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Sweet & sticky Mongolian beef in 30 minutes

Takeout you can make at home.

Sweet & sticky mongolian beef in 30 minutes

It’s been years since I’ve eaten a real meal in a mall food court. But the one thing that comes to mind when I think of it is the guy handing out samples of Mongolian beef in front of the token fast food Chinese restaurant, so delicious even if the whole concept is totally sketchy. How long has that beef been out? How many hands have touched it? What sanitary conditions are even behind that restaurant facade? (True story: I was once greeted by a roach on the cash register of a popular mall Italian pizza joint.)

Sweet & sticky mongolian beef in 30 minutes

Those things aside, that Mongolian beef is pretty darn tasty. I’m just not willing to risk my health by eating it at the mall anymore. So, let’s make it at home — in less than 30 minutes.

Sweet & sticky Mongolian beef in 30 minutes recipe

Serves 2-4


  • 1 pound flank or skirt steak, cut into 1-inch strips
  • 1/3 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Green onions, chopped for garnish


  1. Heat the sesame oil and 1 teaspoon of canola oil in a small sauce pot over medium heat.
  2. Once hot, add the minced garlic and cook for about 1 minute, careful not to burn the garlic.
  3. Add the soy sauce, water and brown sugar and stir. Cook at a high simmer for about 5 minutes, turn off heat and set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, toss the steak strips with the cornstarch in a large bowl.
  5. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  6. Once hot, add the steak to the skillet and brown on all sides.
  7. Add the soy sauce mixture to the skillet and continue cooking, stirring frequently for about 5-7 minutes. The sauce should reduce and thicken.
  8. Once the sauce is thickened to your liking, turn off the heat and garnish with green onions. Serve over rice.

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