This easy Mongolian Beef recipe is better than take-out and can be made in just 30 minutes! Tender beef and fresh green onions in an amazing garlic and ginger asian sauce, served over hot cooked rice. 

We’ve got a slew of amazing ethnic recipes on TBFS including Teriyaki Chicken, Banh Mi SandwichesEnsalada Rusa, and Korean Bulgogi.

Mongolian beef on a plate with rice and chopped green onion on top.

I’m just patting my own back over here for another KILLER take-out recipe that you can make at home with simple ingredients, and it’s just as delicious as you’d order in a Chinese restaurant! I also love knowing where my ingredients came from, and everything tastes so fresh and delicious!

This homemade Mongolian beef is so incredibly flavorful, made with thinly sliced beef cooked with onions (or other vegetables) in a slightly thickened soy and brown sugar based sauce and served over rice.  It’s a popular dish in many Chinese restaurants., with the crispy beef and delicious sauce. I know you’re going to love it!

What I LOVE about this recipe:

  1. Better than take-out. Every time I make this dish,  my husband praises it with every single bite he takes. No need to travel to P.F. Chang’s for our favorite dish–this Mongolian Beef recipe is seriously just as delicious and only takes 30-minutes to make.
  2. Simple ingredients. Also, check out the ingredients list. They’re probably all spices you have in your pantry!
  3. 30 minute meal. prep it in 15 minutes, cook it in 15 minutes, and you are your families hero for the day.

How to make Mongolian Beef in 5 steps:

1. Prep the flank steak. First slice it into 1/4” thin (or thinner) slices, across the grain of the meat. Then lay the slices across a large baking sheet or your cutting board, and toss them on all sides with the ⅓ cup cornstarch.

A sheet pan with slices of flank steak, and then the steak tossed in cornstarch.

2.  Cook the steak.  Place 1 tablespoon oil in a large pan or wok over medium-high heat. Cook the beef in small batches, just until browned on both sides, flipping once, about 30-seconds on each side. Remove the beef to a plate.

3. Make the sauce. In a small bowl whisk together the soy sauce, water, brown sugar, and cornstarch slurry. In the same large pan you used to cook the beef, add the ginger and garlic and sauté for 20 seconds. Add sauce and simmer, cooking until slightly thickened.

Strips if flank steak cooking in a pan, and Mongolian beef sauce cooking in a saucepan.

5. Combine and serve over rice.  Return beef to the pan with the sauce and toss to combine. Cook for 1-2 more minutes until warmed through.  Add green onions. Serve warm, over hot cooked rice

Mongolian beef stir-fried in a skillet with sauce and tongs.

A few tips for success:

  • Cut flank steak thinly, against the grain. Notice the directional lines in the meat grain and slice perpendicular to them. This will help ensure the beef is tender. If you cut along the grain then the meat will be tougher and chewier to eat. Also, the thinner the slices, the better.
  • Use low sodium soy sauce. This will keep the sauce from tasting overly salty.
  • Cook beef in smaller batches. You don’t want to crowd the pan because that prevents you from getting a nice brown sear on the meat.

Other Adaptations:

  • Add broccoli (I like to steam my broccoli with the rice as it finishes cooking).
  • Serve over brown rice or fried rice or in a lettuce cup.
  • Make it vegetarian/vegan.  Use the same recipe and directions, just substitute tofu!
A plate with Mongolian beef, brown rice and chopsticks on the side.

Make ahead Instructions:

I like to make this recipe fresh but you can definitely prep it ahead of time.  Make the sauce by mixing all sauce ingredients and storing them in the refrigerator before using.  You can also slice the meat ahead of time and store in the fridge until ready cook

Store Mongolian beef (separately from the rice) in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Freezing Instructions:

Allow it to cool completely and store in a freezer safe container container for 3-4 months.  Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat it slowly on the stovetop.

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Recipe

Mongolian beef on a plate with rice and chopped green onion on top.
Prep 15 mins
Cook 15 mins
Total 30 mins
Add to Meal Plan

Video

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound flank steak , sliced very thinly, across the grain
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 2-4 Tablespoons oil (vegetable or canola oil)
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar , packed
  • 2 tsp cornstarch + 2 tsp water mixed together to make a “slurry”
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 bunch green onion , chopped
  • hot cooked rice for serving

Instructions
 

  • Slice the flank steak into 1/4” thin (or thinner) slices, across the grain of the meat. 
    A sheet pan with slices of flank steak, and then the steak tossed in cornstarch.
  • Lay the slices across a large baking sheet or your cutting board, and toss them on all sides with the ⅓ cup cornstarch.
  • Place 1 tablespoon oil in a large pan or wok over medium-high heat. Cook the beef in small batches, just until browned on both sides, flipping once, about 30-seconds on each side. (Our goal with the very hot pan is to sear/brown the beef on both sides without cooking it all the way through.) 
  • Remove the beef to a plate. Add more oil to the pan, if needed, while cooking the meat.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the soy sauce, water, brown sugar, and cornstarch slurry.
  • In the same large pan you used to cook the beef, turn the heat to medium, add the ginger and garlic and sauté for 20 seconds.
  • Add sauce mixture and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. 
  • Return beef to the pan with the sauce and toss to combine. Cook for 1-2 more minutes until warmed through. 
  • Add green onions. Serve warm, over hot cooked rice

Notes

Pro Tips:
  • Cut flank steak thinly, against the grain. Notice the directional lines in the meat grain and slice perpendicular to them. This will help ensure the beef is tender. If you cut along the grain then the meat will be tougher and chewier to eat. Also, the thinner the slices, the better.
  • Use low sodium soy sauce. This will keep the sauce from tasting overly salty.
  • Cook beef in smaller batches. You don’t want to crowd the pan because that prevents you from getting a crispy brown sear on the meat.
 
To make ahead: I like to make this recipe fresh but you can definitely prep it ahead of time.  Make the sauce by mixing all sauce ingredients and storing them in the refrigerator before using.  You can also slice the meat ahead of time and store in the fridge until ready cook
Store Mongolian beef (separately from the rice) in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Freezing Instructions: Allow it to cool completely and store in a freezer safe container container for 3-4 months.  Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat it slowly on the stovetop.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 436kcalCarbohydrates: 51gProtein: 27gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 68mgSodium: 1724mgPotassium: 505mgSugar: 29gVitamin A: 60IUVitamin C: 1.4mgCalcium: 59mgIron: 2.8mg

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I originally shared this recipe July 2017. Updated December 2019 with process photos and more customization ideas.

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    We have one son who doesn’t like red meat, but he really enjoyed this meal. I think it was the sauce that did it!

  2. 5 stars
    I’m normally skeptical of trying recipes from personal internet websites, but so glad I tried this one. It’s fantastic! The whole family loved it.

    1. 3 stars
      The beef concept was great – was tender. Too much sugar for me and my husband and I would add some chilli and sliced onion for some flavour and top off with sesame seeds. Good effort tho – we enjoyed it

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