There’s no need to order out! This easy 30-minute Mongolian beef stir-fry is fresh, flavorful and ready to go in a hurry!
The Best Beef Stir Fry
How could we NOT love today’s recipe? This Mongolian Beef Stir Fry is really easy to throw together, and you can pretty much use whatever veggies you have on hand!
When it comes to choosing the right cut of beef, stick with flank steak, or if you can’t find that particular cut, skirt, hanger, or flat iron are all great options. Don’t be afraid to go up to the counter and ask your butcher for what you need. 😉
I don’t particularly like sweet Asian dishes, and luckily Mongolian beef isn’t super sweet but, I did cut way back on the sugar and added a touch more soy sauce. You can always add in chili sauce if you want it spicier, or use dark brown sugar if you want it sweeter. (Dark brown sugar has a higher content of molasses which is what really gives it a sweet punch!)
How to Make Mongolian Stir Fry
Begin by cutting your meat against the grain to break up the muscle fibers, which will give you a more tender texture.
Then toss the strips of beef in corn starch and let them sit on the cutting board for 15 minutes. You want your beef to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes because it allows the cornstarch to adhere better and it will help give the meat a nice crispy sear (tossing cold meat into hot oil will reduce the temperature of the oil significantly).
Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. In a small saucepan set over medium heat add the vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, lightly sauté the garlic for a minute, then add the ginger and cook for 30 seconds.
Pour the remaining ingredients in the pan and simmer for 5 minutes or until the sauce begins to reduce or thicken. Keep warm while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
Sear and Saute
In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, add the 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, quickly stir-fry the beef in 2-3 batches. You want it to be nice and crisp on the outsides, but not cooked throughout. Transfer cooked beef to a plate. If the pan has a lot of oil in it, remove all but 1 tablespoon of oil.
*Pro-tip: Make sure the oil is smoking hot when you add the beef in, the oil should sizzle if you were to flick water on it. If it’s too cool you won’t get that crispy sear on it.
Saute the vegetables; broccoli, green onions, bell peppers, snow peas, carrots, or green beans are delicious options. Sauté for 2-3 minutes before returning the beef to the skillet. Add the sauce, stir, and allow everything to cook for an additional 2 minutes before removing from the heat.
Serve immediately with a side of steamed rice or your favorite noodles.
Can I use chicken instead? If you’re using chicken make sure that you give it longer on each side so that it’s fully cooked in the middle. I recommend using a thinner cut of chicken. If you’re using any other type of meat just make sure that you cook it fully and do your best to get a good sear on it.
Can I make it in the slow cooker? You can make this in the slow cooker but you won’t get that same crispy sear on it. Add your beef along with all of the ingredients for your sauce in the slow cooker and cook on high in 2-3 hours or on low for 4-5 hours. Afterward, you can add in your sauteed veggies and let it sit until warmed through.
Can I use frozen veggies? Costco has a frozen vegetable medley bag that works great for Chinese style stir fry. If you decide to go that route just take more time when you are sauteing your veggies until they have warmed through and you are satisfied with the texture.
What is hoisin sauce? It is a thick sweet and sour sauce
Is this healthy? Mongolian beef isn’t the healthiest option because it is fried beef. Adding veggies and using low sodium soy sauce does help the matter.
Storing Tips + Side Ideas
Keep any leftovers in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days, fully reheat in the microwave until warmed through.
If you want to freeze your leftovers for later consider taking out any bell peppers because they don’t freeze very well and end up becoming mushy. This should last in the freezer for up to 4 months.
For more favorites, check out:
- Better than takeout chow mein
- Better than takeout fried rice
- Better than takeout cashew chicken
- Better than takeout sweet and sour chicken
- Better than takeout orange chicken