//30-Minute Mongolian Beef

30-Minute Mongolian Beef

Toss those takeout menus and whip up a top-rated recipe for 30-Minute Mongolian Beef.

Skillet containing 30-Minute Mongolian Beef next to small bowl with rice and light blue plates

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!

Clear bowl containing sliced flank steak covered in cornstarch

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.

Skillet containing flank steak and Mongolian sauce

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.

Skillet containing easy Mongolian beef with sliced scallions

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!

The best 30-Minute Mongolian Beef in a nonstick skillet

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30-Minute Mongolian Beef

  • 1/3
    plus 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1
    minced garlic
  • 1/2
    minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2
    low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2
  • 2/3
    packed light brown sugar
  • 1
    flank steak
  • 1/4
  • 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.

Kelly’s Notes:

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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Nutrition Facts

30-Minute Mongolian Beef

Amount Per Serving

Calories 505
Calories from Fat 216

% Daily Value*

Fat 24g37%

Saturated Fat 17g106%

Cholesterol 68mg23%

Sodium 1137mg49%

Potassium 518mg15%

Carbohydrates 47g16%

Fiber 1g4%

Sugar 36g40%

Protein 26g52%

Vitamin A 90IU2%

Vitamin C 2mg2%

Calcium 70mg7%

Iron 3mg17%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.