what is mongolian beef chinese food

The Woks of Life Mongolian Beef Recipe

Now that we have that clear, it doesn’t take a genius to know that despite their somewhat misleading names, these Westernized Asian dishes can be GOOD!

P.F. Chang’s version of this dish is probably the most well-known, but, personally, I think their dish is way too sweet, and it’s definitely too sweet for Judy (which is saying something, since she comes from Shanghai, where sweet-savory dishes are often the main event).

In fact, when Judy found out I was going to make a Mongolian beef recipe, the exclamations were strong and immediate: “Too sweet! Too oily! No good! You’re crazy!”

  • Cut the sugar–wayyy down.
  • Reduce the amount of oil used–wayyy down.

And after the photographs were taken, the Mongolian beef on the plate disappeared before all of our eyes once the rice was served. Amidst the feeding frenzy were these comments, muffled by mouthfuls:

  • Sarah: “Holy crap, that’s tasty!”
  • Kaitlin: “Daaang, gimme more of that rice!”
  • Judy: “WOW. That is SO good!”
  • My humble remark: “Ok, you guys were hungry.”

what is mongolian beef chinese food

If you would rather have some chicken, then check out our popular Mongolian Chicken recipe!

This recipe was originally published in 2015. We have since updated it with high-res photos, metric measurements, nutrition information, an instructional VIDEO, and minor adjustments to the recipe for both clarity and convenience. (e.g. the original recipe was for 8 ounces of beef; we have increased it to 1 pound.) Enjoy!

Mongolian beef is a dish from Taiwan[1] consisting of sliced beef, typically flank steak, usually made with onions.[2] The beef is commonly paired with scallions or mixed vegetables and is often not spicy. The dish is often served over steamed rice, or in the US, over crispy fried cellophane noodles. It is a staple dish of American Chinese restaurants. Despite its name, the dish has nothing to do with Mongolian cuisine.

Mongolian beef is among the meat dishes developed in Taiwan where Mongolian barbecue restaurants first appeared.[3] Thus, none of the ingredients or the preparation methods are drawn from traditional Mongolian cuisine but from Chinese cuisine.[4] A variation is known as Mongolian lamb which substitutes lamb for the beef in the dish.

The Origins of Mongolian Beef

But first. What exactly are the origins of Mongolian Beef? Because it’s definitely not Mongolian…

In fact, in Mongolia, more often than not, home cooks simply boil meat and dip it in sauces. Not exactly a stir-fry.

Everything is served with Bai Jiu, a stiff, white lightning liquor made of sorghum (usually 90 proof or higher!) very popular in China.

(A friend of mine who visits his Mongolian in-laws almost always ends up drunk and horizontal on the couch after the traditional welcome-home dinner!)

As for the true origins of Mongolian beef, my theory is that someone just forgot to add the orange to a wok full of Orange Beef, and added more sugar instead. Hence, the Mongolian Beef recipe was born. (But, as Judy and the girls would say, that’s just my crazy theory/the ramblings of an old coot!)

Anyway, chalk it up to Chinese-American menu planners and marketers who dubbed the dish “Mongolian Beef.”

It’s a close cousin to “Singapore Noodles,” a dish that many actual Singaporeans scratch their heads over––most likely born in the stainless steel kitchen of a Chinese takeout joint!

Rating 4.9 (402) · 45 minOct 11, 2023 · Mongolian Beef Recipe: Instructions Combine the sliced beef with the marinade ingredients (the neutral oil, Shaoxing wine, light soy sauce, Beef with Chinese Broccoli · Chinese Braised Oxtail · Dark Soy Sauce

FAQ

What is in Mongolian beef at a Chinese restaurant?

Mongolian beef is a dish from Taiwan consisting of sliced beef, typically flank steak, usually made with onions. The beef is commonly paired with scallions or mixed vegetables and is often not spicy. The dish is often served over steamed rice, or in the US, over crispy fried cellophane noodles.

What is the difference between Szechuan and Mongolian beef?

Szechuan Beef has a sweet and spicy flavor with added chili peppers and Szechuan peppercorns. The Szechuan peppercorns has a distinctive tingly numbing sensation when eaten. Mongolian beef has a mild and much simpler taste, making it a kids’ favorite, outside of broccoli beef.

What is Mongolian beef made of?

What is Mongolian Beef? It’s a simple stir fry with thin slices of beef simmered in a sauce of soy, brown sugar, garlic, and ginger. The brown sugar caramelizes in the soy to make a slightly sticky sauce that coats the beef.

Why is Mongolian beef so chewy?

Another feature of Mongolian meat is its hard and chewy quality because the animals are self-feeding pasturing freely on the grasslands.

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