Mongolian Beef is a dish made popular by American Chinese restaurants across the nation. It originated in…um, well…I don’t know. It appears that Google doesn’t know either and if Google doesn’t know, then there is simply no answer. This is what I believe to be the origin but I have no proof; I am just using a little bit of common sense and rational thinking.
1) The guy that invented General Tso’s Chicken or Beef & Broccoli was on a creative streak. 👲
2) A Mongolian chef that was shunned to the United States for creating something his/her native people wouldn’t eat.
3) Aliens! Don’t get ahead of me, I don’t mean illegal aliens (i.e. my ancestors). I mean the ones from outer space, I believe they created this dish from the cows after they made the crop circles. Where else did they get the energy to build Stonehenge and the pyramids? 👽
In short, I don’t think I will offend the person responsible for creating this beloved yet unclaimed dish. Mongolian Beef is normally done with strips of beef, usually flank, that are coated with starch, fried, then tossed with a sweet and spicy brown sauce and scallions. I’m not a big fan of frying food. I didn’t say fried food. Anything coated and fried is a product of true love, I’m just not too fond of the cleaning that goes into frying food. So I present to you…my take on Mongolian Beef, *cue drum roll*…badadadadada…the Mongolian Steak! Same great flavor, little clean up and the option of medium rare 😋!
Combine the marinade with the steak (wet ingredients first then coat with the corn starch). Allow the steak to rest for 30 minutes in room temp. In the mean time, make the slurry by mixing the corn starch and water. Set aside until later.
When the steak has reached room temp. In a pot, over high heat, add the scallion oil, ginger and garlic then fry until fragrant (10-15 seconds).
Add the rest of the sauce ingredients. When this mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and add the slurry to thicken the sauce. Taste and modify as needed at this point. Add water if it's too salty and sugar if you'd like it sweeter. Remove from heat.
In a pan over med-high heat, add the canola oil and cook the steak to your liking (see chart above). Allow the steak to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
Slice the steak or serve it whole. To keep the crunchy crust, don't spoon over sauce until you are ready to serve. Garnish generously with scallions.
Although it looks weird, the corn starch coating gives the steak a crunchy crust. Don't skip it.
Scallions play a prominent role in Mongolian Beef dishes, to keep with tradition I have used scallion oil to impart the flavor. You can add the white part of the scallions (minced) when frying the ginger and garlic as a substitute.