Best Mongolian Beef Season 1 Round 1
I frequently choose my recipes based on my family’s favorites. I’d love to test out a category of your favorites! Mongolian Beef is my husband’s favorite at Chinese restaurants. The slightly sweet, slightly spicy beef cut into tender slices is a great option for making at home as well. This is a very quick dinner option that my whole family loved, and I think your family will love it too. Flank steak can be a bit pricey so I wanted to make sure I found the best recipe so you don’t waste your time or ingredients.
Let’s meet the first contestants. Because I only made 2 recipes per round, I am reviewing both rounds 1 and 2 in this post.
Round 1 Contestants
I have two big saute pans, so each round of this tournament will be reviewed as orange or green. I only did two recipes per round because I wanted to serve both recipes warm. Also, four recipes would be a lot of food for my family to consume within a timely manner. Although, mongolian beef makes an excellent leftover for lunch the next day
P.F. Chang’s Mongolian Beef by Emily Enchanted was created in the orange pan. This recipe was easy to follow. The sauce and meat are prepared in separate pans, and the sauce is started first so it can be thick by the time all the meat is cooked. It is recommended to put all the oil in the pan and cook the meat in batches. I definitely recommend cooking in batches, but I prefer adding a small amount of oil per batch to avoid large oil splatters. That can be messy and dangerous. 😉
The sauce was thick enough to coat the meat but thin enough to drizzle over the rice. No red pepper flakes in the recipe, so no spice, feel free to add a little if you like spice.
Mongolian Beef Recipe (PF Changs Style) by Savory Tooth was prepared in the green pan. This recipe had a lot of seasoning. It called for fresh ginger peeled and diced, I didn’t have any on hand, so I just looked up how much ground ginger makes up for the fresh (1 1/4 tsp ground for 1 inch fresh). I also didn’t add as much garlic, add what your family is comfortable with.
The sauce was very thick. It stayed on the meat well, but didn’t drizzle over the rice. I would double the sauce, and maybe add a little water to make it more pourable. That’s how mu hubby likes it. The sauce is not cooked separately, just mixed and then allowed to thicken while covering the meat.
Round 2 Contestants
Super Easy Mongolian Beef by The Recipe Critic was created in the orange pan. The sauce was cooked in the same pan as the beef, but not at the same time. The red pepper flakes were added as a garnish rather than flavoring the food during cooking time. I used powdered garlic and powdered ginger in place of the fresh ingredients.
The sauce had really good flavor, and there was plenty for a little drizzle on top of the rice.
P.F. Chang’s Style Mongolian Beef by Spend with Pennies was prepared in the green pan. The sauce is prepared before the meat is fried to allow it to thicken. The recipe recommends a small amount of oil be placed in the pan before each batch of meat is fried. This is the best method! It helps reduce oil splatter and the first pieces of meat don’t get drenched in oil with just a little left for the last batch. I typically used this method for every recipe, because it was safer and the meat was cooked more consistently. The recipe did not call for any spices, this is a great option if a family member doesn’t like spice. Although, no one in my family complained about the amount of spice in any other recipe. It’s a matter of personal preference!
The sauce was thick, but drizzly. The flavor was good, but I like spice. It was a great option.
Tips and Tools
A good knife is essential to avoiding frustration with these recipes. Cutting the meat is probably the longest process for this recipe. You can chill the meat before you cut it to help, and then allow the meat to come to room temperature before cooking. I rarely think that far in advance. I pull the meat out, let it warm up a little and then slice it. Using a knife sharpener will definitely make the job easier. I found this sharpener that I use about once a week to keep my knives sharp. My father-in-law actually found it and gave me one. It’s the easiest knife sharpener I’ve every owned, and I don’t get nervous about cutting myself when I use it.
Having a large saute pan or wok definitely helps when making this recipe. I’ve also used my electric skillet when I’m doubling the same recipe. Make sure to use plastic or wooden spoons if there is a non-stick coating on the pan. I have one non-stick skillet and one copper pan so I can use metal with the copper, but I always use plastic (silicone) or wooden utensils in the non-stick pans.
For best results, cook the sauce and the meat separately. Heat a small amount of oil per batch of meat. Use tongs to add the meat so you can keep your distance and avoid getting splattered by hot oil. I also recommend wearing an apron when cooking to avoid oil splatter on your clothes. I don’t always wear an apron, but when I do I’m usually working with oil! 😂
Round 1 Winner
The orange pan in round 1 by Emily Enchanted was the favorite in my house. My kids gobbled it up. It’s nice to find a recipe that my family will all enjoy. The drizzly sauce was the main reason it won. The flavorings were similar in both recipes, but my family loves sauces. Your family might prefer a sticky sauce like the one by Savory Tooth. I think the Savory Tooth might have been a little spicy for my littles. I enjoy spice, but I like adding a little red pepper flakes to my own plate so I can keep the spice down for my little ones.
Round 2 winner was also prepared in the orange pan. Super Easy Mongolian Beef by The Recipe Critic was the favorite. The extra spice with the red pepper flakes was preferred to the basic sauce in the other recipe.
Check back for 2 more preliminary rounds and more great Mongolian Beef recipes.
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