Mongolian Beef. Crispy and delicious beef smothered in a sweet, savoury sauce with a very mild kick (that can be omitted if desired)!
A wonderful main that pairs well with steamed rice and greens. Great for dinner or lunch.
I dream of this dish
Back when I used to work in an office, I remember ordering this dish for lunch and how good it tasted! There would be times I would salivate just thinking of that crispy beef in that sweet savoury sauce. So I decided I had to re-make it at home and I'm happy to share my recipe with you.
The Best Mongolian Beef!
There are many Mongolian beef recipes online but mine is:
- easy to make
- packed with flavour
- perfectly balanced in sweetness and saltiness
- does not require any deep frying!
I will show you step by step with visuals and a short video on how to cook a Mongolian beef.
What is Mongolian beef?
It’s beef, usually flank steak, coated in cornstarch and fried until crispy. Then covered in a sweet sauce that is balanced in saltiness and has a slightly mild kick, which can be omitted.
Popular in Asian Cuisine
This Mongolian beef dish is so popular and served at many Asian restaurants or takeaways for its sweet flavour and crispy texture. When I feel like eating beef, this is one of my favourite dishes to order.
Easy Mongolian Beef
This Mongolian beef stir fry is amazingly simple to make at home and requires no deep frying. We are simply marinating the beef and then coating it in cornstarch. Next, we’ll shallow fry the beef until crispy. Finally, we’ll fry the aromatics and pour in the pre-mixed sauce to thicken and reduce. Adding the beef back into coat. Optionally, you may garnish with green onions or sesame seeds to enjoy!
No deep frying
You heard me right! No deep frying. Instead, we are shallow frying, which reduces the amount of oil needed and reduces the amount of mess to clean up later.
What you’ll need
For this Mongolian crispy beef, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- beef flank steak
- red chili pepper
- green onion
- vegetable oil, or any neutral tasting oil
- regular soy sauce, not light or dark soy sauce
- black pepper
- baking soda
Mongolian beef sauce:
- hoisin sauce
- regular soy sauce, not light or dark soy sauce!
- brown sugar
- sesame oil
- Sesame seeds
How to make Mongolian Beef
Below are brief steps with visuals to show you how to make Mongolian Beef. Please scroll down to the recipe card below to find full instructions and details.
Thinly slice beef against the grain into 0.75 cm thick pieces and 2 inches in length. Do not slice any thinner.
Marinate beef with marinade ingredients and set aside.
In a bowl, combine sauce ingredients.
Generously dredge several beef slices into cornstarch until well coated and transfer to a plate. Repeat this process until all your beef is coated.
Over medium heat, heat oil. Check if oil is hot by inserting a wooden chopstick and look for bubbles.
Once oil is hot, fry beef in batches 1 minute on each side until slightly crispy. Important: Immediately spread beef apart to prevent sticking. Fry in 2-3 batches to prevent overcrowding.
Remove cooked beef from oil and set aside. Discard excess oil leaving 1 tsp in the pan.
Over low heat, sauté ginger, garlic, red chili for 10 seconds.
Pour in sauce to reduce and thicken.
Once thick, add beef and mix to coat evenly. Garnish with green onions.
Remove off heat. Optionally garnish with sesame seeds. Enjoy!
Below are tips on making my slightly spicy Mongolian beef:
Freeze flank steak for 30 minutes to make slicing easier!
This is a trick I’ve learned from countless chefs and I’m passing it on! If you freeze your beef for 30 minutes, it will make slicing the beef into thin pieces much easier.
Baking soda helps to tenderize meat
In case you’re wondering why we’re adding baking soda to the beef, this is a popular meat tenderizing agent used in Chinese cuisine to make meat tender.
Coat beef generously in starch for crispy texture
Ensure your beef is evenly coated in the cornstarch if you want a crispier beef texture.
Do not over fry your beef
Since we are frying the thinly sliced beef in hot oil, it’s important not to over fry it or it’ll too crispy and dry.
Simmer sauce over LOW heat
Because this sauce contains a high amount of sugar thanks to the hoisin and brown sugar, it’s important to first simmer the sauce over low heat to avoid burning.
Below are frequently asked questions about this authentic Mongolian beef recipe:
What is typically in Mongolian beef?
It’s usually a beef steak like flank cut thinly then coated in some starch and fried in oil. Then combined with a sauce made of hoisin, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, cornstarch and water to thicken it. The aromatics of this dish are ginger, garlic, onion and sometimes red chili for a kick. Sesame seeds are sometimes added.
What is Mongolian beef sauce made of?
The sauce is made of hoisin, regular soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, and cornstarch + water to thicken it.
Why do they call it Mongolian beef?
They call it Mongolian beef as it was first created in Taiwan at Mongolian barbeque restaurants.
Is Mongolian beef spicy?
Usually, it’s not spicy but my version has a slight mild kick – it’s not overpowering. If you’re not a fan of spice you can omit the red chilis.
Is Mongolian beef Mongolian?
Despite the name, this dish does not originate from Mongolia and comes from Taiwan.
Other Chinese recipes you may like!
If you enjoyed this Mongolian beef recipe, you may like these other recipes:
Well, I hope you give my Mongolian Beef a try! It always excites me when you make my recipes and I hope this is one you try and most importantly, enjoy.
Sharing is caring
If you enjoyed my Mongolian beef from scratch, please share it with your family and friends or on social media! Take a picture of your re-creation and make sure to tag me @ChristieAtHome in your feed or stories as I would love to see it!
Did you enjoy it?
If you genuinely enjoyed my quick Mongolian beef stir fry, please leave a 5-star review. I would appreciate it 🙂
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Easy Mongolian Beef (30-min. Recipe)
- ½ tsp Sesame seeds
- Thinly slice beef against the grain into 0.75 cm thick pieces and about 2 inches in length. Do not slice any thinner.
- Marinate beef with marinade ingredients and set aside.
- In a bowl, combine sauce ingredients.
- Generously dredge several beef slices into cornstarch until well coated and transfer to a plate. Repeat this process until all your beef is coated.
- In a large pan set over medium heat, heat oil. Check if oil is hot by inserting a wooden chopstick and look for bubbles.
- Once oil is hot, fry beef in batches, 1 minute on each side until slightly crispy. Important: Immediately spread beef apart to prevent sticking. Fry in 2-3 batches to prevent overcrowding.
- Remove cooked beef from oil and set aside. Discard excess oil leaving 1 tsp in the pan.
- Over low heat, sauté ginger, garlic, red chili for 10 seconds. Pour in sauce to reduce and thicken.
- Once thick, add beef and mix to coat evenly. Garnish with green onions. Remove off heat. Optionally garnish with sesame seeds. Enjoy!