Mongolian Beef: A Tasty and Savory Dish to Try

Mongolian Beef is a popular Chinese dish that has gained immense popularity in the West. It is a stir-fry dish that features thin slices of beef, vegetables, and a sweet and savory sauce. The dish is believed to have originated in Taiwan, but its name suggests a Mongolian connection. However, there is no clear evidence to support this claim.

Mongolian Beef is a simple yet flavorful dish that can be easily prepared at home. It is a perfect meal for busy weeknights or when you want to enjoy Chinese takeout without leaving your home. The dish is made by marinating thinly sliced beef in a mixture of soy sauce, cornstarch, and other ingredients before stir-frying it with vegetables and a sauce made of soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, and ginger. The result is a tender and juicy beef dish that is bursting with flavor.

History of Mongolian Beef


Mongolian beef is a popular Chinese-American dish, but despite its name, it has no direct connection to Mongolia. The dish was actually invented in Taiwan in the mid-20th century and was inspired by Mongolian barbecue, which is a style of cooking that involves grilling meat and vegetables on a large, round iron griddle.

The origins of the name “Mongolian beef” are somewhat unclear. Some sources suggest that the dish was named after the grilled meat served at Mongolian barbecue restaurants in Taiwan, while others believe that it was simply a marketing ploy to make the dish sound exotic and appealing to customers.

Regardless of its name, Mongolian beef quickly became a popular dish in Chinese-American restaurants across the United States. Today, it is a staple of Chinese-American cuisine and is enjoyed by people all over the world.

Popularity in Western Cuisine

Mongolian beef has become a popular dish in Western cuisine, and it is often served in Chinese restaurants and takeout establishments. The dish typically consists of thinly sliced beef that is stir-fried with vegetables and a sweet and savory sauce.

One of the reasons for Mongolian beef’s popularity in the West is its versatility. The dish can be made with a variety of different cuts of beef, and it can be customized to suit individual tastes by adjusting the level of spiciness or sweetness in the sauce.

Overall, Mongolian beef is a delicious and satisfying dish that has a rich history and has become a staple of Chinese-American cuisine. Whether you’re a fan of spicy or sweet flavors, there’s sure to be a version of Mongolian beef that will satisfy your taste buds.


Mongolian Beef is a dish that is both flavorful and easy to make. It requires only a few key ingredients, which can be found at most grocery stores.

Beef Selection

For Mongolian Beef, it is important to choose the right cut of beef. Flank steak is a popular choice, as it is lean and flavorful. Other options include sirloin or ribeye. The beef should be sliced thinly against the grain to ensure tenderness.

Vegetables and Aromatics

In addition to the beef, Mongolian Beef typically includes vegetables and aromatics to add flavor and texture. Common options include sliced onions, minced garlic, and grated ginger. Julienne carrots and peppers can also be added for color and crunch.

Sauce Components

The sauce is what gives Mongolian Beef its distinctive flavor. The sauce typically includes soy sauce, brown sugar, and hoisin sauce. Cornstarch is added to the sauce to thicken it and coat the beef. Other ingredients can be added to the sauce for additional flavor, such as rice vinegar, sesame oil, and chili flakes.

Overall, the ingredients for Mongolian Beef are simple and easy to find. With the right combination of beef, vegetables, and sauce components, this dish can be a flavorful addition to any meal.

Preparation Techniques

Marinating the Beef

Marinating the beef is an essential step in preparing Mongolian beef. It helps to tenderize the meat and infuse it with flavor. To marinate the beef, one can use a mixture of soy sauce, rice wine, cornstarch, and sugar. The beef should be sliced thinly against the grain and then marinated for at least 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.

Stir-Frying Fundamentals

Stir-frying is a cooking technique that requires high heat and quick cooking. It is essential to choose the right pan for stir-frying, such as a wok or a heavy-bottomed skillet. The pan should be preheated over high heat before adding the oil and ingredients. The ingredients should be added in stages, starting with the aromatics, followed by the meat, and then the vegetables. It is crucial to avoid overcrowding the pan to ensure that the ingredients cook evenly.

Sauce Thickening Methods

The sauce is a crucial component of Mongolian beef, and it should be thick and glossy. There are several methods for thickening the sauce, including using cornstarch, flour, or potato starch. Cornstarch is the most commonly used method, and it should be mixed with cold water before adding it to the sauce. It is essential to add the thickening agent gradually and to stir constantly to prevent lumps from forming. If the sauce is too thick, it can be thinned out with a little bit of water or chicken broth.

In summary, marinating the beef, stir-frying fundamentals, and sauce thickening methods are essential techniques for preparing Mongolian beef. By following these techniques, one can achieve a tender, flavorful, and authentic Mongolian beef dish.

Serving Suggestions

When it comes to serving Mongolian Beef, there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure the dish is presented in the best possible way. In this section, we’ll cover some suggestions for accompaniments and plating styles that will elevate your Mongolian Beef to the next level.


Mongolian Beef is a flavorful dish that pairs well with a variety of sides. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Rice: White rice is the classic choice, but brown rice or fried rice are also great options.
  • Noodles: Lo mein or chow mein noodles are a tasty choice that will soak up the sauce.
  • Vegetables: Steamed broccoli, bok choy, or green beans are all healthy options that will add some color to the plate.
  • Soup: Egg drop soup or hot and sour soup are both good choices to balance out the richness of the beef.

Plating Styles

The presentation of Mongolian Beef can be just as important as the flavor. Here are a few plating styles to consider:

  • Family-style: Serve the beef in a large dish with the sides arranged around it. This is a great option for a casual dinner with friends or family.
  • Individual plates: Plate the beef and sides separately on individual plates. This is a more formal option that is perfect for a dinner party or special occasion.
  • Bowl: Serve the beef and rice or noodles in a bowl, topped with vegetables and garnished with green onions or sesame seeds. This is a cozy and comforting option that’s perfect for a cold winter night.

No matter how you choose to serve it, Mongolian Beef is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. With these suggestions for accompaniments and plating styles, you can make sure that your dish is both delicious and visually appealing.

Nutritional Information

Mongolian Beef is a popular dish that originated in China and has become a staple in many Asian restaurants. It is typically made with thinly sliced beef, vegetables, and a sweet and savory sauce. While it is a delicious dish, it is important to consider its nutritional information.

One cup of Mongolian Beef contains approximately 160-340 calories, depending on the recipe and portion size. It is also high in protein, with around 20-90 grams per serving. However, it is important to note that Mongolian Beef can be high in sodium, with around 215-900 milligrams per serving.

In terms of fat content, Mongolian Beef can vary depending on the recipe and cooking method. Some versions may be high in saturated fat, while others may contain more unsaturated fats. It is important to pay attention to the ingredients and cooking methods used when preparing Mongolian Beef to ensure a healthy and balanced meal.

Overall, Mongolian Beef can be a nutritious and delicious dish when prepared with the right ingredients and cooking methods. It is important to enjoy it in moderation and balance it with other healthy foods to maintain a well-rounded diet.


Mongolian beef is a popular dish that has been adapted and modified over the years. Here are a few variations on the classic recipe:

Spicy Mongolian Beef

For those who like a little heat, adding some chili flakes or Sriracha sauce to the sauce mixture can give the dish a spicy kick. Another option is to use Szechuan peppercorns, which have a numbing effect on the tongue and add a unique flavor to the dish.

Vegetarian Alternatives

For those who prefer a vegetarian or vegan diet, there are several alternatives to beef that can be used in this dish. One option is to use seitan, a meat substitute made from wheat gluten. Another option is to use tofu, which can be pressed and marinated in the same sauce mixture as the beef. Both of these alternatives can be stir-fried in the same way as the beef.

One can also add vegetables like mushrooms, bell peppers, and onions to the dish to give it more depth and flavor. These vegetables can be stir-fried along with the beef or used as a substitute for the beef altogether.

Overall, there are many ways to customize Mongolian beef to suit different tastes and dietary preferences. With a little experimentation, one can come up with a version that is perfect for them.

Cooking Tips

Mongolian Beef is a delicious and easy-to-make dish that can be prepared in a variety of ways. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your Mongolian Beef recipe:

  • Choose the right cut of beef: For Mongolian Beef, it is recommended to use flank steak or sirloin steak. These cuts of beef are tender and flavorful, which makes them perfect for this dish.
  • Slice the beef thinly: Slicing the beef thinly makes it easier to cook and results in a more tender and flavorful dish. To slice the beef thinly, it is recommended to freeze it for 30 minutes before slicing.
  • Coat the beef in cornstarch: Coating the beef in cornstarch before cooking helps to give it a crispy texture and also acts as a tenderizer. Be sure to coat the beef evenly before cooking.
  • Cook the beef quickly over high heat: Mongolian Beef is traditionally cooked quickly over high heat to give it a crispy texture. Be sure to cook the beef in small batches to avoid overcrowding the pan.
  • Prepare the sauce in advance: Preparing the sauce in advance allows the flavors to meld together and makes for a more flavorful dish. It is recommended to prepare the sauce at least 30 minutes before cooking.
  • Garnish with green onions: Garnishing the dish with sliced green onions adds a fresh, bright flavor that complements the rich flavors of the beef and sauce.

By following these tips, you can create a delicious and authentic Mongolian Beef dish that is sure to impress your family and friends.

Storage and Reheating

Mongolian beef is a delicious dish that can be enjoyed at home or in a restaurant. However, if you have leftovers, it’s important to store and reheat them properly to maintain their flavor and texture.


To store Mongolian beef, place it in an airtight container and refrigerate it within two hours of cooking. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days or in the freezer for up to three months. When freezing Mongolian beef, make sure to label the container with the date it was stored to ensure that it is used before it spoils.


When reheating Mongolian beef, it’s important to use a method that will not overcook or dry out the meat. One of the best ways to reheat Mongolian beef is in a skillet. Lightly grease a skillet with oil and bring it to medium-high heat. Add your leftover Mongolian beef, frequently tossing it as it reheats. This process should take 4 – 5 minutes. Once piping hot, serve immediately for best results. suggests this method.

Another way to reheat Mongolian beef is in the microwave. Take your portion of leftover Mongolian beef out of the refrigerator. If possible, divide larger portions into smaller ones for more even heating. Place the desired amount on a microwave-safe plate or bowl. Cover the plate or bowl with a microwave-safe lid, plastic wrap, or a damp paper towel to retain moisture. Heat the beef in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until it is heated through. suggests this method.

It’s important to note that Mongolian beef should not be reheated more than once. Reheating it multiple times can cause it to dry out and lose its flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make an authentic Mongolian beef dish?

Making an authentic Mongolian beef dish involves stir-frying thinly sliced beef with scallions and garlic in a wok. The beef is then coated with a sauce made of soy sauce, brown sugar, and hoisin sauce. The dish is typically served over a bed of rice.

What are the key ingredients for a classic Mongolian beef recipe?

The key ingredients for a classic Mongolian beef recipe include thinly sliced beef, scallions, garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar, hoisin sauce, and cornstarch. These ingredients are used to create a sweet and savory sauce that coats the beef.

Can you provide an easy recipe for Mongolian beef?

Sure, here’s an easy recipe for Mongolian beef that can be made in 30 minutes:

  1. In a bowl, mix together 1 pound of thinly sliced beef, 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, and a pinch of salt.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup of soy sauce, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of hoisin sauce, 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, and 1 tablespoon of grated ginger.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a wok over high heat. Add the beef and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until browned.
  4. Add 1 sliced onion and 3 cloves of minced garlic to the wok and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Pour in the sauce and stir-fry for another 1-2 minutes until the sauce thickens.
  6. Serve over rice and garnish with sliced scallions.

How does PF Chang’s style Mongolian beef differ from traditional recipes?

PF Chang’s style Mongolian beef differs from traditional recipes in that it uses flank steak instead of thinly sliced beef. Additionally, PF Chang’s recipe includes vegetables like green onions and red bell peppers, which are not typically found in traditional recipes.

What are the steps to make Mongolian beef sauce?

To make Mongolian beef sauce, whisk together 1/4 cup of soy sauce, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of hoisin sauce, 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, and 1 tablespoon of grated ginger. The sauce can be adjusted to taste by adding more or less of each ingredient.

How can I prepare Mongolian beef in a slow cooker?

To prepare Mongolian beef in a slow cooker, simply add thinly sliced beef, sliced onions, minced garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar, hoisin sauce, and cornstarch to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-3 hours until the beef is tender. Serve over rice and garnish with sliced scallions.

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