If you love Chinese takeout, you probably have tried Mongolian beef at least once. This dish is a popular choice for many people who enjoy the sweet and savory flavors of tender beef slices coated in a rich and sticky sauce. But did you know that you can make this delicious dish at home with just a few simple ingredients and in less than 30 minutes? Yes, you heard that right! You don’t need to order from a restaurant or spend hours in the kitchen to enjoy this mouthwatering meal. All you need is some flank steak, cornstarch, oil, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, water, brown sugar, and green onions. That’s it!
In this article, we will show you how to make the best Mongolian beef recipe ever, with step-by-step instructions, tips and tricks, and nutritional information. We will also answer some frequently asked questions about this dish, such as where it originated, what to serve it with, and how to store leftovers. By the end of this article, you will be ready to impress your family and friends with your homemade Mongolian beef that tastes even better than the restaurant version. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!
How to Make Mongolian Beef
Making Mongolian beef is super easy and quick. Here are the basic steps you need to follow:
- Slice the flank steak thinly against the grain. This will ensure that the meat is tender and not chewy. You can also freeze the meat for about 30 minutes before slicing to make it easier to cut.
- Coat the beef slices with cornstarch. This will help create a crispy crust on the meat and also thicken the sauce later. Shake off any excess cornstarch and set aside.
- Heat some oil in a large skillet over high heat. Fry the beef in batches until browned and crisp, about 2 minutes per side. Don’t overcrowd the pan or the meat will steam instead of sear. Transfer the cooked beef to a plate and keep warm.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, water, and brown sugar. This will be the base of the sauce. You can adjust the amount of sugar according to your taste preference. Some people like it sweeter, some like it less sweet. You can also add some red pepper flakes or sriracha for some heat if you like spicy food.
- In the same skillet, heat some more oil over medium-high heat. Add the minced ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Be careful not to burn them or they will turn bitter.
- Pour the soy sauce mixture into the skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. You can also add some cornstarch dissolved in water if you want a thicker sauce.
- Add the beef and the green onions to the sauce and toss to coat well. Cook for another minute or until heated through.
- Serve hot over steamed rice, noodles, or your favorite side dish. Enjoy!
Tips and Tricks for Making Mongolian Beef
Here are some tips and tricks to make your Mongolian beef even better:
- Use a sharp knife to slice the beef as thin as possible. This will ensure that the meat cooks quickly and evenly, and also absorbs more flavor from the sauce.
- Use low sodium soy sauce to control the saltiness of the dish. You can always add more salt if needed, but you can’t take it out.
- Use dark brown sugar for a deeper and richer flavor. You can also use light brown sugar or honey if you prefer.
- Use fresh ginger and garlic for the best flavor and aroma. You can also grate them instead of mincing them for a finer texture.
- Use green onions for a pop of color and freshness. You can also use other vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, or mushrooms if you like.
- Use a large and heavy skillet that can withstand high heat. This will help create a nice sear on the meat and prevent the sauce from burning.
- Don’t overcook the beef or it will become tough and dry. Cook it just until browned and crisp on the outside, and still juicy and tender on the inside.
Nutritional Information for Mongolian Beef
One serving of Mongolian beef (about 1 cup) has approximately:
- Calories: 340
- Fat: 11 g
- Carbohydrates: 19 g
- Fiber: 1 g
- Sugar: 9 g
- Protein: 40 g
This dish is high in protein and low in fiber. It also contains some iron, zinc, and vitamin B12 from the beef, and some vitamin C from the green onions. However, it is also high in sodium and sugar, so you may want to limit your portion size and balance it with some healthy side dishes.
Frequently Asked Questions about Mongolian Beef
Here are some common questions and answers about Mongolian beef:
- Is Mongolian beef really from Mongolia? No, Mongolian beef is not actually a traditional Mongolian dish, and it’s not clear where the dish originated. Some sources suggest that it was created in Taiwan and became popular in Chinese-American restaurants in the United States in the 1970s and 1980s. Despite its name, Mongolian beef has nothing to do with Mongolian cuisine, which is mostly based on dairy products, meat, and noodles.
- What is the difference between Mongolian beef and Szechuan beef? Mongolian beef and Szechuan beef are both Chinese-American dishes that feature stir-fried beef in a sauce. However, they have different flavors and ingredients. Mongolian beef is sweet and savory, with a sauce made of soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, and garlic. Szechuan beef is spicy and tangy, with a sauce made of chili peppers, vinegar, garlic, and Szechuan peppercorns. Szechuan beef also usually has more vegetables than Mongolian beef.
- How to store and reheat leftovers of Mongolian beef? You can store leftover Mongolian beef in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, you can microwave it in a microwave-safe dish for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, or heat it in a skillet over medium-low heat until warmed through. You may need to add some water or broth to thin out the sauce if it has thickened too much.
- How to make Mongolian beef vegan or vegetarian? You can make Mongolian beef vegan or vegetarian by substituting the beef with tofu, tempeh, seitan, or your favorite plant-based meat alternative. You can also use vegetable broth or water instead of beef broth or water, and use vegan-friendly sugar and soy sauce. The rest of the ingredients and steps are the same as the original recipe.
Mongolian beef is a delicious and easy dish that you can make at home with just a few simple ingredients and in less than 30 minutes. It’s perfect for a busy weeknight dinner or a special occasion. You can serve it with rice, noodles, or your favorite side dish, and enjoy the sweet and savory flavors of tender beef slices coated in a rich and sticky sauce. It’s a dish that everyone will love and ask for more. Try it tonight and see for yourself!