When I was in college, my friends and I would go out for Chinese food on the weekends. We’d get a large group together, order all the dishes we could think of, and then settle in with our chopsticks to dig into a giant wok full of saucy noodles or beef. One dish that always stood out among the rest was Mongolian beef: tender pieces of steak coated in a sweet sauce and served over rice. It was so good that I vowed to make it at home one day—but first, I had to figure out how!
- Soy sauce
- Brown sugar
- Ginger, minced or grated on a microplane (if you don’t have one of those, use a regular grater)
- Flank steak, sliced against the grain into thin strips (about 1/4 inch thick)
- Egg white (optional–you can use water instead if you like)
- Vegetable oil for frying
2 tablespoons soy sauce
In this recipe, soy sauce is used as a condiment. It’s a salty sauce made from fermented soy beans and can be used in savory dishes to add flavor and depth. Soy sauce is a common ingredient in Asian cuisine, so you might already have some on hand if you’ve ever made stir-fry or sushi at home–but if not, it’s easy to find in any grocery store!
1 tablespoon brown sugar
- Brown sugar is a type of sugar. It’s made from sugar cane, which is crushed and then boiled to produce molasses. The liquid is then spun out into crystals that are left to dry into brown cubes (or sometimes in the form of soft lumps).
- Brown sugar can be used in many recipes, including baking cakes, cookies and breads; making candy; adding flavor to sauces or marinades for meats; making barbecue sauce; adding zest to drinks such as hot chocolate or tea; coating chicken wings with it before deep frying them…the list goes on!
- This recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of brown sugar–which isn’t much at all!
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Ginger is a spice that’s used in many Asian dishes, and it’s also a good source of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is necessary for the production of red blood cells, so it can help improve your energy level. Ginger also contains anti-inflammatory properties that may help relieve pain caused by arthritis or other conditions.
1 pound flank steak, cut into thin strips
- Cut the flank steak into thin strips.
- Place in a large bowl and add the soy sauce, sugar, garlic powder, onion powder and pepper flakes (if using). Stir until well combined; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours before cooking.*
- * When ready to cook, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet until hot but not smoking.* Add half of beef mixture; cook until browned on all sides 4-5 minutes per side
1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 egg white, beaten until frothy
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 medium yellow onion, sliced thin (about 3 cups)
1 egg white, beaten until frothy
1 egg white, beaten until frothy
In a small bowl, beat the egg white with a fork until it forms soft peaks. Set aside.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- Use a wok or large skillet.
- If you have peanut oil, use it! It’ll give the dish an extra layer of flavor.
- Otherwise, vegetable oil will do just fine.
- If you don’t have either one of these things in your kitchen–and let’s be honest: most of us don’t–a nonstick pan will work just fine too!
3 garlic cloves, minced
Garlic is a staple in many cuisines, and for good reason. It’s packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber that support your body’s immune system. Garlic also contains selenium–an antioxidant that helps protect against cancer and heart disease.
Here are some tips for buying garlic: look for bulbs with firm skin; avoid those with soft spots or sprouts coming out of the cloves; store in a cool place away from direct sunlight (like on top of your fridge) so they’ll last longer; if you’re planning on keeping them longer than two months then wrap each individual clove tightly in plastic wrap before storing them together in an airtight container (this way you can pull out just as much as you need without having to chop off all those little bits).
1 medium yellow onion, sliced thin (about 3 cups)
Cut the onion in half lengthwise and peel off the skin. Slice one half of the onion into thin slices, starting at its root end and cutting down through its core. Repeat with remaining half of onion, setting aside any extra slices you might have left over (you’ll need them later). Measure out 3 cups’ worth of sliced onions and set aside.
Mongolian beef is a family favorite.
Mongolian beef is a family favorite. It’s easy to make, and it can also be made with leftovers or whatever vegetables you have on hand. You can use any cut of steak in this recipe, but if you want to keep things simple, try using sirloin or ribeye steaks that have been frozen for several days (it will make them easier to shred).
If you prefer less fat in your dish, just remove some of the excess from the top before serving!
The best thing about this recipe is that it’s so easy to make! If you’re looking for a new family favorite, try Mongolian beef. It’s delicious, filling and most importantly will have everyone at the table asking for more.