Easy Mongolian Beef

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Mongolian Beef is a take out favorite and even better made at home! It’s so easy, you can have this dish on the table in about 20 minutes. Tender slices of beef are flash fried and then coated in a sweet soy ginger garlic sauce.

This copycat recipe for PF Changs rivals anything you could find in a restaurant. Serve this stir-fry recipe over rice with steamed broccoli or bok choy.

Mongolian beef on rice with broccoli

Easy Take-Out at Home

I love Chinese food from chicken lettuce wraps to a simple cashew chicken and even more so when I can make them at home.

Making takeout at home is easy and best of all you know exactly what ingredients go into it.

This recipe shares my favorite tips for extra tender beef and heaps of flavor!

What is Mongolian Beef? It’s a simple stir fry with thin slices of beef simmered in a soy, brown sugar, garlic and ginger sauce. The brown sugar quickly caramelizes in the soy to make a slightly sticky sauce that coats the beef.

left image shows Raw meat on a cutting board with a knife and right image shows cooked meat on a plate for Mongolian beef

How to Make Mongolian Beef (PF Changs style)

You won’t believe how quick and easy it is to make this take-out at home (and how much better it tastes).

  1. Coat the slices of beef in cornstarch, stir fry and set aside.
  2. Prepare the sauce. When the sauce has thickened, add the beef to the pan.
  3. Serve hot over rice.

Flank steak is best for this recipe because its flavor stands up to the sauce. If cut properly the beef is tender.

How to Make Beef Tender in Stir Fry

  • Add Cornstarch Toss the beef with cornstarch before cooking.  A technique called velveting creates the most tender meat (a combination of egg white, cornstarch, oil and often other additives) as cornstarch is a natural tenderizer. In this recipe, we use just cornstarch for both a tender meat and a nice crust.
  • Choose the Right Cut Choose a type of beef that is intended for quick cooking such as flank steak or sirloin. More expensive cuts (such as filet) can also be used. (Avoid tougher cuts like stewing meat).
  • Cut Across the Grain Always cut beef across the grain and slice thinly.
  • Cook in Small Batches Don’t overcrowd the pan, cook in small batches as needed. Overcrowding the pan can cause the beef to steam rather than sear.

Left image shows sauce for Mongolian beef in a pan and right image shows sauce and meat for Mongolian beef

TIP For  Cutting Beef

For easier cutting, place the beef in the freezer for about 20 minutes before slicing. Cut beef across the grain into 1/4″ inch slices.

You will see the long fibers in the meat, you want to cut across the fibers for tender meat. If you cut with the fibers the beef will be tough.

What to Serve with Mongolian Beef

Like most stir-fry recipes, rice is a perfect choice for soaking up that garlicky ginger sauce. Steamed or baked white rice will do the trick. Add in a fresh steamed veggie, some bok choy or even some stir-fried veggies.

How to Store Leftovers.

Store leftovers in the freezer for four months or in the fridge for four days. Freeze in single portions for a quick packable lunch to bring to the office. They can be reheated straight from the freezer in the microwave or oven.

More Take-Out Favorites

Mongolian beef on rice with broccoli
4.91 from 250 votes
Review Recipe

P.F. Chang’s Style Mongolian Beef! Easy and Amazing!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
Whenever the craving hits, I just whip up a batch of Mongolian Beef… and let me tell you this is amazing and surprisingly easy! 

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons + 2 tablespoons oil (vegetable or olive)
  • ½ teaspoon ginger minced
  • 4 cloves garlic finely minced
  • ½ cup soy sauce (low sodium is best)
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 pound flank steak (or your favorite cut of beef thinly sliced)
  • cup cornstarch
  • 2 green onions sliced

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Instructions

  • Heat oil in a small pan over medium low. Add ginger and garlic and stir just until fragrant (about 1 minute). Add soy sauce, water and brown sugar and bring to a boil. Let boil 3-5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Set aside.
  • Slice the flank steak into ¼" slices and toss with cornstarch. Gently shake off any excess.
  • Place 1 tablespoon at a time of oil in a pan or wok and heat over medium high heat. Cook the beef in small batches for about 2 minutes. (It doesn't need to cook all of the way through, it will cook completely when combined with the sauce).
  • Once all the beef has been cooked, combine with the sauce and heat over medium until hot and bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in green onions. Serve over rice.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 4g, Calories: 342, Carbohydrates: 40g, Protein: 28g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 68mg, Sodium: 1691mg, Potassium: 513mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 27g, Vitamin A: 60IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 62mg, Iron: 3mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword mongolian beef
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese

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About the author

Holly

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

More Posts by Holly

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Comments

  1. This is amazing! Even better, if I may, than PF Chang’s! Easy to prepare. This will make the regular rotation!5 stars

  2. Loved this recipe! This is literally the only thing I order at PF Chang’s so I was excited to try it! I used more beef then the recipe called for so I ended up using a little bit more oil and corn starch, but otherwise followed the recipe as instructed. Use the 2 teaspoons of oil for the sauce. Use the 2 tablespoons for the meat. It was amazing! Paired with white rice and some veggies it turned out just like PF Chang’s! 10/10 will definitely make again!5 stars

  3. Soooo good!! I did make some adjustments after reading other comments. Didn’t have fresh garlic or ginger so subbed:
    1/4 tsp ginger powder, heaping
    1 tsp minced garlic from jar

    Then used:
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    1/4 cup soy sauce
    1/2 cup water
    1 tsp hoisin sauce

    We thought it was fantastic!4 stars

  4. Omg holly this recipe produces the worst Mongolian beef I’ve ever had , I have never cooked it before so I just followed your recipe , 1/2 cup of brown sugar plus soy for 1 pound of sliced beef , WOW ……the soy intensified the sugar ….it was sooo freakin sweet you couldn’t even taste the beef ……yuk….. what a waste of (now in Hawaii ) expensive flank steak , I should of just made fajitas……sorry but your recipe was really bad ,not even close to P.F. Chang like you said ………it’s very , very bad …..I’m used to a more beefy flavor of Mongolian beef …. I’m pretty sure they don’t have a lot of sugar in Mongolia ……1 star

    1. I am sorry to hear that Bobby, I honestly loved this recipe as written! You can always try reducing the brown sugar to meet your flavor preference! If you try it again, let us know what you think!

  5. I’ve been craving this for awhile and I decided to try this recipe. I’m impressed. I made this today. I was nervous making it because I seem to always mess up the recipe somehow. My husband liked it, but it was too sweet for him. I’ll use less sugar next time. Thank you!! I’d definitely make this more often now.5 stars

    1. Typically you’d want to substitute about ¼ teaspoon of powdered ginger for each teaspoon of fresh. So you’d want to use about 1/8 teaspoon. Enjoy the recipe Ana!

    1. We’ve not made this recipe with honey. Typically you’d use about ⅔-¾ cup. Let us know how it turns out if you try it with honey Teena!

  6. My favorite Chinese restaurant makes great Mongolian Beef but instead of serving over rice, they put it on top of these white crispy noodles maybe or crispy rice or something.
    Then they also bring you white rice too.
    Do you know what the crispy white things are….
    I need to get some of those for my dish.5 stars

    1. You can fry rice noodles or Saifun noodles, made from beans. They are almost identical in color and shape. Both are fried in the same way. Lay them in your pan of super hot oil and it only takes seconds for them to expand. At that point, they are completely done; remove them, immediately. I have only used Saifun noodles as I find them a little easier to work with than rice noodles. But both are fantastic!

  7. Where has this been all my life? Seriously. Followed the recipe to a T and the whole family loved it. Thank you!5 stars

  8. I am going to try this recipe I have never made it before and look forward to how it turns out..

  9. Hi,

    Thank you for the recipe! Perfect taste profile.

    I did not feel that it lived up to its potential due to the amount of soy sauce, even the light one. I ll make it with half the soy amount (1/4 cup) next time and adjust it with extra water.

    I m very grateful for the recipe nevertheless.

    Keep up the good work!

    Thanks.
    Adrian

  10. This is delicious! My family loves this recipe and it is easy to make on a busy weeknight. We like it with broccoli and a salad. Definitely a keeper.5 stars

  11. I made this twice for my boyfriend and he loved it
    Very easy to put together at a weeknight ingredients are easily tweaked To ones taste
    Thanks for making me look like a pro5 stars