Easy Mongolian Beef – Better Than Take-Out

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 Mongolian Beef rivals anything you could find in a restaurant. Serve this stir-fry recipe over rice with steamed broccoli or bok choy.

A pot of mongolian beef ready to be served.

What is Mongolian Beef?

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

Mongolian beef is thin slices of fried 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.

How to Make Mongolian Beef (PF Changs style)

You won’t believe how quick and easy it is to make Mongolian beef at home.

  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.

Process shots showing mongolian beef being made in a pan.

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

When it comes to Mongolian beef, rice is practically mandatory for soaking up that rich sauce. Steamed or baked white rice will do the trick and won’t compete with the hearty flavors of the entrée.

Add in a fresh steamed veggie (or even some stir-fried veggies).

How to Store Leftovers.

Good news for you make-it-ahead fans: Leftover Mongolian beef as well as rice will freeze just fine. Store in serving sized freezer bags for a quick packable lunch to bring to the office. They can be reheated straight from the freezer in the microwave or oven.

Mongolian beef will keep for up to four month in the freezer or four days in the fridge.

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

Whenever the craving hits, I just whip up a batch of Mongolian Beef… and let me tell you this is amazing and surprisingly easy! 

  • 2 teaspoons + 2 tablespoons oil ((vegetable or olive))
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger (, minced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (, finely minced)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce ((low sodium is best))
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 lb flank steak ((or your favorite cut of beef thinly sliced))
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 2 green onions (, sliced)
  1. 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.
  2. Slice the flank steak into 1/4″ slices and toss with cornstarch. Gently shake off any excess.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.

More Asian Inspired Beef Recipes

Mongolian Beef served in a white bowl over white rice with steamed broccoli on the side.
Mongolian Beef served in a white bowl over white rice with steamed broccoli on the side.
Top photo - Mongolian Beef served in a white bowl over white rice with steamed broccoli on the side. Bottom photo - Flank steak sliced on a white cutting board.