Crispy Sticky Mongolian Beef - PF Chang's copycat, done right! Less oil, all the flavor and not stickly sweet. Easy!
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4.9 from 58 votes

Crispy Sticky Mongolian Beef

Recipe VIDEO above. This Mongolian Beef is super crispy and coated in a sticky salty / sweet sauce - but not TOO sweet! It's absolutely divine and everyone I've made this for has raved about it. Don't be daunted by the ingredients list - there are a number of repeat ingredients! I just like to separate them into groups for ease of following the recipe. 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Stir Fry
Cuisine: American Chinese
Keyword: Mongolian Beef
Servings: 2 -3
Calories: 371kcal
Author: Nagi | RecipeTin Eats

Ingredients

Beef and Marinade

  • 8 oz / 250g beef steak (rump, scotch or flank), sliced into 1/5" / 3mm slices (Note 1)
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp cornstarch/cornflour
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil

Sauce

  • 2 tsp cornflour / cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (light or all purpose, NOT dark)
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine or dry sherry, or more chicken broth (Note 2)
  • 3 tbsp / 1/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed

Crispy Beef

  • 1/4 - 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil (Note 1)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch/cornflour

Stir Fry

  • 1/2 tsp ginger, finely minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 scallions/shallots, cut into 1 1/2" / 4cm pieces on the diagonal

Instructions

Beef and Marinade

  • Combine the Beef and Marinade ingredients in a bowl and marinate for 10 minutes (though you could even leave it overnight).

Sauce

  • Mix the cornstarch with a splash of the water. Then add the remaining Sauce ingredients, including remaining water.

Crispy Beef and Stir Fry

  • Add 1/4 cup cornstarch and use your fingers to lightly coat the beef.
  • Heat 1/4 cup oil in a wok (Note 2) over medium high heat. Add 1/2 the beef and cook the first side for around 45 seconds or until golden and crisp. Then flip (I use an egg flip) and cook the other side for 30 - 45 seconds until golden and crisp. Remove onto a paper towel lined plate. Repeat with remaining beef.
  • Discard the oil, leaving behind about 1 tablespoon in the wok.
  • Add the ginger and garlic and sauté for about 15 seconds. Don't let it burn!
  • Add the Sauce into the wok. Bring it to a simmer and let it cook for about 1 1/2 minutes or until it thickens into a glossy sticky sauce.
  • Add the beef and scallions, toss to coat and cook for a further 30 seconds.
  • Serve immediately with rice - or for a low carb, low cal option, try Cauliflower Rice!

Notes

1. I have fried this in just 1/4 cup of oil which works well, it requires more tossing to get the beef to brown evenly all over and become crispy, but you do end up with uneven browning which doesn't matter because it's tossed in sauce. The other way is to shallow fry in about 3/4 cm / 1/3" of oil in the skillet - about 1 to 1 1/2 cups. 
2. You could also substitute with Mirin or Cooking Sake. If you use Mirin, reduce the sugar by 1 tbsp.
3. Beef - As with all stir fries, this cooks very quickly so you need to use a decent cut of beef for it. Rump, flank, sirloin, t-bone and scotch fillet are excellent for this recipe.
Slice the beef against the grain. When you look at the beef, you will notice that the fibres are mostly going in one direction. Place the beef in front of you so the fibres are going left to right. Then cut through the fibres i.e. cut perpendicular to the direction of the fibres (see here for illustrative image). Cutting it this way makes the beef more tender!
Slow cooking cuts, like chuck, are not suitable unless you tenderise it (see How to tenderise beef the Chinese restaurant way)
4. If you don't have a wok, do this part in a small saucepan. It won't work in a skillet because the surface area is too large so the oil spreads too thinly. After cooking the beef, transfer 2 tbsp of oil from the saucepan into a skillet to cook the sauce and beef.
For the purpose of sharing this recipe on my blog, I made it in a frypan (to make sure it worked cooking the beef in a saucepan). But usually I make this in my wok!
5. This recipe is adapted from The Woks of Life. This blog is my "go to" trusted source for American Chinese recipes. It is run by a Chinese American family who used to own a restaurant - doesn't get anymore reliable than that!!
6. Nutrition assuming this serves 3. I measured the amount of oil discarded to calculate the nutrition.

Nutrition

Serving: 163g | Calories: 371kcal