30-Minute Mongolian Beef

30-Minute Mongolian Beef (PF Chang's copycat recipe)

Thin slices of flank steak, minced fresh garlic and ginger, dark brown sugar and soy sauce. Toss it all together and 30 minutes later you’ll be chowing down on a DIY take out takeout, instead of waiting for the delivery guy.

The key to mastering classic Chinese food flavor at home is a technique known as velveting, which is essentially an egg white, cornstarch and sherry marinade that preserves the moisture of the meat. This recipe includes an abridged version of velveting that still delivers tender slices of steak bathed in a rich reduction of soy sauce and brown sugar.

Craving Chinese but not a fan of beef? Go the sweet and spicy route with my Crackerjack Shrimp or kick back with Crispy Baked Orange Chicken Wings. And don’t forget the Homemade Fortune Cookies for dessert! Speaking of something sweet …

The KitchenAid giveaway is still open for entries, so swing by Monday’s post to leave a comment for your chance to win a 5-quart stand mixer in the color of your choice!

Sliced Scallions
Cornstarch and Steak

Mongolian Beef Sauce

30-Minute Mongolian Beef (PF Chang's copycat recipe)

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Mongolian Beef

Yield: 2 servings

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 10 min


Vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup water
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
1 (1-pound) flank steak
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 scallions (green parts only), sliced into 1-inch pieces


Heat 2 teaspoons vegetable oil in a small saucepot over medium-low heat. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté until golden, about 2 minutes. Add the soy sauce and water, stirring to combine.

Stir in the brown sugar and increase the heat to medium. Bring the sauce to a boil for 3 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat and set aside.

Slice the flank steak against the grain into 1/4-inch pieces, then toss it with the cornstarch. Place the coated pieces of steak in a sieve and shake off any excess cornstarch. Allow the steak to sit 10 for minutes.

Place a large sauté pan or wok over medium-high heat and add 1/2 cup vegetable oil. Once the oil is hot (but not smoking), add the beef to the pan and sauté for 2 minutes until it is seared on all sides but barely cooked in the center. Remove the steak from the pan with a slotted spoon and transfer it onto a paper towel-lined plate. Pour any excess oil out of the wok.

Place the sauté pan back over medium heat. Add the prepared sauce to the hot pan (it should come to a boil almost immediately), then add the reserved steak and cook at a boil, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Add the sliced scallions, stirring to combine.

Transfer steak and scallions with a slotted spoon to a plate and serve.

Kelly's Notes:

This recipe can be easily doubled to serve 4.

The key to cooking with cornstarch is that it must come to a boil in order to serve its purpose as a thickener.

Recipe inspired by Food.com.


  1. says

    I love eating Asian food. This meat and a bowl of rice=perfect dinner!
    Good point about boiling cornstarch. I now that now, but a few years ago I had a runny sauce just because i didn’t know that small but important secret.

  2. Natalie says

    I just saw this today, and HAD to make it! And I’m glad I did, this is so delicious! Thanks for sharing an awesome, simple recipe. This college student is eating very well tonight :)

  3. Lori says

    This looks so good I can’t wait to try it. I think I will shop for the ingredients today because I can’t wait to make it. Thanks so much for sharing this. I will be back to tell you how good it was!

  4. says

    this was a BIG winner with my teenage sons! For some reason my meat really stuck to the wok – I guess I didn’t put in enough oil? ( I did scrimp a little ). It was extremely flavorful and delivered in the visual category too. I will add more garlic and ginger next time. Definitely going ino the school nite rotation!! Thanks for sharing!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — October 15th, 2012 @ 10:14 pm

      Awesome! Yes, perhaps just add a bit more oil (although I understand the desire to go light).

  5. says

    O-M-G. I made this, tonight. Yes, it was very quick to make. My family loved it! Next time (and there will be a next time), I think I’m going to add some red pepper flakes to the sauce. We like a little “kick” to our Mongolian Beef. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — October 15th, 2012 @ 10:13 pm

      So glad you enjoyed it, and I love the addition of the red pepper flakes!

  6. A.Martin says

    Can I use ground ginger? I have all of the ingredients except for the fresh ginger, and I didn’t want to run to the store.

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — October 19th, 2012 @ 7:22 pm

      Yes! While it won’t have the exact same taste, you can substitute 1/8 teaspoon dry ginger for every 1 tablespoon fresh. Enjoy!

  7. Jessica says

    My husband and I just tried this recipe tonight and it turned out awesome! There was a little extra sauce in the wok that we’re going to save and probably make some Mongolian shrimp later this week. Great recipe, and very easy!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — October 26th, 2012 @ 3:05 pm

      So glad you enjoyed it! And Mongolian Shrimp sounds fantastic!

  8. Pam Daniels says

    Fantastic! I made this tonight for dinner, it was a hit with everyone. I used London Broil that I sliced very thin because that is what I had…next time I will try flank steak.

  9. Kathy says

    I made this last night and it was outstanding! One of the few recipes that claim to be under 30 mins and actually is.

  10. Julia says

    This looks fabulous, and I can’t wait to try it out, but I was wondering if you had any suggestions on incorporating more vegetables, maybe broccoli & onion? Should I just throw them in to cook with the beef? Any thoughts are appreciated. Thanks so much for publishing this!

  11. Brittney Carlton says

    I tried this tonight and it was AWESOME!!! So good and flavorful. My husband ate until his stomach hurt. Will definitely make this again!

  12. Traci says

    Made this for dinner tonight and even my picky boyfriend thinks it’s delicious. I substituted 1/4 ground ginger for the fresh, and used venison instead of beef (because we have a lot of it :). Still… YUM! And quick & easy too, what more could you ask for?

  13. Michelle says

    I just made this for dinner tonight, and it was delicious! Next time I’m going to add some broccoli as well… we are already looking forward to it! :) Thanks so much for the recipe.

  14. Courteney says

    I am making this tonight, I am adding some broccoli, onions and snap peas and putting it over a bed of noodles. Can’t wait! Also, I mass homemade egg rolls as an app. :-)

  15. Angie says

    We have made this twice this week and my family LOVES this, it is so, so yummy, this is better than any take-out restaurant!!! Thank you for such an amazing recipe!!

  16. Faten says

    What can I use to substitute the sherry? I’m Muslim so I don’t use alchohol in my cooking

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — March 11th, 2013 @ 8:14 am

      Hi Faten, There isn’t any sherry in the recipe.

  17. Torii says

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was amazing! I used “beef for stir fry” instead of flank steak – a little thinner cut and smaller bite size. Such a versatile dish – add julienne sliced green onion (not just the green part), broccoli, sugar snap peas, etc. Numm!

  18. Michelle Arbon says

    I made this tonight for my hubby – he swears it’s the best Chinese food he’s EVER had, better than take-out. I’m a vegetarian but I poured some of the extra sauce over broccoli and it was amazing!

  19. Kaitlin says

    I made this tonight and it was awesome!! I only had light brown sugar and powdered minced ginger and no green onions and it still turned out amazing. I added broccoli and sliced carrots to add some veggies and through them in for the last boil to soften them a bit without getting soggy. My super picky two year old who HATES meat AND veggies ate every last bite, that’s how good it was! Definitely a keeper.

  20. Bev says

    This is a delicious recipe. I have made it twice now and my husband thought it was very tasty and ate his serving which is unusual as he is a very small eater. I will be making it often and I also like to use the leftovers heated up and rolled up in a wrap.

  21. Brooke says

    What do u recommend to use to make thia mongolian beef have a little spicyness to it?

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — April 18th, 2013 @ 3:55 pm

      I’d add crushed red pepper flakes to the sauce for a little kick of heat. Enjoy!

  22. Michelle says

    I made this tonight and it had great flavor. The cornstarch sort of melted off in the skillet and created some muck in my sauce. I ended up straining the leftover sauce. I don’t think my oil was hot enough to really sear the cornstarch on the beef. Also, any tips on when to use stainless steel versus a nonstick skillet? Thanks for the great recipes!

  23. Ashleigh says

    This is beyond amazing! So delicious. We add broccoli and eat it over rice. It is very comparable to Pei Wei’s ginger broccoli and beef!

  24. CAH says

    Made this the other night for my boyfriend and he LOVED it. He nearly ate himself sick, and then woke up early to make sure he got first dibs on the leftovers for lunch. And he never ever brings lunch to work. Ever.

    I was a bit worried about the cornstarch melting off the beef like another reviewer mentioned, but I just wiped out the skillet before adding the sauce and all was well. This was so easy and quick, and the sauce was absolutely delicious. For me, it was perfect.

    Thank you!

  25. avelyn says

    wow this stuff is good!! and so easy :)

    i fried up some onion and some broccoli before adding the sauce and the beef… also a bit of red pepper flake for punch, though next time i know i’m adding more. i also find it could’ve done without quite so much sugar, but all in all i am extremely proud of myself for having made something that delicious!! thanks so much for this awesome recipe.

  26. says

    Made this tonight and it came out awesome!! I did add less cornstarch and sugar, and added chili flakes for heat. Thanks for the recipe!!

  27. Erik says

    Made this and it was delicious; most like takeout. I added red peppers after the beef and before putting the sauce in. Going to try a little red pepper next time. A wok also helps.

  28. Kelly L. says

    Wow. This was GREAT. THe only changes I made was to use 1/2 c of brown sugar and added some chile de arbol to the oil before I sautéed the meat. My family loved it. I am definitely adding this to my Pinterest food page! Thank you! I’m definitely checking out the rest of your recipes! Amazing!

  29. Nita F says

    Made this tonight for dinner. Takes a little more than 30 minutes but well worth it! Great taste and simple to make.
    Perfect over rice or with fried rice ( which is what I paired it with)

  30. A Brun says

    I never post after I make something from Pinterest but this beef was really tasty!!!Just like at the restaurant! My kids LOVED IT! I am just disappointed that I didn’t see the chicken wings and shrimp recipes until now. I’m definitely going to make them too the next time I make the Mongolian Beef again! Thanks soo much for the recipe!!!

  31. Krista says

    I made this last night for my boyfriend, it was delicious!! I added red pepper flakes, jalapeño, and mushroom. He loved it!

  32. says

    This recipe was delicious!! It took me a bit longer than 30 minutes to make it, but it was SO worth it! Tasted as good if not better than any Chinese restaurant Mongolian beef.

  33. Meghan says

    I’m eating this as I type!
    I made it for dinner last night for my dads birthday and couldn’t wait for left overs today.The flavor is amazing, I really feel like I ordered in.

    This will be added to the monthly dinner rotation for sure!


  34. Beverly says

    I love Mongolian Beef and have been looking for a simple yummy recipe. Will try this weekend. Do you have a recipe for a good Fried Rice? I love roast pork fried rice ….

  35. Tricia says

    This was okay. I may have contributed to it not being as good as I had hoped. If I make it again, I will make some changes:
    I used canola oil and it was the taste was overpowering. I’ll use less oil or 1/2 vegetable and 1/2 canola.
    Add some salt and pepper
    Add some red pepper flakes (as another reviewer suggested)

  36. pam says

    This was the most delicious Asian food I’ve ever eaten! I added a splash of chili sesame oil and some broccoli on the dude for those that like it. Everyone at the table devoured it andthenthe arguments over who got the leftovers ensued. Yummy!!!!!!!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — January 9th, 2014 @ 11:11 pm

      Awesome! So glad you enjoyed the recipe, Pam!

  37. Gena says

    This was SO good! Came together very quickly and had amazing flavor. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — January 22nd, 2014 @ 2:25 am

      So glad you enjoyed the recipe, Gena!

  38. Shahela says

    Hi Kelly,

    I just made this for dinner tonight here in Mauritius, and it was very nice!!
    A bit too sweet, next time will add less brown sugar….
    Thxs for this.


    • Kelly Senyei replied: — February 5th, 2014 @ 11:07 am

      Awesome! So glad you found me all the way from Mauritius :)

  39. KChu says

    Kelly this was delicious! Made it for dinner tonight and the whole family loved it. Can’t wait to make it again. Definitely sharing this with extended family.

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — February 7th, 2014 @ 1:29 am

      Amazing! So glad you enjoyed it :)

  40. Vicky says

    I made this for lunch. It looked just like the picture. So quick and easy, didn’t change a thing.

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — February 21st, 2014 @ 1:37 am

      Awesome! So glad you enjoyed it, Vicky!

  41. Autumn says

    Can I use shaved beef

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — February 28th, 2014 @ 2:59 am

      You definitely could, Autumn, but you’ll need to adjust the cooking time to account for the thinner slices of beef.

  42. Casey says

    I don’t usually comment on recipes and I know it’s already been said but…

    Oh.my.gosh this was the best meal I’ve ever cooked!!! Hubby is sick and he even managed to eat his entire serving which is a huge deal. I had enough for two frozen lunch servings too – I can’t wait to eat up my leftovers!!!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — March 3rd, 2014 @ 6:12 pm

      Thanks so much, Casey!

  43. says

    this was amazing. made it last night. very easy to make. i’m very cautious of sodium intake, and oil, really, so i used a little bit less than everything (even brown sugar), and it was incredibly flavorful. deeelicious.

    definitely going to make this one again.

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — March 7th, 2014 @ 5:34 pm

      Awesome! So glad you enjoyed it!

  44. says

    Thank You, Kelly! This is so good. My kids love it, too. One of my sons said it is so good, he wants me to make it every week. I also added red pepper flakes, thanks to the person that suggested it. Kelly, you are a blessing. I look forward to your emails every week.

  45. E. Knell says

    ******* I’m cooking for 30 next week & I’m going to make this recipe, your final photo of the finished dish,,, would you say that’s an accurate size of a single serving.

    Or maybe the easier question for me to ask is, for this recipe, the servings are for a party of 2. Approx. how many ounces or cups would you say a Single Serving is, with your 2 serving recipe?

    For my luncheon, depending on your answer, I may make a 16 serving amount & maybe it will be like 1/2 of your “1 serving”??

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — May 17th, 2014 @ 3:01 pm

      Hi Emily! I’m not sure if I understand your question. Do you want 30 servings? This recipe serves about 2 people, but it depends on how big of servings you want for your party. And if you’re more than doubling the recipe, you’ll have to adjust all of the cooking times since you’ll have a lot more ingredients, which will impact cook times.

  46. Kathryn Speakman says

    Made this with beef and it was great. Would this work with chicken? That’s all I have in the house right now. Wondering if it would work….anyone try it?

  47. Chiara says

    I made this tonight. The sauce was seriously overpowering and I didn’t much care for it. If I were to try it again, I would use MUCH less sugar and much less soy sauce.

  48. Christa Unruh says

    I made this tonight for my husband and I and it was FANTASTIC!!! Thank you for posting this! I think that this will be a regular in our house!

  49. Linda Tucker says

    I have a corn intolerance, any suggestion on how I can perfect the “velvet-ing” technique with a different type of starch? Thanks!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — August 6th, 2014 @ 10:11 am

      Hi Linda! I’ve never tried substituting a different ingredient for the cornstarch, so unfortunately I can’t provide any substitutions that I 100% know will work successfully with this recipe.

  50. says

    I cannot wait to try this. Is it okay if I leave work right now to go buy me a slab of flank for cookin’? Surely my boss won’t mind.

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — August 26th, 2014 @ 10:36 pm

      Haha! Yes, absolutely :)

  51. raymond says

    Isn’t the dish too sweet??? can i add vinegar for the tanginess?

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — February 18th, 2015 @ 3:22 pm

      Hi Raymond – This dish isn’t too sweet in my opinion, but feel free to tweak it however you prefer.

  52. Cherie Fasbinder says

    Do you think potato starch would work instead of cornstarch? My granddaughter is highly allergic to all corn products.

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — February 20th, 2015 @ 6:29 pm

      Hi Cherie – I’ve never made this recipe with potato starch so I can’t say for certain what the outcome would be. Please let me know if you give it a shot!

  53. Fala says

    I just had to drop a note to say this was absolutely AMAZING… and I didn’t even make it quite right.
    I’m not very good at knowing how hot the oil is, so I put mine in before it was ready, and therefore it wasn’t quite crispy.
    I lost my fresh ginger root and had to use powdered instead.
    Even so, this was to die for. And so quick!!!

    I made the mistake of taking a sample bite while I was waiting for my rice to cook. By the time the rice is done, there may be no beef left.

    Thanks so much for the great recipe!

  54. Matias says

    I am a huge fan of this dish and is the one usually ask each time I go to PF Chang’s.
    I did it last night as is indicated but there is something missing. At served in the restaurant has an itch that this did not. Perhaps you would be missing a bit of ginger or Tabasco sauce? Any ideas? I think try it again.

  55. Rachael Ann Warrington says

    Thank you!!! A hearty and heart felt thank you. I made this dish last night and it was inhaled by all, including a 2, 4, and 6 year old; and three adults. We are fighting over who gets the left overs.
    I have been using several of your recipes with great success, but this one goes into permanent rotation. Thank you for your work and your blog.

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — April 17th, 2015 @ 3:11 pm

      Thanks so much for your comment, Rachel! I’m so thrilled you’re enjoying Just a Taste :)

  56. Betty says

    Hi, This looks amazing & gluten free too..I am just wondering about the steak, flank steak is a tough steak unless marinated for many hours..how is it that it is tender?

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — May 5th, 2015 @ 10:36 pm

      Hi Betty – I’ve never had issues with this steak being tough, but you can marinade it for up to 24 hours.

  57. Marz Bhatnagar says

    Can I use filet mignon? I want to make tonight.

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — May 9th, 2015 @ 11:18 am

      Definitely! Just adjust the cooking time so the steak reaches your desired temperature.

  58. William Grissom says

    Awesome dish, made it for the family for dinner tonight and everyone loved it. I will make this again and again, thank you for the recipe?

  59. Kunzite says

    This looks absolutely amazing thanks for the recipe. But i need to clear up one thing you say its a mongolin beef but its chinese food, that is a false statement. Way you make these kind of beef meals in Mongolia is soo different and tastes different too. So name shouldn’t have “Mongolian” in it.
    Thanks for the recipe.
    You’re amazing


  1. […] Day 3 of back on track eating, I made this new recipe last night from a Blog called Just a Taste.  It was delicious.  Quick and Healthy!  The only change I made was to use 1/2 cup brown sugar, the sauce was still great.   The recipe says it serves 2 but with a pound of steak, it really is 4 servings.  I had mine with sautéed Baby Bok Choy.  You can find the recipe here.  Mongolian Beef Recipe […]

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