knock off mongolian beef

if you hadn't realized, i was on vacation last week. we ate some really great food and some really horrible food - more on that later - and while i had great intentions of lining up posts before i left, vacation planning and preparing to be away from work for a week took over, leaving me with little time to post. which also means i have a week's worth of cooking and eating ready to share!

the weekend after jason proposed to me - the weekend after thanksgiving 2008 to everyone else - our good friends took us out to dinner at pf chang's to celebrate. it wasn't a huge party, just a way to get together. and like always, we ordered the mongolian beef. two orders for the four of us. i don't know what it is about this stuff, but we go crazy for it. after licking our plates clean and passing on their sky high chocolate cake, i opened up my fortune cookie to the only legitimate and appropriate fortune i've ever received: a lifetime of happiness lies ahead of you. i've carried it in my wallet every day since.

back to the beef. this beef is no joke. no joke to make - i dirtied a lot of pans and splattered oil all over my stove - and no joke to eat. it's freakin' amazing. and since the beef isn't the cheapest and it's fried, this is a once-a-year treat for us. completely and totally worth the mess, cost, and time.

knock off mongolian beef
adapted from food.com
1 hour, makes 2 large servings

the few times i have made this, i make one and a half times the original sauce amount so we have plenty to soak into our rice. if sauce isn't your thing, try 1/2 teaspoon ginger, 1 tablespoon garlic, 1/2 cup each soy sauce and water, and 3/4 cup brown sugar. and pf chang's doesn't serve theirs with snow peas, but i love them.

1 pound flank steak
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
3/4 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup water
1 cup + 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
about a cup of snow peas
2 large green onions, thinly sliced
vegetable oil
  1. prep the beef. slice the beef into quarter inch thick slices. toss the with cornstarch and set aside while making the sauce.
  2. make the sauce. heat 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium low heat. add the ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and water to the pan. be sure to add the ingredients quickly as you don't want the garlic to burn. add the brown sugar and mix until dissolved. raise the heat to medium and boil the sauce for two to three minutes, or until thick. remove from heat.
  3. heat one cup vegetable oil in a wok over medium heat until shimmering. add about half of the beef to the oil and cook about two minutes, or until the edges are brown. remove from the pan and repeat with the remaining beef. 
  4. remove any remaining oil from the wok. return the beef to the pan and cook an additional minute or two until cooked through. add the sauce and snow peas and cook for a minute until heated through. 
  5. toss the green onions with the meat. cook an additional minute. serve with rice.


  1. This looks very much like what you would get at PF Changs. The sauce looks like it coats the beef really well and is kind of thick. I have tried some other recipes and they didn't do that so it just wasn't the same. I will have to try this - love flank steak, it's such a great cut of meat!

  2. Oh my, this sounds delicious. May have to try it very soon, thanks for sharing.

  3. What a sweet story - I love that you've kept your fortune with you (I'd totally do the same!)

    And this dish looks super tasty - I don't know how you can only limit yourself to just making it once a year =)

  4. This looks amazing. I can't wait to make it!

  5. We made this for dinner here in Amsterdam last night and it was super tasty! It made enough for 4, not two - and we only used half the sauce (that is a lot of soysauce & sugar for one meal!!)


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