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30-Minute Mongolian Beef
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Toss those takeout menus and whip up a top-rated recipe for 30-Minute Mongolian Beef.
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 homemade take on takeout, instead of waiting for the delivery guy. Welcome to the DIY party, 30-Minute Mongolian Beef!
The key to mastering classic Chinese food 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, which are the classic elements of all quality recipes for Mongolian Beef.
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!
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30-Minute Mongolian Beef
- 1/3 cup plus 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 lbs flank steak
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 3 scallions sliced into 1-inch pieces (green parts only)
Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and ginger 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 it 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.
Line a plate with paper towels.
Place a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat and add 1/3 cup vegetable oil. Once the oil is hot (but not smoking), add the beef to the pan and sauté until it is seared on all sides but barely cooked in the center, about 2 minutes. Remove the steak from the skillet with a slotted spoon and transfer it onto a paper towel-lined plate. Pour any excess oil out of the skillet.
Place the skillet 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, until the sauce has thickened to the consistency of syrup, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the sliced scallions and stir to combine. Serve.
This recipe will serve two to four people, depending on your preferred serving size. It can also be easily doubled.
The key to cooking with cornstarch is that it must come to a boil in order to work as a thickener and give the sauce the perfect syrupy consistency.
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