.
  • Corn Starch + Water. A slurry, used to thicken the sauce at the end of the stir fry.
  • Scallions. Thinly slices for cooking and for garnish.
  • For Garnish. Spicy red pepper flakes, sesame seeds, extra sliced scallions

Mongolian Beef on a plate with chopsticks

How to Make Mongolian Beef – the Recipe Method

MARINATE THE BEEF

Slice the Beef. Slice the flank steak against the grain into thin strips (1/4 inch strips or thinner), then cut into bite-sized pieces. Add the sliced beef to a large bowl. 

Slicing the beef on a cutting board

Marinate the Beef. Whisk together the vegetable oil, soy sauce and cornstarch until smooth. Mix the sauce into the beef and marinate for 10 minutes. You can marinate longer if you’d like.

Marinating the chopped beef in a bowl

MAKE THE MONGOLIAN BEEF SAUCE

Whisk the Ingredients. Whisk together the soy sauce, beef stock and brown sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside.

Sauce for making Mongolian Beef

MAKE THE MONGOLIAN BEEF

Heat Fry Oil. Heat the 1/2 cup vegetable oil in a large pan or wok until very hot, but do not boil.

Fry the Coated Beef. Toss the thinly sliced cuts of marinated beef with the 1/2 cup cornstarch to lightly coat. Tap off excess cornstarch and fry the beef in the wok for 1 minute per side, or until the beef is crispy. You may need to do this in batches. Remove from the oil and set onto a plate.

Fried beef on a plate for making Mongolian Beef

Stir Fry Chilies, Garlic and Ginger. Once all the beef is stir fried, remove the oil but keep about a teaspoon. Heat to medium heat. Add the dried peppers, garlic and ginger. Stir fry for 1 minute.

Add Mongolian Beef Sauce. Pour in the reserved Mongolian beef sauce. Swirl together the 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water to make a slurry. Pour it into the sauce and stir about 2 minutes, or until the sauce thickens up.

Warm the Beef and Scallions. Stir in the reserved beef and slices scallions. Cook for 30 seconds to warm the beef.

Mixing the beef into the Mongolian Beef sauce in the hot wok

Serve. Serve over cooked rice or noodles and garnish with spicy chili flakes, sesame seeds and fresh chopped green onion.

Boom! Done! Your Mongolian beef is ready to serve! Looks so good, doesn’t it? That sauce is so sticky, just a touch sweet and a nice level of spicy from the dried peppers, assuming you used them!

Mike scooping Mongolian Beef from the pan

Recipe Tips & Notes

  • Add Vegetables. You can easily add in your favorite stir fry vegetables to round out this meal. Some of my preferred additions include sliced bell peppers, jalapeno peppers or serrano peppers, broccoli, snap peas, onion, boy choy, and carrots. Use whatever you prefer.
  • Serving. I usually serve mine over simple cooked white rice, though a nice stir fry rice is great, or serve with noodles. It’s great either way.

That’s it, my friends. I hope you and your family loved this Mongolian beef recipe as much as we do. Let me know if you make it. I’d love to hear how it turned out for you. Keep it spicy!

Mongolian Beef in a pan

Cookbook Recommendations

If you enjoy cooking Asian cuisine, I recommend this book for a lot of easy and iconic recipes from a great chef. I’m learning a lot from it and it helped me to make this dish.

Try Some of My Other Popular Chinese Recipes

Try Some of My Other Beef Recipes

Mongolian Beef on a plate with rice, ready to serve

Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

Mongolian Beef Recipe

This Mongolian beef recipe is so easy to make with crispy stir fried beef tossed in a sticky, spicy brown sauce, served with rice or noodles. So good!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Chinese
Keyword: flank steak, soy sauce, Stir Fry
Servings: 4
Calories: 296kcal

Ingredients

FOR THE BEEF

  • 1 pound flank steak
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

FOR THE MONGOLIAN BEEF SAUCE

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup beef stock or use chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar or more to taste

FOR THE MONGOLIAN BEEF STIR FRY

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil for frying
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 10-12 spicy dried Chinese chilies or use chili de arbol - optional, for spicy
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 5-6 scallions sliced
  • For Garnish: Spicy chili flakes, sesame seeds, extra sliced scallions

Instructions

MARINATE THE BEEF

  • Slice the flank steak against the grain into thin strips (1/4 inch strips or thinner), then cut into bite-sized pieces. Add to a large bowl.
  • Whisk together the vegetable oil, soy sauce and cornstarch until smooth. Mix the sauce into the beef and marinate for 10 minutes. You can marinate longer if you'd like.

MAKE THE MONGOLIAN BEEF SAUCE

  • Whisk together the soy sauce, beef stock and brown sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside.

MAKE THE MONGOLIAN BEEF

  • Heat the 1/2 cup vegetable oil in a large pan or wok until very hot, but do not boil.
  • Toss the cuts of marinated beef with the 1/2 cup cornstarch to lightly coat. Tap off excess cornstarch and fry the beef in the wok for 1 minute per side, or until the beef is crispy. You may need to do this in batches. Remove from the oil and set onto a plate.
  • Once all the beef is stir fried, remove the oil but keep about a teaspoon. Add the dried peppers, ginger and garlic. Stir fry for 1 minute.
  • Pour in the reserved Mongolian beef sauce.
  • Swirl together the 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 2 tablespoon water to make a slurry. Pour it into the sauce and stir about 2 minutes, or until the sauce thickens up.
  • Stir in the reserved beef and slices scallions. Cook for 30 seconds to warm the beef.
  • Serve over cooked rice or noodles and garnish with spicy chili flakes, sesame seeds and fresh chopped green onion.

Notes

Nutritional information estimated without rice or noodles.

Nutrition

Calories: 296kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 1159mg | Potassium: 543mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 481IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 3mg

Mongolian Beef on a plate with rice

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