BrokeAss Gourmet

BrokeAss Gourmet

Mongolian Beef

  • Prep Time 0:40
  • Cook Time 0:15
  • Estimated Cost $10

I love spicy, sweet Mongolian beef and almost always order it at Chinese restaurants, or when the roomie and I do takeout. A major benefit to cooking it at home, however, is that I get to control what goes into it. I opt to use significantly less sugar than most recipes call for (3 tbsp in the whole recipe, as opposed to 3/4 cup!) and I skip the cornstarch.

Additionally, I stole a technique from Thai satay chicken: marinating the meat in plain yogurt before cooking. The acids in the yogurt work overtime, breaking down the connective tissues in the meat (isn’t that just the most delicious image ever??), yielding a finished product that cooks quickly into juicy bites of beef with tender, juicy interiors and crispy, caramelized exteriors.


  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt $1.50 for 8 oz.
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce, divided Pantry
  • 1 lb flank steak, sliced into 1/4" thick bite-size pieces $5
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil (canola, vegetable, peanut or coconut) Pantry
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced Pantry
  • 1 1" piece ginger, peeled and grated $0.50
  • 1/2 cup water 
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar Pantry
  • 1 1/2 tbsp (plus more to taste) Asian chili sauce (preferably sambal oelek) $2 for 8 oz.
  • 3 green onions, cut into 1" slices $1 for a bunch

Recipe Serves 2-3


  • In a mixing bowl, combine yogurt and 1 tbsp soy sauce. Stir well. Add sliced flank steak, mix well to combine, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (up to 2 hours). Once beef has finished marinating, rinse in a strainer to remove excess yogurt.
  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large frying pan or wok over high heat. Brown the marinated, rinsed beef for 2-3 minutes on each side, until edges become crisp and caramelized. Transfer beef to a clean plate.
  • Reduce heat to medium, add the second tbsp oil and cook garlic and ginger for about 20 seconds, moving the pan around to keep the garlic from burning. Add the remaining soy sauce, water, brown sugar and chili sauce, increase heat to high and bring to a simmer (this should take about a minute).
  • Add the beef to the sauce and cook, moving the pan around and stirring frequently, until the beef has absorbed most of the sauce and is cooked through. In the last minute of cooking, add the sliced green onions and toss well.
  • Serve hot, with steamed rice if desired.

Category: Meals

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What They're Saying

Jess, on Jan 12, 01:47 PM, wrote:

Looks amazing – I adore Mongolian beef too. Can’t wait to try!

Lynn @ Order in the Kitchen, on Jan 14, 09:54 AM, wrote:

This looks amazing. I can’t wait to try it. I love love love Mongolian beef but I love it even more made at home! Thanks for posting!

Vanessa, on Jan 14, 08:54 PM, wrote:

Thanks for this recipe! I tried it and it was delicious!

Amy K, on Jan 16, 10:39 AM, wrote:

Yep. YEP. Made it, easy as butt, and a big hit around here. Will be going into heavy rotation.

Simon, on Jan 22, 06:22 PM, wrote:

Tried it, loved it and opened up a world of possibilities. I’m making a weeks worth of pork tenderloin and trying it with tofu for my vegetarian wife. I’ll let you know how it turns out!

Natalie, on Jan 26, 03:34 PM, wrote:

I made this last night. Huge hit with the boyfriend, so thanks. ;)

One question: If the beef gives off a lot of juices while in the pan, should I drain that off? While it was still really good we didn’t get “crisp,” quite, and I’m wondering if it was because of said juices, or maybe because I was paranoid about overcooking it so I stirred it around some instead of laying the slices flat and letting them cook for the full 2-3 minutes undisturbed. I’ll probably just experiment some until it comes out right, but if you have any thoughts, I’d appreciate it.

Nancy , on Feb 1, 02:43 PM, wrote:

I had the same issue as Natalie. The beef didn’t have that “crisp” on the edges due to a lot of juice in the pan from cooking the beef. However, I did use sirloin and not flank, as I had some in the freezer. But it was delicious and I’ll definitely be making it again!

Jessica, on Jun 4, 03:42 PM, wrote:

This was so freaking tasty and easy to prepare!! To get the beef crisp, make sure you drain the beef well and then blot it with paper towels if necessary. Make sure your wok is hot. I didn’t miss the extra sugar at all. Perfect Gabi. Thanks!