Mongolian Beef


May 14, 2013

Author: KatieChin

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I spent this morning pretending to be Princess Leia while my almost 5 year-old son Dylan wielded a pretend light saber (it was my Swiffer handle).  It was the only way I could get him to eat his bagel with cream cheese.  From Star Wars to Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Samurai, Dylan is obsessed with warriors these days.  After juggling deadlines, soccer practice, summer camp registration and prepping for my Sutter Home Build-A-Better-Burger judging gig,  I  felt like a warrior today too.  It inspired me to make this Mongolian Beef dish.

Although no one is quite sure how this popular recipe got its name (it doesn’t actually hail from Mongolia), I know that it’s simple, delicious, savory and fit for a warrior’s (both large and small) appetite.  And the best part is that there’s no sword required.  The key to tender-melt-in-your-mouth beef is to cut across the grain with a sharp knife.  I like to freeze the beef for 30 minutes as it’s easier to slice.  Dark or black soy sauce is slightly sweeter, thicker and darker than regular soy sauce.  You can find it at Asian markets.  If you can’t find it, you can add a bit more regular soy sauce and sugar.  White pepper adds a subtle authentic Asian flavor and can be found in the gourmet section at Cost Plus World Market. 


1 pound beef tenderloin or sirloin steak, cut across the grain into 2″ strips

1 tablespoon cornstarch

3 tablespoons canola oil, divided

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon soy sauce

dash white pepper

1 green onion (white and green parts), cut into 2″ pieces

1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon dark or black soy sauce


  • Toss the beef with the cornstarch, 1 tablespoon oil, salt, sugar, soy sauce and white pepper in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Heat a wok or non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and swirl to coat. Add the ginger and garlic and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the beef and stir-fry for about 3 minutes. Add the dark soy sauce and green onions and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Dish out and serve immediately with hot, jasmine rice.