Mongolian Beef

Skip the take-out! Mongolian beef is easy to make at home!

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

Mongolian Beef
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
30 mins

No need to call the takeout place for mongolian beef; you can make this right at home!

Course: Beef, Main Entree
Cuisine: Chinese
Servings: 4 -6
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 pounds flank steak, sliced
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • Green onions, sliced
  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 1/2 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.
Recipe Notes

Source: inspired by via Just a Taste



Posted on January 07, 2013

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  1. 01/08/2013 at 10:59 am

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

  2. 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!

  3. 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 :)

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 01/08/2013 at 9:53 pm

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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!!

  9. 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!

  10. 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!

  11. 01/09/2013 at 12:38 pm

    I can’t wait to make this!!

  12. 01/11/2013 at 9:47 am

    That looks so tasty!

  13. 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.

    • Donna Lenz
      11/09/2014 at 7:43 pm

      i made this tonight and it was great! I used sirloin steak, just sliced it really thin and it did beautiful! Thank you!

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

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

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

  18. 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.

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

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

  20. 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!

  21. 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!


  22. 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!

  23. 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.

  24. 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 :)

  25. 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. :)

  26. 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!

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

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

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

    Very good I did it but I need Moore souse

  29. 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.

  30. 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. :)

  31. 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! ;)

  32. 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!

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

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

  34. 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.

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

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

  36. 04/04/2013 at 6:12 pm

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

  37. 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.

  38. 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!

  39. 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!

  40. 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!

  41. 09/19/2013 at 4:54 pm

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

  42. 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!

  43. 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 :)

  44. 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!

  45. 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! :)

  46. Tracey
    09/29/2014 at 7:11 pm

    Perfection! I made this last night and it was not only so simple and easy to prepare, but was a BIG hit with the family. Loving your blog, delicious and easy to make family meals – what more could you want?! Thanks :)

    • Julie
      09/30/2014 at 7:09 am

      Thanks Tracey! I’m glad this was a big hit with your family :)

  47. Heather
    10/19/2014 at 8:12 pm

    Hi Julie! Made this for the first time tonight and really tasty! Just curious of how well you cook your meat? After the 2 minutes in the sauce, it was still pink. Did I miss something? :)

    • Julie
      10/20/2014 at 7:22 am

      Hi Heather, mine was throughly cooked through. 2 minutes is a rough estimate because it depends on how thick your cuts of meat are. If you find that the meat is still too pink for you, then cook it longer until it is no longer pink. Hope that helps!

  48. 12/18/2014 at 12:23 pm

    Hi there, can I use light brown sugar apposed to dark brown sugar…Thank You

    • Julie
      12/22/2014 at 7:52 am

      Yup, you sure can!

  49. David
    02/20/2015 at 12:39 pm

    Wow, a lot of sugar. Way over the recommended daily amount per person(37.5gm which is a lot–9 tsp)

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