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A&E >  Food

Dorothy Dean presents: Mongolian beef

The sauce for this Mongolian beef features the aromatic combo of garlic and ginger. (Audrey Alforo/For The Spokesman-Review)
The sauce for this Mongolian beef features the aromatic combo of garlic and ginger. (Audrey Alforo/For The Spokesman-Review)
By Audrey Alfaro For The Spokesman-Review

I try to recreate all our favorite restaurant meals at home. While some miss the mark, there’s others I absolutely nail.

Like Mongolian beef inspired by P.F. Chang’s.

With my husband’s obsession for it, I knew I had to give it a try. And – dare I say it? – it turned out even better than theirs.

The crisp-tender bites of the steak, sweet and savory, flavorful sauce and peppery slivers of green onions came together like a masterpiece on my kitchen stove.

My husband even declared it “the best Mongolian beef” he’s ever had. And, it was easy to make, coming together in less than 30 minutes.

Flank steak is typically used for this dish, but I’ve also made it with tri-tip and sirloin with results just as good. When cutting your steak, be sure to slice against the grain. And when frying it, don’t overcrowd your pan – you’ll end up with soggy, steamed beef, instead of it being caramelized and crispy.

The sauce is absolutely amazing, with the aromatic combo of garlic and ginger. But if you’re wanting some heat, throw in a few dried red chilies or chili flakes.

Veggies – such as onions, broccoli, carrots, bok choy or snow peas – can also be tossed in or served alongside. And we serve ours family-style, over a bed of rice or noodles.

Mongolian Beef

Adapted from

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon garlic, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup water

2/3 cup brown sugar

1 pound beef flank steak, sliced 1/4-inch thick on the diagonal

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 cup vegetable oil for frying

2 bunches green onions, cut in 2-inch lengths

Sesame seeds, optional garnish

In a sauce pan, heat 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook and stir until they release their fragrance, about 30 seconds.

Pour in the soy sauce, water and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, cooking until sugar has dissolved and sauce slightly thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove sauce from heat and set aside.

In a large bowl, add the the sliced beef and cornstarch. Stir and toss until the beef is thoroughly coated. Dump coated beef into a strainer and shake off excess cornstarch.

In a deep-sided skillet or wok, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat.

Cooking in batches, add the coated beef into the hot oil, a few pieces at a time. Stir briefly, and fry until the edges become crisp and start to brown, about 2 minutes. Using a large slotted spoon or tongs, remove the beef from the oil and place on a paper towel lined plate to drain excess oil.

Carefully pour the oil out of the skillet or wok, and return pan to medium heat. Add the beef slices back to the pan and pour in the reserved sauce. Stir to coat, and cook until the mixture begins to boil. Add the green onions and toss to combine. Remove from heat and serve with a sprinkle of sesame seeds, if desired.

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