30 Minute Mongolian Stir Fry

There’s no need to order out! This easy 30-minute Mongolian beef stir-fry is fresh, flavorful and ready to go in a hurry!

 
I love this Asian-inspired meal! It’s loaded with veggies andis ready in just 30 minutes! Serve this with a side of steamed rice or enjoy it with one of these homemade versions of takeout fried rice or chow mein!

30 Minute Mongolian Stir-Fry

The Best Beef Stir Fry

How could we NOT love today’s recipe? This Mongolian Beef Stir Fry is really easy to throw together, and you can pretty much use whatever veggies you have on hand!

When it comes to choosing the right cut of beef, stick with flank steak, or if you can’t find that particular cut, skirt, hanger, or flat iron are all great options. Don’t be afraid to go up to the counter and ask your butcher for what you need. 😉

I don’t particularly like sweet Asian dishes, and luckily Mongolian beef isn’t super sweet but, I did cut way back on the sugar and added a touch more soy sauce. You can always add in chili sauce if you want it spicier, or use dark brown sugar if you want it sweeter. (Dark brown sugar has a higher content of molasses which is what really gives it a sweet punch!)

Beef stir fry

How to Make Mongolian Stir Fry

Prep

Begin by cutting your meat against the grain to break up the muscle fibers, which will give you a more tender texture.

Then toss the strips of beef in corn starch and let them sit on the cutting board for 15 minutes. You want your beef to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes because it allows the cornstarch to adhere better and it will help give the meat a nice crispy sear (tossing cold meat into hot oil will reduce the temperature of the oil significantly).

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. In a small saucepan set over medium heat add the vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, lightly sauté the garlic for a minute, then add the ginger and cook for 30 seconds.

Pour the remaining ingredients in the pan and simmer for 5 minutes or until the sauce begins to reduce or thicken. Keep warm while preparing the rest of the ingredients.

Sear and Saute

In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, add the 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, quickly stir-fry the beef in 2-3 batches. You want it to be nice and crisp on the outsides, but not cooked throughout. Transfer cooked beef to a plate. If the pan has a lot of oil in it, remove all but 1 tablespoon of oil.

*Pro-tip:  Make sure the oil is smoking hot when you add the beef in, the oil should sizzle if you were to flick water on it. If it’s too cool you won’t get that crispy sear on it. 

Saute the vegetables; broccoli, green onions, bell peppers, snow peas, carrots, or green beans are delicious options. Sauté for 2-3 minutes before returning the beef to the skillet. Add the sauce, stir, and allow everything to cook for an additional 2 minutes before removing from the heat.

Serve

Serve immediately with a side of steamed rice or your favorite noodles.

Stir fry sauce

Recipe FAQs

Can I use chicken instead? If you’re using chicken make sure that you give it longer on each side so that it’s fully cooked in the middle. I recommend using a thinner cut of chicken. If you’re using any other type of meat just make sure that you cook it fully and do your best to get a good sear on it. 

Can I make it in the slow cooker?  You can make this in the slow cooker but you won’t get that same crispy sear on it.  Add your beef along with all of the ingredients for your sauce in the slow cooker and cook on high in 2-3 hours or on low for 4-5 hours. Afterward, you can add in your sauteed veggies and let it sit until warmed through.

Can I use frozen veggies? Costco has a frozen vegetable medley bag that works great for Chinese style stir fry. If you decide to go that route just take more time when you are sauteing your veggies until they have warmed through and you are satisfied with the texture. 

What is hoisin sauce? It is a thick sweet and sour sauce

Is this healthy? Mongolian beef isn’t the healthiest option because it is fried beef. Adding veggies and using low sodium soy sauce does help the matter.

Mongolian Beef stir fry recipe

Storing Tips + Side Ideas

Keep any leftovers in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days, fully reheat in the microwave until warmed through.

If you want to freeze your leftovers for later consider taking out any bell peppers because they don’t freeze very well and end up becoming mushy. This should last in the freezer for up to 4 months.  

For more favorites, check out:

  • Better than takeout chow mein
  • Better  than takeout fried rice
  • Better than takeout cashew chicken
  • Better than takeout sweet and sour chicken
  • Better than takeout orange chicken
    30 Minute Mongolian Beef Stir-Fry | lifemadesimplebakes.com

    30 Minute Mongolian Beef Stir-Fry Recipe

    There's no need to order out! This easy 30 minute Mongolian beef stir-fry is fresh, flavorful and ready to go in a hurry!
    5 from 17 votes
    Pin Rate
    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: Chinese
    Prep Time: 15 mins
    Cook Time: 15 mins
    Total Time: 30 mins
    Servings: 4 servings
    Calories: 513kcal
    Print Recipe

    Ingredients

    • 1 1/2 lbs flank steak - cut across the grain into 1/4-inch strips
    • 3 tbsp cornstarch
    • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
    For the Sauce
    • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
    • 3 cloves garlic - minced
    • 1/4 tsp ginger root - freshly grated (or ginger paste)
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1/3 cup hoisin sauce
    • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
    • 2 tbsp brown sugar
    • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
    • 1/2 tsp crushed chili paste or chili flakes
    Vegetables
    • 1/2 cup water chestnuts - sliced
    • 1 cup bell peppers - chopped
    • 1 head broccoli - cut into florets and lightly steamed
    • 3 green onions - cut into 1-inch pieces

    Instructions

    • Toss the strips of beef in the corn starch and let them sit on the cutting board for 15 minutes.
    • Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. In a small saucepan set over medium heat add the vegetable oil.
    • When the oil is hot, lightly sauté the garlic for a minute, then add the ginger and cook for 30 seconds. Pour the remaining ingredients in the pan and simmer for 5 minutes or until the sauce begins to reduce or thicken. Keep warm while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
    • In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, add the 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, quickly stir-fry the beef in 2-3 batches. You want it to be nice and crisp on the outsides, but not cooked throughout. Transfer cooked beef to a plate. If the pan has a lot of oil in it, remove all but 1 tablespoon of oil.
    • Add the vegetables and sauté for 2-3 minutes before returning the beef to the skillet. Add the sauce, stir, and allow everything to cook for an additional 2 minutes before removing from the heat. Serve immediately with a side of steamed rice or your favorite noodles.

    Notes

    -I used a Ziploc steam bag to steam my broccoli. It's so quick and easy!!

    Nutrition

    Serving: 4g | Calories: 513kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 103mg | Sodium: 1232mg | Potassium: 1272mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 2277IU | Vitamin C: 186mg | Calcium: 136mg | Iron: 5mg

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About the Author

Natalie

Wife, mother, baker and photographer. Recipe developer & author of Life Made Simple. A self-professed peanut butter lover and fond of anything that involves pumpkin, cookie dough, or sprinkles

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Comments:

    1. Depending on the thickness of your chicken, you may need to cook it a bit longer during that initial browning process.

  1. its a keeper. just made and it had some nice heat I used red pepper flakes and a thai chile sauce/ Thanks for the recipe

  2. Dish was great but would cut way back on the brown sugar to 1tblspn as the hoisin sauce has sugar in it.
    Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Agreed way too sweet, as in as sweet as say a barbecue sauce.   I think it would be way too sweet even with absence of brown sugar.  I’d cut the brown sugar down to one T and also cut the hoisin maybe down to 2-3 T.  

  3. This recipe was great. Everyone loved it. I made the recipe as directed except that I cut the hoisin sauce in half because I didn’t have enough. I will make this again!!

  4. Came out great. My son and friend loved it. Everything disappeared with seconds stretched as far as they would go. Might need to make extra next time. My son said his favorite dish after my enchilada casserole. 😉 two ? 

  5. Made this tonight. It was a real hit. My only complaint is that it is kind of salty. I imagine that is from the hoisin sauce. Any suggestions for fixing that? Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    1. Did you use low-sodium soy sauce? Other than that, you could always make homemade hoisin sauce that way you can control the amount of salt going into that portion of the recipe.

  6. Natalie I just found your recipe today and fixed it for dinner. The only thing different was I had snow pea pods instead of broccoli. I wouldn’t change a thing. Me and my roommate loved it. Thanks

  7. I made this tonight. My husband declared it a “home run”! It was delicious and easy to prepare. I substituted soyaki for the hoisin sauce and added baby bok choy and snow peas. It looked as good as it tasted. Thank you!

  8. This dish was amazing!  We had NO leftovers…everyone came back for seconds!!!
    Thank you!!!  Finally a dish my entire family loved!!!

  9. Hi do you think this recipe would be able to be substituted with Chuck beef and put in the slow cooker? Just wondering if you think that would work with those ingredients. Thankyou

    1. I have not tried this recipe in a slow cooker before so I can’t really say what it would be like. If you do give it a try, please come back and let me know how it turned out!

  10. Looks delicious. Could this dish be made with frozen broccoli or frozen vegetables? Would it come out as good?

  11. It took me about an hour to make.:( Also, I must not be a fan of hoisin sauce. Didn’t like the smell like I thought I would. Plus, tasted pretty tangy I thought.

    1. It’s a sauce made from soy and other ingredients. It’s thick and fragrant. You can find it next to the soy sauce and teriyaki sauce.

  12. Just made and was really good I used costco stir fry mix and doubled the sauce recipe,, had real nice heat only suggestion if making for kids I would cut the ginger in half. Worked real good with moose sirloin steak. 

    Thanks

  13. This was delicious! I added an extra tbsp of brown sugar as my boyfriend and I love sweet sauces. I also used ground beef instead of steak because it’s just way to expensive for us – ofcourse this alters the dish quite dramatically but the sauce and beef still went together so well. Will definitely make again!

  14. I made this tonight and it was a huge hit with the family and so easy. My picky 11 yr old loved it so that’s a win! I will be making this again.

  15. This is amazing. I doubled the recipe and made it the day before I needed it for a dinner party. I kept the broccoli and green onions back to add on the day because I did not want them to become soggy. It is however way more than a 30 minute recipe. I serve this with Basmati rice. 

  16. 5 stars
    I didnt have the hoisin sauce or chili flakes but even without that. This was delicious and so easy to make. I added a bit extra brown sugar and that made it too sweet so I’ll stick to the recipe next time. Great dish thanks

  17. 5 stars
    This is so simple and really tasty. Mr doesn’t like broccoli, so we added snow peas, carrots and red onion instead of the green onion. Will defend make again and again