While dining out will always be fun, there’s nothing quite like re-creating your favorite Chinese takeout at home. From sesame chicken, General Tso’s and chicken fried rice, the list of homemade takeout possibilities is endless.
This quick and easy copycat P.F. Chang’s Mongolian Beef recipe is no exception (nor are these other P.F. Chang’s-inspired copycat recipes). Made with tender pieces of marinated steak and a sweet, zippy garlic sauce bursting with umami flavor, it’s no wonder why this dish has been one of P.F. Chang’s bestselling menu items since its doors opened in 1993.
What Is Mongolian Beef?
As with most Americanized Chinese menu items, there are countless recipe variations for Mongolian beef. Order it from five restaurants, and we guarantee no two plates will taste exactly the same. Everyone has their own interpretation (we’ve even shared a slow cooker Mongolian beef before).
At its core, however, Mongolian beef is a dish comprised of tender, thin strips of beef (usually flank steak) stir-fried with vegetables (most commonly onions or scallions). The beef and onions are typically served in a well-balanced sauce that is both sweet and savory. While this dish is most often not spicy, you will see some recipes add chiles to the dish (like this spicy Mongolian beef recipe).
The P.F. Chang’s Mongolian beef recipe we’re sharing takes this dish’s most classic elements—beef, onions, sweet and savory flavors—and delivers a crowd-pleasing version that the whole family will enjoy.
P.F. Chang’s Mongolian Beef Recipe
This recipes yields four servings.
- 1-1/2 pounds flank steak (or skirt steak), thinly sliced against the grain and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 6-8 green onions, cut into 2-inch pieces
- Steamed white or brown rice, for serving
Mongolian beef sauce:
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch, mixed with 1 tablespoon of water
Step 1: Slice the steak
Using a sharp knife, thinly slice the flank steak and transfer it to a shallow dish. For the most tender bites of steak, we suggest cutting against the grain of the meat at a 45-degree angle.
Editor’s Tip: Unless your knives are very sharp, slicing steak as thinly as restaurants do can be a challenge. One trick to try is popping your steak in the freezer for 30-45 minutes before slicing. This will firm up the beef to make it a little easier to slice.
Step 2: Whisk
In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, cornstarch and baking soda. (Fun fact: baking soda is one of our favorite tricks for making tough cuts of beef tender).
Step 3: Marinate
Pour the marinade over the slices of steak and toss to coat. Cover the dish and let the beef marinate for at least 20-30 minutes at room temperature.
Editor’s Tip: You may also let the steak marinate overnight in the refrigerator. For an overnight marinade, we suggest reducing the amount of baking soda in the marinade down to 1/2 teaspoon, so the beef doesn’t become too tender.
Step 4: Make the sauce
While the beef marinates, whisk together the sesame oil, ground ginger, minced garlic, soy sauce, water and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat until the brown sugar dissolves.
Bring the sauce to a boil and then stir in the cornstarch-water mixture (this mixture is called a slurry, and it’s one of our favorite ways to thicken sauces). Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook the sauce until it has reduced and thickened slightly. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Step 5: Cook
Warm a large skillet or wok (an essential Chinese cooking tool) over medium-high heat. Drain the beef from the marinade and then add it to the skillet. Leave the beef undisturbed for 1-2 minutes, allowing it to sear, then turn occasionally until the beef is brown on all sides.
Editor’s Tip: Depending on the size of your wok or skillet, you may wish to cook the beef in a few small batches to ensure it browns nicely on all sides.
Step 6: Finish
To finish, add the green onions and then pour in the sauce, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dish reaches your desired level of “sauciness.” Reduce the heat to medium, stir to coat, and cook for 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Enjoy!
How to Serve Copycat Mongolian Beef
Serve Mongolian beef over a bed of white or brown rice (here’s our favorite way to steam rice on the stovetop). We also highly suggest a batch of crispy crab rangoon or homemade egg rolls as an appetizer!
The post The Best P.F. Chang’s Mongolian Beef Copycat Recipe appeared first on Taste of Home.