Mongolian Beef

5 from 9 votes
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Mongolian Beef is a classic “American Chinese” takeout dish – but I promise, it tastes even better when you make it at home! The beef is super tender and it’s coated in a delicious sweet & savory sauce – trust me, you’re going to love this one!

If you’re a fan of Mongolian Beef, you’ll never need to order takeout again after trying this recipe!

Watch the Mongolian Beef Recipe Video Below!

mongolian beef plated with rice

Ingredients for Mongolian Beef

This Mongolian Beef recipe is such a winner and perfect for a weeknight meal with a freshly steamed bowl of rice! Here is what you’ll need for the recipe:

  • Sliced Beef (I prefer flank steak or strip steak)
  • Light Soy Sauce (low sodium recommended)
  • Shaoxing wine
  • Kosher Salt
  • White Pepper
  • Baking Soda
  • Cornstarch
  • Neutral Oil
  • Chicken Stock – I always recommend Kettle & Fire – use code CJPINS for 20% off your order here!
  • Brown Sugar
  • Scallions
  • Dried Red Chilis
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
raw ingredients on a table for mongolian beef


Make sure you are slicing against the grain. You’ll know which direction the grain is when you look at the meat – the lines will be running in one direction (the lines are the muscle fibers). Slicing against the grain is an easy way to ensure your meat will be tender. (Remember, the lines are the muscle fibers – cutting against the lines means you’re cutting the long fibers, so they don’t get tough when cooked!)

This is the KEY ingredient to super tender beef. Baking soda is commonly used in Chinese cooking to tenderize beef. If you’re curious about the science behind it – baking soda neutralizes acid and raises the pH level, which causes the meat to become more alkaline. This means the proteins INSIDE the meat will have more trouble tightening up – when the proteins can’t tighten up, the meat ends up much more tender when cooked (instead of constricting together aka getting tough!)

My favorite neutral oil is avocado oil, but you can also use canola or vegetable oil! I don’t use olive oil when cooking Chinese food for two reasons: 1. It has a low burning point and 2. I find that the flavor profile does not usually go with the dish.

If you cannot or do not want to use wine, you can sub with sherry, mirin, or chicken stock!

If you are sensitive to heat, you can adjust by using less chilis OR by removing the seeds. (To be clear, the seeds don’t contain the chemical that make the peppers hot BUT they are oftentimes coated with the oils that make peppers hot.)

Mongolian Beef: Recipe Instructions

Slice the steak

The first step in making this recipe is cutting the steak against the grain into 2″ pieces that are 1/4″ thick (refer to photos). Cut the steak into uniform pieces so they cook evenly when we fry them.

Notice the lines running down the steak. These are muscle fibers known as “the grain”. Cut perpendicular to these lines to ensure tender beef!
cutting steak with a knife against the grain

Next, place the sliced steak into a bowl with light soy sauce, shaoxing wine, kosher salt, white pepper, baking soda, cornstarch and neutral oil. Mix well with your hands and let marinate for at least 15-20 minutes. While the steak marinates, mince garlic and ginger as well as cut scallions into 3″ pieces. Set them all aside along with dried red chilis depending on how spicy you want the dish (I used about 7 chilis and it was perfect for me – maybe a 6/10 on the heat scale).

Next, mix the sauce by combining chicken stock (I always use Kettle & Fire – get 20% off your order when you use code CJPINS!), light soy sauce, brown sugar, white pepper, and cornstarch. I always like to premix my sauce to have it ready to go during the fast cooking process.

marinated beef
prepped ingredients in bowls

Cook the steak

Heat 4 tablespoons of neutral oil (I prefer avocado oil) in a pan or wok over high heat until just smoking. Add the steak, in batches if needed, for 2-3 minutes until golden brown and remove and set the steak pieces aside.

frying beef in oil

Once the steak is cooked, remove the excess oil, leaving about 2 tablespoons, then sauté the minced garlic and ginger for 30 seconds until fragrant.

frying aromatics and chilis in a wok

Add the sauce and thicken

Add the sauce to the aromatics and dried red chilis and stir fry for another minute to let the sauce come to a boil and thicken.

mongolian beef sauce mixing in a wok

Finish the Mongolian Beef

Once the aromatics and chilis are stir fried, it’s time to finish the dish! Add back the cooked steak pieces, along with the scallions. Stir fry for a final 1-2 minutes until everything is evenly coated in the sauce and enjoy!

close up of mongolian beef in a wok

Mix together and stir fry over high heat until the sauce has become thickened and glossy like this! Now you’re ready to serve with some freshly steamed rice.

mongolian beef cooked in a wok

If you liked this Mongolian Beef recipe, check out some of the most popular Chinese Take-Out recipes on the blog!

mongolian beef on a plate


The cooking process for the sauce is FAST so it’s a great idea to premix your sauce together, then add it straight into the pan! The corn starch will help thicken the sauce into that velvety texture that Chinese restaurants made so famous.

For a recipe that comes together extremely quickly, the key to pulling this recipe off successfully is having your ingredients prepped and in bowls right next to your wok or pan! Have your premixed sauce, steak, and vegetables ready and easily accessible during the cooking process.

Do not let your frying oil drop below 300F when frying! I highly recommend you use a thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature. If you see it dropping below 300F, fry your beef in batches. Frying at a low temperature will result in too much moisture (AKA SOGGY!)

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5 from 9 votes

Mongolian Beef

Servings: 4
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
close up of mongolian beef in a wok
This Mongolian Beef is a classic Chinese take out dish that is made of tender beef, aromatics, chilis, and scallions in a sweet and savory sauce. It's so much better than takeout when made at home!



Vegetables & Aromatics

  • 6 green onions, cut into 2" pieces
  • 5-7 dried red chilis , japones or chile de arbol work well; remove seeds to reduce spice level
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minminced


  • Slice your steak into 1/4" strips and marinate with light soy sauce, white pepper, Shaoxing wine, baking soda, neutral oil, and corn starch for 15 minutes.
  • Prepare your green onions, garlic, ginger and chilis (deseed the chilis for less heat); set aside.
  • Combine light soy sauce, brown sugar, and warm chicken stock mix; mix until sugar is dissolved.
  • Heat 4 tbsp of neutral oil in a wok over high heat. Shallow fry the beef for 3-4 minutes at 350F, working in batches if necessary so the oil does not drop below 300F. Fry until golden brown and crisp. Remove and set aside.
  • Remove leftover oil until about 2 tbsp of neutral oil remains. Over medium high heat, fry your garlic and ginger for 15-30 seconds then add the dried red chilis. Stir fry for another 15-30 seconds until the chilis are slightly toasted and oils have extracted.
  • Add your premixed sauce and stir to combine until the sauce has thickened. Add back your beef and scallions, stir for another 1-2 minutes to coat evenly, and enjoy!

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Tried this recipe?Mention @cj.eats_ or tag #cjeatsrecipes!

About CJ

I’m a third generation Chinese-American home cook who has always loved cooking & eating! Welcome to my food blog, where you can find trusted, tested, easy & approachable recipes for the everyday home cook that taste delicious! I am so glad you're here!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I’ve made this a couple of times now and turns out perfect every time! Definitely better than getting take out and it’s quick to pull together.

  2. 5 stars
    My go to beef recipe is Mongolian beef, my husband and l loved this when I make it. And then My kids loves the chicken teriyaki, egg drop soup and the honey glazed carrots. thank you for sharing your recipes CJ! You’re helping a lot of moms and working moms. keep it coming! Happy Holidays!

  3. 5 stars
    This was super easy to make and very tasty. Omitted the chilis bc I couldn’t find at my local grocery store but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. Love that I can make this at home and not rely on take-out! Thanks, CJ!

  4. 5 stars
    I Love this dish!
    I try to make it for my family twice a month. We love it!
    They even ask me to make it for them when I’m undecided on what to cook for dinner!
    Plus his fried rice recipe 😋

  5. 5 stars
    I have made this once and it was divine! It’s better than my local takeout! It comes together quickly so it’s imperative that you have everything prepped before you start cooking. I’m making it next weekend and can’t wait! If you’re o undecided about making this recipe, do it! It’s easy and fantastic! Enjoy!

  6. 5 stars
    This is a fantastic, easy recipe! Made it last night and it was a hit. One problem, a cup of red chili peppers blew us out of this world:) It was way too hot for our anglo-saxon taste buds. So next time I’ll like use a 1/4 cup of those bad boys, or just 4-5. Loved the video. Great instructions. Helped me make it without a problem. The only issue was the heat. I’ll definitely make it again but with less peppers.

  7. 5 stars
    I have made this twice already, and it is really delicious! The sauce is so good and easy to make! Also, never knew that baking soda is a tenderizer – thanks so much for the great tip! Looking forward to trying your other recipes!