30 Minute Mongolian Stir Fry (2024)

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!

I love this Asian-inspired meal! It’s loaded with veggies andis ready in just 30 minutes! Serve this with a side of steamed rice or enjoy it with one of these homemade versions of takeout fried rice or chow mein!

30 Minute Mongolian Stir Fry (1)

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!)

30 Minute Mongolian Stir Fry (2)

How to Make Mongolian Stir Fry

Prep

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

Serve immediately with a side of steamed rice or your favorite noodles.

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Recipe FAQs

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.

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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

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    30 Minute Mongolian Stir Fry (5)

    30 Minute Mongolian Stir-Fry Recipe

    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!

    4.80 from 64 votes

    Pin Rate Save

    Course: Main Course

    Cuisine: Chinese

    Prep Time: 15 minutes mins

    Cook Time: 15 minutes mins

    Total Time: 30 minutes mins

    Servings: 4 servings

    Calories: 513kcal

    Author: Andrea

    Print Recipe

    Ingredients

    • 1 1/2 lbs flank steak - cut across the grain into 1/4-inch strips
    • 3 tbsp cornstarch
    • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

    For the Sauce

    • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
    • 3 cloves garlic - minced
    • 1/4 tsp ginger root - freshly grated (or ginger paste)
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1/3 cup hoisin sauce
    • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
    • 2 tbsp brown sugar
    • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
    • 1/2 tsp crushed chili paste or chili flakes

    Vegetables

    • 1/2 cup water chestnuts - sliced
    • 1 cup bell peppers - chopped
    • 1 head broccoli - cut into florets and lightly steamed
    • 3 green onions - cut into 1-inch pieces

    Instructions

    • Toss the strips of beef in the corn starch and let them sit on the cutting board for 15 minutes.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • Add the vegetables and 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.

    VIDEO

    NOTES

    -I used a Ziploc steam bag to steam my broccoli. It's so quick and easy!!

    Nutrition

    Serving: 4serving | Calories: 513kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 103mg | Sodium: 1232mg | Potassium: 1272mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 2277IU | Vitamin C: 186mg | Calcium: 136mg | Iron: 5mg

30 Minute Mongolian Stir Fry (2024)

FAQs

What is the secret to a successful stir fry? ›

The key to stir-frying is to constantly stir. Your veggies must have enough room to move around in the wok. A -crowded wok will lead to veggies that are soggy instead of crunchy. If your wok is getting too full, cook your meat and then veggies in batches.

What makes Mongolian Beef Mongolian? ›

Despite its name, the dish has nothing to do with Mongolian cuisine. Mongolian beef is among the meat dishes developed in Taiwan where Mongolian barbecue restaurants first appeared. Thus, none of the ingredients or the preparation methods are drawn from traditional Mongolian cuisine but from Chinese cuisine.

What is Mongolian sauce made of? ›

This Mongolian sauce is a delicious combo of soy sauce, brown sugar and corn flour (cornstarch) mixture. The key elements of this sauce are soy sauce and brown sugar. These two ingredients create the contrasting flavors of sour and sweet. And obviously, they are the 'must' ingredients of this sauce.

How many calories in a Mongolian stir fry? ›

Territory Mongolian Beef Stir Fry (1 standard) contains 15g total carbs, 11g net carbs, 30g fat, 43g protein, and 493 calories.

What are the 3 rules of stir-frying? ›

Food & Dining

The first is to cook your protein and your vegetable separately, and combine them only after both are fully cooked. A second rule of thumb for stir-frying: Choose one vegetable per stir-fry. Finally, always remember to add liquid only after everything is more or less finished cooking.

What makes stir-fry taste better? ›

The first step to any good stir fry is the aromatics: garlic, ginger, shallots, onions, or the whites of scallions. They add that extra hit of flavor in the background. Plus they smell amazing. If you want to do it right, cook your stir fry in batches.

Why is Mongolian beef so chewy? ›

Like many stir fry dishes, it is important to thinly slice the meat, which means stir-frying will obviously overcook the meat, which in turn will make it tough and chewy.

Why is Mongolian beef so tender? ›

Why is Mongolian Beef So Tender? During a process known as velveting, the beef is marinated in a mixture of ingredients intended to raise the pH of the meat and render it more tender. In this Mongolian beef recipe, we use a mixture of cornstarch, soy sauce, and oil, but the ingredients may vary.

Why is Mongolian food so good? ›

Mongolian food has umpteen flavors instead of spices in their food which makes this the foremost preferred food item for people that love meat as every dish has its mysterious variety of flavor and taste.

What spices are used in Mongolian food? ›

Mongolian food is typically mixed with rice or noodles. Mongolian food is not spicy, but it often uses a variety of herbs and spices to flavor dishes. Common spices include cumin, black pepper, and garlic. As a result, resident typically consume large quantities of meat, dairy, and other animal products.

Does Mongolian beef contain oyster sauce? ›

For the sauce: Combine the oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, cornstarch, vinegar, garlic and half the ginger in a small bowl and set aside. For the stir-fry: Heat the oil to medium-high in a wok or medium saute pan. Stir in the beef and cook to medium-rare, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes.

Is a Chinese stir-fry healthy? ›

A stir-fry is a great way to get a healthy dose of vegetables. If you add a little lean protein, a flavorful sauce, and serve your stir-fry over steamed brown rice, you've got a well-balanced meal. It's also quick to make if you use precooked brown rice.

What Chinese takeaway has the most calories? ›

Worst: General Tso's Chicken

One order clocks in at around 1,500 calories and 88 grams of fat, and it delivers more sodium than you should get in a day. Other fried dishes to watch out for: sesame, orange, and sweet and sour chicken.

Is stir-fry high in calories? ›

Stir-frying retains more nutrients than boiling. It's hard to find a more nutrient-dense meal than a vegetable stir-fry. The veggies are so low in calories that even if you like to serve them over rice -- which can double or triple the total calories -- you'll still have a meal that fits into a weight-loss plan.

What is the secret ingredient in stir-fry? ›

What is the secret ingredient for stir fry? Food & Wine suggests adding ketchup to your stir fry. Yes, that's right. It's every kid's favorite condiment for everything from chicken nuggets, to French fries, and it is the secret ingredient you need to add to your stir fry.

What are the elements of a good stir-fry? ›

A great stir-fry typically consists of four important components: protein, vegetables, aromatics, and sauce.

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