Mongolian Beef Vs Kung Pao Beef

Cow’s meat or meat from cattle, or simply known as beef, has played an integral part in the world of cooking. Quality and quantity of the meat are classified depending on the breeds of the cattle.

Beef has been used already in creating wonderful dishes. There are several recipes that would stand out around the world. Two of the famous beef recipes are the Hunan beef and Mongolian beef.

Made out of thinly sliced beef, loaded with colorful veggies and tossed in a hot and spicy sauce, the Hunan beef recipe is something you should look forward to. It has a very hot and straightforward taste.

The main ingredients in making a great Hunan beef would be chili pepper and garlic. It is also believed that Hunan beef comes from the Xiang River region and western Hunan Province. Whereas another beef recipe comes from Sichuan Province in southwestern China called the Szechuan beef.

What is the difference between kung pao beef and mongolian beef? Kung pao beef is a Szechuan dish made with spicy chilies and a spicy hot sauce. Kung Pao Beef is very spicy, whereas Mongolian beef is not spicy at all.

How to Make Kung Pao Beef

You can make kung pao within a half-hour, but get all your ingredients ready before stir-frying to keep things moving smoothly.

First, slice the beef into thin strips. You’ll find this easiest when the meat is partially frozen. Mix the marinade ingredients together in a bowl and add the beef. Toss a few times and leave it to marinate/tenderize for 10-15 minutes.

Next, make the sauce by whisking together the soy sauce, vinegar, Shaoxing wine, beef stock and optional chili paste in a bowl.

Now you’re ready to stir fry, and there are two rounds. Fry the beef until lightly browned, and then remove to a plate. Then you’ll toast the chilis and Szechuan pepper on high heat before adding the garlic, ginger, vegetables and peanuts. The last step is adding back the beef along with the sauce, which coats all ingredients.

What is Kung Pao Beef?

Kung Pao Beef is not authentic Chinese, but rather a westernized adaptation of the fiery dish Kung Pao Chicken originating in Szechaun province after being named after a governor back in the 1800s.

This dish has become popular in America with sweet, savory and nutty flavors and a mouth-numbing sensation coming from the use of Szechaun peppercorns and dried chilis. In contrast, other spicy Chinese cuisines such as Hunan cooking do not produce this characteristic numbing effect.

Kung Pao Beef is sometimes compared to Mongolian Beef, the Taiwanese barbecue dish made famous by the restaurant chain P.F. Chang’s. However, Mongolian Beef has mild flavors and does not use nuts or vegetables other than green onions.

There are some special ingredients you’ll want to pick up to create the Szechuan flavors in this dish:

  • Beef: You can use ribeye, top sirloin or flank steak for this recipe with skirt steak as a backup option.
  • Shaoxing wine: This is your standard Chinese cooking wine available at Asian grocers or online.
  • Soy sauce: Go for a low-sodium soy sauce to prevent this dish from becoming too salty. San-J and Kikkoman work well.
  • Cornstarch: Coats the beef and thickens the sauce. As a backup option, whisk all-purpose flour with equal pat water to remove lumps.
  • Chinese black vinegar: This is standard Chinkiang vinegar available in Asian grocers or online. Use balsamic as a substitute.
  • Chili paste (optional): A broad-bean chili paste like doubanjiang to build depth of flavor.
  • Beef stock: Go for low-sodium if possible. Use water if you can’t find any.
  • Dried red chilis: Your standard dried cayenne peppers from the spice aisle.
  • Szechuan peppercorns: The crucial seasoning available from Asian grocers, Whole Foods or online. Coriander seeds as the closest approximation, but don’t produce the mouth-numbing heat.
  • Garlic: fresh minced
  • Ginger: fresh ginger peeled and minced
  • Bell pepper: you can use green or red bell pepper, with carrots, celery or zucchini as alternatives.
  • Peanuts: Roasted unsalted are ideal but raw will do. Substitute cashews in a pinch.
  • Green onions: for garnish
  • Szechuan Beef vs Mongolian Beef Preparation

    Szechuan beef relies on stir-frying, braising, steaming, and marinating. The beef is marinated for a few minutes and is then cooked along with the other ingredients (including the marinade). Usually, all the ingredients, sauce, marinade, and beef are combined when first cooked. Szechuan beef is typically served on steamed white rice.

    Mongolian beef relies entirely on stir-frying. The beef and vegetables are always thinly sliced for quick cooking. Usually, all the ingredients, sauce, and beef are stir-fried in a large, round iron griddle or wok in oil or water at high temperatures. Mongolian beef is normally served on fried cellophane noodles but can also be served on steamed rice as well. A key point of cooking it on such a high temperature (above 500 degrees Fahrenheit) would be that the beef is supposed to caramelize.


    What’s the difference between Mongolian beef and beef?

    Kung Pao: Kung Pao is made with chicken, vegetables, nuts, and Szechuan peppers. Szechuan: Szechuan cuisine typically uses Szechuan peppers, vegetables, mushrooms, herbs, pork, beef, rabbit, and yogurt.

    What does Mongolian beef Chinese food taste like?

    Mongolian beef relies entirely on stir-frying. The beef and vegetables are always thinly sliced for quick cooking. Usually, all the ingredients, sauce, and beef are stir-fried in a large, round iron griddle or wok in oil or water at high temperatures.

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