Mongolian Beef

November 23, 2022

For a good cause, our Mongolian Beef dish quickly rose to the top of the popularity charts.

Now, however. Where did Mongolian Beef come from, exactly? Why? Because it has nothing to do with Mongolia. In fact, the most common method of preparing meat at home in Mongolia is to boil it and then dip it in sauces. Definitely not something you would stir-fry.

My idea of where Mongolian Beef actually came from is that the orange was left out of the original Orange Beef recipe, and extra sugar was substituted. Thus, the recipe for Mongolian Beef was created.

The meal was originally called “Mongolian Beef” by Chinese-American menu planners and marketers.

It’s probably the offspring of the same stainless steel kitchen that gave birth to “Singapore Noodles,” a delicacy that leaves many native Singaporeans scratching their heads.


  • 225g flank steak (sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices)
  • 5 dried red chili peppers
  • 2 cloves of chopped garlic
  • 2 scallions (cut diagonally)
  • 1/4 cup of hot water or hot low sodium chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup of low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil (more for frying)
  • 1 teaspoon of soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon of minced ginger


  1. Mix the cut meat, soy sauce, and cornstarch together in a small bowl. Leave to marinate for an hour. After marinating, the beef should still be rather moist. Add a tablespoon of water if it seems too dry.
  2. After marinating the meat, dredge each slice in the remaining 1/4 cup of cornstarch.
  3. Brown sugar can be dissolved in boiling water or low-sodium chicken or beef stock in a small bowl. Add 1/3 cup of low-sodium soy sauce and stir to combine.
  4. Substitute 2 1/2 tablespoons of standard soy sauce plus 1 1/2 tablespoons of water if you can’t find low-sodium soy sauce. Adjust the sugar, soy sauce, water, and stock to taste, as the saltiness of different brands of soy sauce varies.
  5. Over high heat, bring a third of a cup of vegetable oil to the wok. Spread the flank steak pieces out equally in the wok just before the oil starts to smoke, and sear for 1 minute (depending upon the heat of your wok). Flip and continue cooking for another 30 seconds.
  6. Take out a baking sheet. Put it at a little incline so the oil may run off. The steak needs to be seared until it forms a crust.
  7. Keep 1 tablespoon of oil in the wok after draining the rest and crank up the heat to medium-high. Put in the ginger and the dried chili peppers.
  8. The garlic should be added after around 15 seconds. For a further 10 seconds of stirring, before adding the sauce, pre-mix it.
  9. Cook the sauce for 2 minutes while carefully whisking in the cornstarch slurry. To achieve the desired thickness, the sauce should coat the back of a spoon after cooking.
  10. Toss in the meat and scallions and continue cooking for another 30 seconds. Beef with a good coating of sauce should require almost no liquid. If any sauce remains, raise the temperature slightly and whisk it to thicken.
  11. Put it on a plate and accompany it with some steamed rice.
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