Once in awhile I get a craving for “Westernized” Chinese food. You know what I mean? Like sweet and sour pork, ginger beef, chicken lettuce wraps, stuff that you would find on the menu at P.F. Chang’s. Speaking of P.F. Chang’s, what is all the hype about? I hear people rave about this place all the time, so my husband and I went there for dinner when we were in Vegas last summer. I do not see what the big deal is – the food was very generic and Westernized Chinese food (seriously, I can guarantee you that chicken lettuce wraps are not enjoyed in traditional Asian households anywhere!). If you want an elevated Asian food experience in Vegas, check out Tao in the Venetian or Koi in Planet Hollywood. Those are my two must-go Asian food places while in Vegas.
Anyways, I digress. As much as I rag on “non-authentic” Asian food, I do sometimes crave the strong comforting flavours that they provide. Like this Mongolian beef dish. It’s not Vietnamese, it’s not really authentic Chinese cuisine, and one could only guess that it’s not really Mongolian either, despite its name. Yet it has the familiar and typical Asian flavourings of brown sugar, soy sauce, green onions and ginger that make it so comforting.
For the beef, I used a couple of top sirloin grilling steaks but you can probably use any cut of beef. Thinly slicing the beef against the grain, tossing it with cornstarch and doing a quick sear will make any cut of beef super tender.
The best part of this dish is that it takes minutes to make. There is no pre-marinading or extensive prep involved. If you have all the ingredients at hand, it takes 15 minutes to prepare!
Serve the beef over some hot jasmine rice for a filling and comforting meal! You can see in my pictures that I had paired it with a Riesling but I wasn’t too impressed with the pairing. I think Mongolian beef is one of those basic meals that is best paired with a cold light beer!
Mongolian BeefPrint Recipe
- FOR THE BEEF:
- 2 top sirloin grilling steaks (or any cut of beef), very thinly sliced against the grain
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 thai red chili pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and diced
- 5 green onions, diced
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- FOR THE SAUCE:
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp cornstarch
Toss the sliced beef in a large bowl with cornstarch and set aside.
Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and whisk together. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low while you prepare the beef.
Heat canola oil in a wok or skillet over medium heat. Add the thai red chili pepper and ginger. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the ginger begins to brown, about 2 minutes.
Add the garlic and sliced beef to the skillet, spreading the slices of beef in an even layer across the skillet. Sear the beef well, about 1 minute per side.
Pour the sauce from the saucepan into the skillet with the beef. Mix well so that the sauce coats all the beef. Let simmer for one minute.
Remove the skillet from the heat and sprinkle the green onions on top
Serve with jasmine rice and enjoy!