Mongolian Beef



One of my favorite things to order out when we get Chinese is Mongolian beef. I love ginger and garlic together (one of the world’s most perfect pairings in my opinion), and I love the slight heat from the red pepper mixed with the sweetness from the sugar.  I do enjoy making Asian cuisines at home (especially because it ends up being so much healthier), but my repertoire is still a little thin.   I’ve never tried Mongolian beef at home, so when I saw this post at Confections of a Foodie Bride a few months back, I bookmarked it immediately.

I reduced the amount of sauce (but not the amount of ginger and garlic) since I used less steak, but next time I might keep the sauce the same.  Also, looking at the recipe now, I’m trying to remember if I actually added the water.  Hmm. I think I did? But, I’m not so sure.  I made this a couple weeks ago so I don’t remember it very clearly. I should probably start posting things as I make them, or at least drafts of them since I tend to be forgetful…

I also had, umm, a slight incident with some sticking to the wok (the leftover sugar burning as I was cooking the meat). Hot wok + sugar = not the best situation for me.

But anyway, this was a great recipe. All the flavors worked so well together, and it was just like delivery. The bonus is it takes no time to make and uses ingredients I almost always have handy. I’ll definitely be making this again (and trying not to burn some of the excess sauce).

Mongolian Beef

  • 5 minutes
  • 10 minutes
  • 2 servings


  • 2/3 lb. flank steak, sliced across the grain
  • 3 Tbsp. corn starch
  • 3 tsp. canola oil, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. (heaping) red pepper flakes
  • 2-3 large scallions, sliced


  1. Pat the steak pieces and make sure they're dry; then, toss the steak and cornstarch together.  Be sure all pieces are fully coated, but shake off excess corn starch. Mix together the soy sauce, water, brown sugar and red pepper flakes.
  2. Heat half the oil in a wok at medium-high heat and add the ginger and garlic.  Once fragrant (30 seconds or so), add the soy sauce mixture. Cook for about 2 minutes and transfer to a bowl.
  3. Turn the heat up on the wok and add the remaining oil. Add the beef and cook, stirring until just browned. Pour the sauce back in and let it cook with the meat. Let the sauce thicken to your liking, and then add the green onions in just before plating.
Adapted from Pink Bites

71 thoughts on “Mongolian Beef

  1. I’ll be making this tonight, Elly!! (I did that thing that I do… invited a friend over for dinner with absolutely no idea what I would make!)

    I’ll let you know how it goes. Sounds delicious, though. Pretty much anything containing ginger and garlic is good in my book!

  2. That is one of our favorites! I’ve made a similar version a few times before but just haven’t gotten around to taking a picture because we’re in too much of a hurry to eat it! 🙂

  3. Looks delicious! When I did the Culinary Tour Around the World earlier this year, I did this recipe for our stop in Mongolia. I haven’t had it since. Your presentation is very appealing. If I didn’t have dinner on the stove already (and if I had all the ingredients)… 🙂

  4. I’m loving this recipe – alot!!! I’ve never had a large repetoire of what to do with flank steak and I’m going to do exactly what you did – bookmark!!!

  5. I cook a ton of Asian food but for some reason have never made this! I haven’t been eating much beef lately…would it be totally lame to make it with chicken instead?

    1. Cate, I’ve never had it with chicken but I’m sure it would be great. I know our local places definitely offer the chicken option!

  6. Yum! Will definitely make this. I agree with you about garlic and ginger…though garlic and onions may be even better a combo (when frying in a pan…ummmm).

  7. I hope you realise this is a CHINESE dish, not Mongolian. I lived in Mongolia for many years and never had such a dish except at a Chinese restaurant. Mongolians do not eat this dish, nor do they eat 99 percent of the dishes found at so-called Mongolian restaurants in suburban strip malls.

    I dare you to try real Mongolian food and present those recipes here. Go on, have a nibble of rancid sheep fat washed down with mare’s milk (horse milk)!

    1. Bob M – like I said in my post, this is a dish I order at Chinese restaurants. I don’t claim it’s Mongolian. I didn’t name it, I just eat it!

  8. This looks divine! Ginger and garlic are like peas and carrots, guaranteed. I’ve been exploring using “wheat meat” in my cooking as a substitute for beef and chicken and I’ll bet it would be delicious with your Mongolian Beef recipe, too. Mmm!

  9. This. Looks. Fantastic. But unfortunately, we don’t have a wok. Or room in the kitchen to acquire one (boo apartment kitchens). D’you think it would work with a large, deep-sided, non-stick saucepan?

    1. jimandrachel – yes, definitely. I don’t think a wok is really necessary. I actually just started using mine this year and was fine before. 🙂 A skillet would be fine, too.

  10. I’ve been looking for a meaty excuse to whip out the wok, and this looks like it. I’ll test it out on my cat before the neighbors–for some reason that I haven’t yet grasped, she is an unrivalled judge of Asian food.

  11. This is a great Blog!!
    I can’t wait to try some of the recipes. Everything looks so delicious. I do not know which one to do first..

  12. Looks great! That’s one of my favorite things to order when I get carryout. I’ll bookmark this for later.

  13. We just finished eating this. After seeing the pic (which was amazing), I just had to try it. It was easy to make and very tasty. definitely better than some mongolian beef dishes I’ve tried at chinese restaurants.

  14. Made this over the weekend…thought it was VERY good. I added some broccoli as well. Next time I am going to add a bag of the asian stir-fry veggies to it too, just to get more servings out of it.
    As far as the wok versus the skillet, I used my wok this time, but it’s hard to heat it all the way around, easier next time in a flat bottomed skillet.

  15. hi elly, you have a lovely blog, congrats
    i live in greece and some ingredients are different. pray tell” is cornstarch the cornflour? and what are scallions? onions perhaps? i want to try to make your mongolian beef, it looks amazing. i suppose that you have to cook it in a non stick pan or wok as these ingredients tend to catch in the pan. do you cover while cooking?

  16. Elly! I love your blog! It’s the best thing to look at in the morning when I’m supposed to be working!

    I was looking at your Mongolian Beef recipe. Here’s a variation that I’ve found is yummy. Rather than using straight brown sugar I use molasses and some white sugar. The reason? I can reduce the amount of sugar that I’m putting in but still get that zappy taste of the molasses that comes from the brown sugar.

    Looks delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  17. This is a DELICIOUS recipe! Mongolian beef is my favorite dish to order at Chinese restaurants. It was pretty easy and VERY tasty…my husband loved it! We will be making this regularly from now on. Thanks so much for the GREAT recipe!

  18. I’m going to cook this for my boyfriend tonight; it looked the tastiest out of all the “Mongolian Beef” recipes on foodgawker. Yummo!

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  20. I was searching on Pinterest for Mongolia beef and discovered your blog. I never realized how easy it is to make. Thanks for posting this recipe.

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