Mongolian Beef Stir-Fry — These EASY Chinese-inspired Mongolian beef stir-fry bowls are ready in just 10 minutes!! Loaded with rich savory flavor, crisp-tender vegetables, and served over rice! Faster than calling for takeout when you’re craving Asian food!!
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Easy Mongolian Beef Bowl Recipe
For those times when you’re craving something other than another chicken dinner, this Mongolian beef stir-fry is just the thing. Especially when you need to get dinner on the table fast, since the recipe is ready in just 10 minutes — faster than calling for takeout!
The stir-fry is full of rich, Asian-inspired, savory flavors from a combination of soy sauce and scallion. It’s nicely balanced with brown sugar to give that savory-yet-mildly-sweet flavor profile that many Asian recipes have.
The bell peppers and carrots stay nicely crisp-tender to give great texture and crunch.
Even better, this recipe is made in one skillet making cleanup a breeze.
Mongolian Beef Stir-Fry Ingredients
For the Mongolian beef sauce and stir-fry, you’ll want to have the following ingredients on hand:
- Flank steak or pepper steak
- Light or dark brown sugar
- Soy sauce (I used reduced-sodium)
- Canola or vegetable oil
- Grated or shredded carrots
- Yellow bell pepper (or any color)
- Green part of scallions
- Ginger (freshly grated or dried)
- Sesame seeds
- Cooked rice, for serving
- Salt, optional and to taste
- Pepper, optional and to taste
How to Make Mongolian Beef Stir-Fry
Once you get the steak and veggies prepped, this Mongolian stir-fry recipe comes together in just 10 minutes! Here’s an overview of how the Mongolian beef bowls are made:
- Begin by cutting steak into ¼ inch thick strips, against the grain.
- Place the steak into a large zip-top bag, cover with cornstarch, seal, and shake the bag to move the beef around to ensure it is evenly coated. (This helps the beef sear really nicely and later when you add the soy sauce mixture, the cornstarch helps it thicken slightly.)
- In a mixing bowl, combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, water, mix, and set it aside.
- In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat.
- When the oil is shimmering, add the beef, evenly spaced, and sear for one minute on each side. Remove the steak from the pan and set aside after it’s cooked.
- Taking care that you only have about 1 tablespoon oil leftover in the pan after removing the steak, add the peas, carrots, bell pepper, scallions, and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Then add garlic, ginger, sesame seeds, and sauté for an additional 30 seconds.
- Add the seared steak back into the skillet, pour the soy sauce mixture over everything, let it simmer for a few minutes to allow the sauce to thicken.
- Serve over cooked rice, adding salt and pepper, or additional soy sauce, to taste and if desired.
Although I used frozen peas (dumped straight in and didn’t bother thawing them) and carrots, you can also add broccoli florets. I personally would use fresh because I don’t care for the texture of frozen broccoli, but use what you have on hand and prefer.
Additionally, or instead of the vegetables I used, you can incorporate the following:
- Snow peas
- Sugar snap peas
- Water chestnuts
- Baby corn
- Bamboo shoots
A tip here is that if you are going to use broccoli, mushrooms, or a denser vegetable, add it after searing and removing the beef, but before adding the peas, carrots, bell pepper, and scallions since they will likely need a 2 to 3 minute headstart.
Tips for the Best Mongolian Beef Stir-Fry
When beginning the recipe and you are going to coat the beef in cornstarch, make sure your beef isn’t cold or frozen! Allow your meat to rest at room temperature for at least 20 minutes before cooking.
When searing the beef, don’t crowd the pan! Cook meat in batches if your pan isn’t big enough.
These thin cuts of meat cook very quickly, make sure to remove them from the pan as soon as they’re seared so they don’t overcook.
The Mongolian beef stir-fry is sweet, salty, and saucy. You definitely taste the ginger, garlic, and soy sauce in the stir-fry sauce, but the brown sugar balances out those savory flavors perfectly.
Nope, not at all! It’s just full of umami flavor. If you want it to be spicy, add some crushed red pepper flakes to the sauce or drizzle your bowl with Sriracha.
No, this Mongolian beef stir-fry recipe is best enjoyed right away.
However, if you’ll be in a real time crunch, you can always slice the beef the day you plan on cooking it, as well as prepare (but not cook) the vegetables. Then, all you’ll have to do for dinner is throw everything together in a skillet!
You could try using honey or even pure maple syrup in place of the brown sugar, but you may need to adjust the sweetener to soy sauce ratio.
However, I’ve only made this stir-fry using brown sugar so I can’t speak to how well honey or maple syrup would work in its place.
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- 1 pound flank steak or pepper steak, sliced into thin 1/4-inch strips against the grain
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed (light or dark)* (See Notes)
- 1/2 cup soy sauce (I used reduced-sodium)** (See Notes)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 1 cup peas (I used frozen, and did not thaw beforehand)
- 1 cup grated or shredded carrots
- 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced into thin 1/4-inch strips (or any color)
- 2 stalks scallions, green parts only, sliced into 1-inch segments
- 3 or 4 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
- 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced or grated OR 2 teaspoons dried ginger
- 1 to 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
- Cooked rice, for serving
- Salt, optional and to taste
- Pepper, optional and to taste
- Begin by cutting steak into thin ¼ inch thick strips, against the grain.
- Place it into a large ziptop bag, cover with the cornstarch, seal, and shake the bag to move the beef around to ensure it is evenly coated; set aside momentarily.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, water, mix; set aside.
- In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium to medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the beef, evenly spaced, and sear for one minute on each side.
- Remove the steak from the pan and set aside after it’s cooked taking care not to overcook; don't crowd the pan and cook in batches if you need to.
- Taking care that you only have about 1 tablespoon oil leftover in the pan after removing the steak (drain off excess if there is), add the peas (I added straight from the freezer), carrots, bell pepper, scallions, and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.***
- Add garlic, ginger, sesame seeds, and sauté for an additional 1 minute, or until fragrant, stirring nearly constantly.
- Add the seared steak back into the skillet, pour the soy sauce mixture over everything, and let it simmer for about 2 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken.
- Scoop around 1/2 cup cooked rice into serving bowls, spoon the beef and vegetables over the rice, and if desired add salt, pepper, or additional soy sauce to taste before serving.
- Recipe is best warm and fresh but will keep airtight in the fridge (store rice separately) for up to 4 days or in the freezer for 3 months, noting that the texture of the vegetables will change and they will be softer and not as crisp.
*Dark brown sugar will give a deeper, richer flavor profile than light brown, but both are fine.
**I used reduced-sodium/lite soy sauce and prefer it but if you like more of a salty profile, you can use regular soy sauce.
*** If you are going to use broccoli, mushrooms, or a denser vegetable, add it after searing and removing the beef, but before adding the peas, carrots, bell pepper, and scallions since they will likely need a 2 to 3 minute headstart.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 682Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 103mgSodium: 2079mgCarbohydrates: 69gFiber: 4gSugar: 38gProtein: 42g
More Asian Beef Recipes:
Easy Hunan Beef — Skip the takeout and make this popular Chinese-inspired recipe at home! Hunan-style beef is spicy, sweet, tangy, and loaded with tender slices of beef and veggies. Best of all, it’s ready in just 40 minutes!
Copycat P.F. Chang’s Mongolian Beef — This easy recipe comes together in 20 minutes and makes for a great weeknight meal! Even picky eaters will love this, and any leftover sauce can be served over rice!
Better-Than-Takeout Beef and Broccoli — It really is BETTER than takeout and it’s definitely FASTER!! This EASY Chinese restaurant copycat recipe is a family favorite that’ll go into your regular rotation!!
15-Minute Sheet Pan Chinese Beef and Broccoli — EASY, HEALTHIER than going out for Chinese because it’s baked, and FASTER than calling for takeout!! So much FLAVOR in this family favorite! It’ll go into your regular rotation!!
Teriyaki Steak Tips — Tri-tip steak tips are cooked to perfection and then topped with a thick and sticky homemade pineapple teriyaki sauce!
Beef Fried Rice — This better-than-takeout beef fried rice is EASY, ready in 20 MINUTES, and made in ONE skillet! Everyone loves the big juicy strips of steak and perfectly fried rice that’s speckled with bits of onions, peas, carrots, and scrambled eggs.