Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Mongolian Beef

Who doesn't love take-out Chinese food? Ok, I'm sure there are some people, but I'm not one of them. When I was growing up, my parents would get it for us maybe once a month, and then we'd also go to restaurants in Philadelphia's Chinatown a few times a year. There were some great Chinese restaurants in Philadelphia...

But around here, not so much. That's why I have re-created so many take-out recipes at home. Not only have they been delicious, I'm also controlling the ingredients, calories, sodium, and fat.

My latest experiment with make-at-home-take-out was last night - Mongolian Beef. I followed
this recipe, a PF Changes copycat recipe found on the Recipe Zaar web site, with just a few changes.

The recipe didn't not include a step for marinating meat, and when working with flank steak (or sirloin strips like I did), I think it's important to marinate it mostly to tenderize it. So I marinated the sirloin strips in soy sauce, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes before starting the recipe.


  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar (I used light - it was all I had)
  • Vegetable oil, for frying (about 1 cup) (I used much less than this)
  • 1 lb flank steak (I used sirloin strips)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 large green onions

Directions (I changed the cooking method slightly so these are my notes)
  • Marinate the meat as noted above
  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger; saute 2 minutes. Add the brown sugar, soy sauce, and water. Bring to a steady simmer for 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
  • Dip the steak pieces into the cornstarch to apply a very thin dusting to both sides of each piece of beef. Let the beef sit for about 10 minutes so that the cornstarch sticks.
  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in the same pan over medium heat until it's nice and hot, but not smoking.
  • Add the beef to the oil and sauté for several minutes until beef is brown on all sides
  • Return sauce the the pan and let simmer for several minutes.
  • Mix in half of the green onions; use the remaining onions as garnish.
  • Serve over rice

Of all the fake-out take-out meals I have made at home, this one tasted the most like real take-out. Jon and I both loved it, and my dad was happy to get the leftovers for lunch today. I'd highly recommend this one!!

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  1. Mongolian beef is one of my favorite dishes when we go out for Chinese. This one looks just like what we order, but I'm sure it's so much better!

  2. This looks great - I love making food like this at home. It's insane how unhealthy it can be when you get take out!