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Take-Out, Fake-Out: Mongolian Beef

Chinese take-out always gets the best of us. You’re tired when you come home from work and you have kids & husbands whining (haha) that they’re hungry. What’s the easy thing to do? Pick up the phone and call take-out. I mean, I won’t lie, I’ve done it numerous times. Panda Express is literally 2 minutes from my house and some nights I’m like “screw it, let’s go get some.” It happens, but you can’t let it happen one too many times cause that stuff just isn’t good for you and it starts to show in numerous parts of your body ;)

So this past weekend I went to my first dress fitting. It went pretty well. The dress fits like a glove. The seamstress only has to hem it and put in a bustle. Which is great, except when it’s all zipped up, I have back cleavage. Haha, it’s such a funny term but it’s actually a real good description of back fat. All I gotta do is just lose probably 5 pounds and I should be good to go. If I lose any more weight, then I’m going to have to get the dress taken in and I don’t want to spend more money for that!

No more greasy take-out until after the wedding ;) until then, I can most definitely suffice with this take-out, fake-out mongolian beef. This thing is KILLER and tastes amazing. I swear Jason and I each had two bowls of it (oh yeah, portion control needs to kick in haha). It makes a lot so leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day is super awesome! I love having leftovers of delicious meals :) makes it feel like cooking the meal was well worth it!

Oh, so the best part of this? You can have this on your table in less than 30 minutes. I sound like Rachael Ray, don’t I? I didn’t mean to, but I had to get my point across, lol


Take-Out, Fake-Out: Mongolian Beef
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Entree, Beef
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients:
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1⅓ cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 pounds flank steak, sliced
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • Green onions, sliced
Instructions:
  1. In a small saucepot, over medium heat, add 2 tsp. of vegetable oil and sauté ginger and garlic until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the soy sauce, water, and brown sugar and stir to combine. Bring mixture to a boil and let boil for 3 minutes, then remove from heat and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, toss sliced flank steak with cornstarch, shaking off the excess. Place in fridge for 10 minutes to allow coating to stick better on the beef.
  3. After 10 minutes, in a heavy bottom saucepan, over medium high heat, add ½ cup of vegetable oil and add the beef to the pan, in batches, to sear the outside on all sides, but barely cooked in the middle. Remove and let drain on paper towels as you finish up the rest of the beef. Pour out any excess oil in the saucepan.
  4. Place the saucepan back on the burner, but on medium heat, and pour in the sauce from earlier. It should come to a boil immediately. Add in the steak and coat with the sauce. Continue cooking beef and sauce at a boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. The sauce will thicken gradually. Add in the scallions.
  5. Serve hot over white or brown rice.
  6. Place leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Notes:
Source: inspired by Food.com via Just a Taste

 

108 COMMENTS

  1. 01/07/2013 at 6:10 am

    I love your ‘take out fake out’ series & this sounds so incredibly tasty and just as quick as waiting for a takeaway. I’m definitely going to add this to our weekly meal list!

  2. 01/07/2013 at 6:31 am

    Love this series! We almost never order Chinese for some reason, so maybe this can take its place :)

  3. 01/07/2013 at 6:48 am

    Ahhh…you are killing me! I love American-style Chinese food. Unfortunately here in Asia and especially China itself it is nothing like it.
    But this sounds easy enough to make and I think I can even find the ingredients here :)

  4. 01/07/2013 at 7:00 am

    I hear you on taking the easy route for dinner…some night it is just easier. But now I have 20 pounds to get off, so no more for us either. I love your take out series and I love that this yummy meat is done so quickly!!!

  5. Connie
    01/07/2013 at 7:38 am

    That looks great and I can’t wait to try it! One question – is it really 1 1/3 cups brown sugar or just 1/3? Thank you!

    • 01/07/2013 at 8:01 am

      It’s really 1 1/3 cup of brown sugar.

  6. 01/07/2013 at 7:39 am

    Really??? It’s 7:34 am and my mouth is watering! I soooo pinned this.

  7. 01/07/2013 at 8:05 am

    I love when you take me out and fake me out! These are my favorite recipes of yours!
    Oh! I made your portobello pizza caps for lunch after church yesterday and we gobbled them up! :)

  8. 01/07/2013 at 8:11 am

    I hope your local take out don’t realise that your versions are so much better. I rarely get a Chinese take out, more Indian, as I adore fresh home made Chinese food so much more. This will be getting an outing at the weekend.

  9. 01/07/2013 at 8:30 am

    I made a similar version of this recently and it was really tasty

  10. 01/07/2013 at 8:41 am

    I’d like to order a bowl to go, please. :) This is gorgeous. I could just reach through the screen for a bite!

  11. 01/07/2013 at 8:51 am

    Mmmmm, Chinese take-out is my kryptonite – sometimes it’s just so hard to resist! Homemade versions are such a good replacement though, and this one looks awesome Julie! :)

    PS – looking forward to seeing your dress!

  12. 01/07/2013 at 8:55 am

    This looks completely wonderful! Dinner tonight….

  13. 01/07/2013 at 9:04 am

    Mmmm. All the stars have aligned and I have everything to make this tonight! What are the odds… I never have steak on hand but do. My family is already praising your name!

  14. 01/07/2013 at 9:32 am

    UGH THE BACK CLEAVAGE!! It’s the worst. I had to battle that before my dress fitting too :) This looks amazing Julie!

    OH MY GOSH I just want to see you in your dress!! (that doesn’t sound creepy, right?)

  15. Kay
    01/07/2013 at 9:37 am

    Mmm… this looks delicious!

  16. 01/07/2013 at 9:40 am

    So much better than take out!

  17. 01/07/2013 at 9:50 am

    This looks delicious! One of my favorite things to order when I go out. I’m definitely going to have to try this at home.

  18. 01/07/2013 at 9:59 am

    Looks AWESOME Julie!!! do you except orders for takeout??? ;)

  19. 01/07/2013 at 11:10 am

    yummm! this looks great, so much easier to make than you would think!

  20. 01/07/2013 at 11:17 am

    Oh, wow, does this look saucy and delicious!!

  21. 01/07/2013 at 11:49 am

    Looks so delicious. Lip smacking good. I can imagine myself licking my finger with this sticky yummy sauce.

  22. 01/07/2013 at 11:54 am

    OMG!! I want to see pics of your dress. So, so excited for you! This mongolian beef recipe looks AH-mazing! Just curious, have any advice for cooking rice? I can never make it turn out right!!

    • 01/07/2013 at 12:13 pm

      It’s typically a 1:1.5 ratio. 1 cup dry rice and 1.5 cups of water, 2 cups dry rice, 2.5 cups water. Oh, and don’t do it on the stove – rice cooker all the way! Seriously. They made them for a reason! :)

  23. 01/07/2013 at 12:34 pm

    LOVE this!! I wish I was your neighbor so I could have your take out fake out for dinner too!

  24. 01/07/2013 at 12:52 pm

    Julie!!!! Omg… This looks like heaven! We order Chinese take out way too often, I’ve gotta try making it at home.

  25. 01/07/2013 at 1:24 pm

    Is it too early for lunch? This looks awesome!! This is a really great series, especially when you can make it so fast. Perfect for a weeknight dinner!!!

  26. 01/07/2013 at 1:40 pm

    This has my name written all over it girl! Fabulous!

  27. 01/07/2013 at 1:42 pm

    This looks way better than takeout. For real! I’ve always loved Chinese food – so easy to make and always good to enjoy. Nom nom! Can’t wait to see you in wedding dress.

  28. 01/07/2013 at 2:00 pm

    This looks delicious!

  29. 01/07/2013 at 2:06 pm

    Love Chinese take out! But this sounds fantastic and love the 30 minutes to get it on the table!
    :)

  30. 01/07/2013 at 2:19 pm

    I’m pretty sure you made this just for me. Oh, and thank you, I love it ;)

  31. 01/07/2013 at 3:42 pm

    Chinese take out is one of my favorites. I dont know why, but it is definitely addicting!! I need to make this now. :-) Thanks!

  32. 01/07/2013 at 4:36 pm

    Yay, to fast and easy. Applause all around from here!

  33. 01/07/2013 at 4:38 pm

    I love the take our fake out series as well. This looks easy and delicious. thanks for another great recipe!

  34. 01/07/2013 at 5:01 pm

    this take-out fake-out series are so awesome. please keep it coming. I totally am with you about the ordering chinese or pizza when I am tired and it doesnt help if you are surrounded by them. I am certainly going to try this soon but with chicken. I hope it will turn out as delicious :)

  35. 01/07/2013 at 5:03 pm

    I always love your beautifully photographed take out fake out recipes, Julie! My boyfriend’s very favorite chinese take out order – and we must make it at home for him! Thank you for sharing this, girl!

  36. 01/07/2013 at 5:04 pm

    I love Mongolian beef, seriously drooling over how delish this looks!

  37. 01/07/2013 at 5:28 pm

    This looks so yummy! And your photos are beautiful. I absolutely adore Chinese food, my boyfriend jokes that’s the only reason I’m with him! I kind of feel spoiled because he cooks such amazing Chinese food for me, so I think I should make this to show him my appreciation!

    Know what you mean with the back cleavage, so annoying, I can never seem to get rid of it no matter how much I work out :(!

  38. 01/07/2013 at 5:44 pm

    Yum, one of my favorite take-out dishes! It looks saucy and delicious. Looking forward to trying this one at home!

  39. 01/07/2013 at 5:46 pm

    I kind of want to make out with that beef. Yes, yes I do.

  40. 01/07/2013 at 5:56 pm

    Love making take out at home, so much better for you! Mongolian beef is a favorite too, great recipe!

  41. 01/07/2013 at 7:14 pm

    Oh yeah, I am seriously into this. we ordered Chinese takeout last night, and frankly this looks WAY better!!

  42. 01/07/2013 at 7:32 pm

    This looks amazing! Wish I had for dinner tonight :)

  43. 01/07/2013 at 7:47 pm

    Do you deliver? ;) This looks amazing! We just love your Beef and Broccoli so I am definitely making this soon!

  44. 01/07/2013 at 8:13 pm

    This is totally on my list for this weekend! My husband will be forever grateful enjoying this recipe while watching football.
    Pics are incredible by the way!

    : )
    Jen

  45. 01/07/2013 at 8:14 pm

    You have done it again. I love this times one million!

  46. 01/07/2013 at 8:47 pm

    There’d be no complaining from over here to sit down to this dinner. What a winner!

  47. 01/07/2013 at 8:47 pm

    Not only are you telling lies… no more greasy takeout until after the wedding?! But you also mentioned my arch nemesis’ name. I feel like I don’t even know who you are anymore. lol ;) Oh and seriously – this sounds amazing :p

  48. Liz @ The Lemon Bowl
    01/07/2013 at 10:05 pm

    We are obsessed with our rice cooker!! I agree- only way to go! This looks delish and I want to eat my screen.

  49. 01/07/2013 at 10:43 pm

    Homemade takeout is the best! I find tons of wedding dresses seem to give back cleavage you can’t do anything about…let’s assume guys like it as much as front cleavage and go with it, I say :)

  50. 01/08/2013 at 6:30 am

    Oh, the meat looks so glossy…Love it…

  51. 01/08/2013 at 10:59 am

    Wow, I love that this comes together so quickly. Almost as fast as take out itself :)

  52. 01/08/2013 at 11:40 am

    I’ve been loving making favorite Asian take-out dishes at home, I am definitely adding this one to my list!

  53. Becky @ Olives n Wine
    01/08/2013 at 12:51 pm

    I am ALL about making Chinese food healthier! This looks like an awesome recipe! I can’t wait to see photos of your dress – you’ll be stunning :)

  54. 01/08/2013 at 2:35 pm

    I love how few ingredients are in this dish! My brother AND boyfriend both eat Panda Express all the time, I have no idea how they don’t weigh 200 pounds!

    Speaking of which, I hope you’re not stressing out too much about losing weight for the dress! Don’t starve yourself, use the lateral pulldown machine at the gym to tone your back :) I hope I don’t sound too preachy, I actually really do just love that machine for some reason haha so I thought of it right away!

  55. Kristen M.
    01/08/2013 at 5:11 pm

    I always love your take-out, fake-outs. Mongolian beef is a definite favorite of mine so I can’t wait to try it.

  56. 01/08/2013 at 9:53 pm

    This looks SO GOOD! Michael saw it on Pinterest and said “Make that. NOW.”

  57. 01/08/2013 at 11:14 pm

    There is not a day that goes by that i don’t crave take out. Usually sweet and sour pork – but on those days where I Crave, Need, can’t live without beef, it’s always Mongolian. Holy geebus! Love it! Also – I’m still totally lusting over those lettuce wraps from Pei Wei.

  58. 01/08/2013 at 11:22 pm

    omg you just made my life so much easier. I told my mom I’d cook a few nights while visiting from college and she LOVES Mongolian Beef! AGH she will be so surprised!! Thanks!!

  59. 01/08/2013 at 11:23 pm

    I’m super excited about this one! This is one of my favorite dishes to order and it seems so simple to make!

  60. Lisa W
    01/08/2013 at 11:44 pm

    This is sooo simple and goes great with Chinese green beans and sticky rice. If I’m in the mood I’ll even add a 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, to give it pep!

    Thanks for sharing!
    Lisa

  61. 01/09/2013 at 12:38 pm

    I can’t wait to make this!!

  62. 01/11/2013 at 9:47 am

    That looks so tasty!

  63. Lacy
    01/11/2013 at 10:59 am

    If you can’t find flank steak, is there a substitute for it?

    • 01/11/2013 at 11:35 am

      You could try skirt or hanger steak.

  64. ellie
    01/12/2013 at 7:17 am

    Sounds great – but I think you need to add in #3……some time to allow the oil to heat up……before attempting to sear the beef…….or else – w/ cold beef and cold oil – you will have a goopy mess and little chance of a good sear.

  65. Nicky
    01/12/2013 at 3:08 pm

    Ok- I’ve never used a rice cooker. Love the idea of ‘set it and forget it!’ I read the rice to water ratio earlier. What about cook time, other directions? Will those come in the cooker that I need to purchase? Lol. Understand that my Cajun mom always boiled the numerous pounds of rice that we’ve eaten. I always thought that rice cooker rice came out in ‘balls’ or starchy lumps of rice? Any education here would be greatly appreciated!

    • 01/12/2013 at 10:54 pm

      You put the rice in the rice cooker with the water and depending on the model of your rice cooker, you typically just turn it on and press the “cook” button or “white rice” button or if it’s a japanese model, you just click it down to the “on” position and it cooks automatically. There is no cook time, they just cook it and will beep at you when it’s done. I don’t know why your rice cooker rice comes out in balls or starchy – probably not enough water.

  66. Jennifer
    01/12/2013 at 6:26 pm

    Can you put in crock pot aso?

    • 01/12/2013 at 10:55 pm

      Yes, you probably could. If you were putting it in slow cooker, I wouldn’t dredge the beef with cornstarch. I’d just add all ingredients to crockpot, cook on high for 3-4 hours then take a bit of the liquid and create a cornstarch slurry with it and then pour it in, cook for another 30 minutes on high to thicken it up.

    • 01/12/2013 at 10:56 pm

      Sorry, I meant slow cooker – not rice cooker, was replying to a previous comment about rice cooker and it was still on my mind! lol

  67. Jen
    01/13/2013 at 9:02 am

    Thanks,going to cook on low will be gone most of the day.

  68. Ricardo
    01/13/2013 at 1:36 pm

    Is that 1 and a 1/3 cup of sugar , or just 1/3 cup of sugar..
    1 and a 1/3 seems like awfully lot of sugar.

  69. Cricket
    01/14/2013 at 8:51 am

    Possibly a Weight Watcher Version? Anyone? I so want this, it looks delish!

  70. Silvia Richards
    01/14/2013 at 9:46 am

    This was a crowd pleaser! Even my 4 and 2 year old ate it and loved it. And they are picky! Thanks again for another delicious recipe!

  71. 01/14/2013 at 6:01 pm

    This looks so good! I totally get what you mean about back cleavage! I ended up lacing up my wedding dress so tight that at times I have too much front and back cleavage! But I was worried about it slipping too far down! Congrats on your wedding! It’s a fun time!

    xo

  72. Katie
    01/14/2013 at 11:36 pm

    I love your blog! I just discovered it via pinterest and couldnt be more excited! Keep up the good work. Your take out fake outs were very delicious!

  73. Mindy
    01/15/2013 at 8:39 pm

    this recipe as is at 5 servings, is 559 calories per serving (not too bad for dinner, but you better skip the rice)the sodium is 1976 per serving & 68 carbs (no rice). Doesn’t sound much different from take out…

    5 Servings

    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 559.1
    Total Fat 13.5 g
    Saturated Fat 5.8 g
    Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g
    Monounsaturated Fat 5.4 g
    Cholesterol 90.7 mg
    Sodium 1,976.3 mg
    Total Carbohydrate 67.7 g
    Dietary Fiber 0.5 g
    Sugars 51.6 g
    Protein 40.4 g

    • 01/15/2013 at 9:09 pm

      Hi Mindy, thanks for this! Just to clarify, I never said this was a healthy alternative to take-out, I merely said it’s a tad bit better than the regular greasy take-out that you get because of less grease used to make this. Not to mention, it’s cheaper than spending money on take-out and of course, everything in moderation :) if you aren’t a fan of the sodium levels in this dish, by all means, you may cut down on the soy sauce used or use a different, leaner cut of steak or even try this with white meat chicken.

  74. 01/16/2013 at 2:11 pm

    I’m hungry all of a sudden…and the bad part? I just ate, haha. Love your photos, they really capture the freshness :)

  75. P
    01/17/2013 at 1:31 pm

    I made this meal two nights ago and it was…amazeballs. Plain and simple. It tasted like the real deal. Even my 2 year old daughter enjoyed it! Now I’m going to to need you to master a General Tso’s recipe. :)

  76. Stacey
    01/18/2013 at 6:56 am

    I made this last night and it was really great. The only change I made was to add a pinch of red pepper flakes at the end of cooking the garlic and ginger. It was quick, easy, and really tasted like Mongolian Beef. Will def make again!

  77. sharig43
    01/19/2013 at 2:02 pm

    I plan to use brown sugar substitute to drop calories further.

  78. Gertraude McCants
    01/21/2013 at 6:16 pm

    Very good I did it but I need Moore souse

  79. Yvonne
    01/21/2013 at 6:47 pm

    What if you don’t have a rice cooker? :( Also what is the best kind of rice to use for steamed rice? I just bought jasmine rice but not sure if it will do the trick.

    • 01/21/2013 at 8:38 pm

      You can cook the rice on the stove. Same water/rice ratio. The best kind of rice is Japanese sushi rice.

  80. Amanda
    01/25/2013 at 6:40 pm

    It looks good. We’re making this tonight! But be careful, especially if you’re trying to watch what you eat. This recipe, split into four servings, is over 700 calories per serving. Into six servings, it’s still over 500. Pair it with steamed veggies instead of rice to keep calories down. :)

  81. Marcy
    01/25/2013 at 7:18 pm

    I made this tonight- and it was really really tasty! I think I overcooked the sauce when I added the beef to it, because it got clumpy from the cornstarch. Still tasted good, just a little thick. The only thing I didn’t like was that my kitchen was a mess afterwards! Lots of oil splatter everywhere! But, I AM the world’s messiest cook! ;)

  82. Emily S
    01/30/2013 at 10:11 pm

    My husband and I made this tonight, and I think it is the most delicious thing I have ever cooked!! Definitely don’t need to order take out ever again! :)

    One thing that I noticed was that I needed to cook the beef and sauce a little longer than 2 minutes in the end to get the sauce to thicken; I think we probably ended up cooking it about 4 minutes total. This definitely made a LOT of sauce too; my leftover beef is literally swimming in it! But the sauce is so delicious, I’m so glad there is a lot left. After the beef runs out, I’m planning on pouring the rest over any leftover rice I might still have!

  83. Carol
    01/31/2013 at 1:00 am

    This recipe is amazing! I made it with venison, it was great! :D

  84. Melissa
    02/12/2013 at 7:55 pm

    I cooked this last night and it was amazing! SO yummy and easy. It’s just like from a restaurant but better because its homemade. Will definitely make it again.

  85. Liz
    03/26/2013 at 10:01 am

    I made this last night, and it was fabulous. Thanks, Julie!

  86. 04/04/2013 at 6:12 pm

    This is now one of my go to meals….my family loves it!

  87. amanda
    04/11/2013 at 7:19 pm

    This recipe was great. I added some crushed red pepper for a little spice and loved the sweet and spicy combo.

  88. Stephanie
    04/27/2013 at 2:00 pm

    I made this for dinner the other night and it was SO GOOD! It was a bit too sweet for our tastes, though. I realize that Mongolian Beef is supposed to be a sweet dish, lol, but in the future we’ll probably cut back to maybe just 1 cup of sugar instead of 1 1/3. It was still rockin’ as-is, though!

  89. Amelia
    08/27/2013 at 7:44 pm

    made this tonight and it was delish. i cut the soy sauce by 1/2 and added a 1/2 cup more water..i am sodium weary. we love take out but i always regret to the point i never order out anymore. i prefer to make my own. this one will be added to my list. thanks!

    • 08/28/2013 at 8:55 am

      Awesome, Amelia! I’m sodium weary too and I’m glad you were able to modify it to your specifications. Thanks for the feedback!

  90. Aaren
    09/12/2013 at 8:39 pm

    Another delicious recipe! Thanks for sharing!

    • 09/13/2013 at 7:42 am

      Awesome! So glad you got to try this one. It’s one of my favorites!

  91. 09/19/2013 at 4:54 pm

    This looks soooooo good, but I would need to cut out some of the sugar yummmmm!

  92. Amanda Conlin
    10/06/2013 at 6:13 pm

    Can I use a little flour if I don’t have enough corn starch?

    • 10/07/2013 at 8:12 am

      Yes, absolutely!

  93. 11/11/2013 at 12:56 pm

    I made this dish last night and it was AMAZing! Will make again. Thanks for sharing. :)

    • 11/12/2013 at 10:05 am

      Thanks for the feedback, Rachel. Glad you enjoyed it :)

  94. 05/05/2014 at 6:46 am

    Oh this was divine, thank you so much.

    I added some spring onions, mushrooms and capsicum to have some vegies and was so delicious!! will definately make this one again!

  95. Azalea
    07/12/2014 at 10:12 pm

    Just had this for dinner, it was soooo good! Will make this again. Thanks for sharing your yummy recipes! :)

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