Servings: 6 Prep: 15 mins Cook: 7 mins Total: 22 mins
This stuff should really be called “Sweet, Sugary Beef”. That is to say, the original version is riddled with sugar and starch. Walk into your favorite Chinese restaurant and you’ll see all manner of thickened, sweetened, stir-fried wonders. Sweet and Sour Pork, Orange-Chicken, Kung Pao Chicken, Honey-Walnut Shrimp, General Tso’s Chicken (Sidenote: Check out The Search for General Tso for a fun documentary on this topic), etc. are all syrupy, sweet, candied, fried Chinese-inspired dishes. Mongolian Beef (not a Mongolian dish) is the sugar-iest of the bunch. Probably why it’s so delicious!
Typically, Mongolian Beef is thinly sliced flank steak, tossed with corn starch, then fried in a wok with Ginger, Garlic, and Scallions. It is frequently stir-fried with extra onions. Lots of sugar and soy sauce is added, along with a handful of green onions and maybe a light smattering of chili paste. From there, it is tossed, tossed, and tossed, then served with steamed white rice, or poured atop a tangled mess of fried cellophane noodles.
Ultimately, this is all just a big smorgasbord of sugar-coated beef! Even the onions are fairly high in carbs.
I personally have a tendency to buy in bulk, then do my own butchery, later vacuum packing dual or individual portions of meat or seafood. This saves me money, while also giving me “DJ-Sized” portions. I also go through phases, where I’ll occasionally lean fairly hard into the Carnivore Diet. Beef, especially Ribeye, is considered “Peak Carnivore”. Almost a year ago, I purchased an entire Ribeye Roast (Prime Rib) from CostCo, cut individual steaks, packaged, and froze my decadent collection. Interestingly, I have a tendency to avoid beef, which explains why I still have a bunch in my freezer. I have a steak… maaaybe once a month?
In any event, I was looking at my stash and taking stock of other things bumping around my fridge and I also noticed some random old bags of tofu-based shirataki angel-hair pasta, something I also rarely eat (it’s a texture thing). Wanting to use up some stuff, I decided to do a steaky stir-fry and slosh it onto a bed of noodles.
I decided to approximate Mongolian Beef!
Beef Note: I realize that prime rib is incredibly expensive, at this point. Normally, the cut used is flank steak (I didn’t have any). Another great and even more affordable cut would be a flatiron steak. Both flank and flatiron steaks would benefit from slicing very thin, across the grain. Sliced too thick, you run the risk of a chewy dish. This is less of a concern with the ribeye.
And, to be completely honest, this would still be wonderful as all get-out with pork or chicken, as well. Even some turkey thigh! The bold flavor of the beef will stand up a bit better to the sweet soy flavors, but that doesn’t mean an alternate meat won’t still taste great. Just cut back a bit on the soy and sweetener, and you’ll arrive at something rich in flavor and a bit more on the affordable side.
Noodle Note: This recipe uses a zero net-carb shirataki noodle, which is fantastic for adding bulk to bigger stir-fries riddled with lots of other textures. The simple preparation here is a bit rubbery. Were it not for the need of a pretty photo, I would’ve just tossed the noodles into the pan and cooked it all together. This would be done by cutting open the bag, then pouring the contents into a strainer. Diligently rinse the noodles under running water, to remove all traces of the fishy smell inhabiting the water. Heat a separate sauté pan. Add coconut oil and fry the noodles, in an effort to remove as much water as possible. Cook the rest of the recipe, as written. Then, add the noodles at to the saucy beef, at the last minute and toss the ingredients together. Or, just serve with cauli-rice, or probably even a bit better… miracle cauli-rice!
Mongolian BeefPrint Pin Rate
- 1 1/2 lbs. beef usually flank steak, sliced thin
- 1 small red onion sliced
- 1 Tbsp fresh minced ginger
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp crushed red chili flakes optional
- 1/2 cup soy sauce or coconut aminos
- 3/4 cup sugar replacement
- 1/4 tsp glucomannan powder optional
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 6 stalks green onion sliced into 1-inch (2.5cm) pieces
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large-sized mixing bowl, combine sliced beef, sliced onions, ginger, garlic, chili flakes (optional), and a bit of salt to taste. Combine the mixture. Set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine soy sauce, sweetener, and glucomannan powder. Whisk until the glucomannan and sweetener are dissolved. Set aside.
- Heat a large wok over high heat. If you do not have a wok, this can be done in two large sauté pans, placed over two hot burners. This is intended to be done very fast, over very high heat. If the pan is not hot enough, or too many ingredients are added, then the pan cools down and the food steams, rather than sears. This is why two pans (with twice the surface area) can work in place of a large wok.
- Once your wok (or two pans), is very hot, add coconut oil and quickly swirl to coat the bottom. Immediately add the beef mixture, evenly spreading the ingredients along the bottom of the wok, making a single layer. Allow the ingredients to sear for about 1 minute. Mix the ingredients and spread them back into a single layer. Repeat this process, evenly searing the mixture and then mixing again. The beef will overcook quickly, so this should only take about 3 minutes.
- Once everything has been quickly seared, pick up the soy mixture. Give it one last mix, to make sure any glucomannan or sweetener hasn’t stuck to the bottom. Pour it evenly over the ingredients. It should immediately boil. Toss the ingredients to coat with the mixture. Allow the mixture to continue cooking for about 2 more minutes, mixing occasionally.
- If the sauce isn’t thick enough for your tastes, dissolve about 1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) of glucomannan powder in 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of soy sauce and add to the beef.
- After no more than about 6 or 7 total minutes, the sauce should be nicely thickened, and the beef should be cooked through. Add the scallions, tossing them to coat with the sauce.
- Taste, adjust seasoning, then serve with a side of cauli-rice or noodles!
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