This sweet and spicy Mongolian Beef dish is rich with Asian inspired flavors and tastier than any Chinese take out you could have delivered.
I’m going to create a lot of drama with my next statement and I hope I don’t offend anyone permanently but I am not a huge fan of Chinese food.
There! I’ve said it… miraculously, the world is still spinning and the skies are still blue. To my defense, I have tried.. I have tried different dishes, I have kept an open mind, I have begged for a take-out meal that would make me swoon and cry out with food crush love. Nothing. Nada. No love.
Now, that is not to say I am not a good wife and don’t agree to Chinese take out at least once a month (or so) or that I don’t have one or two dishes I like enough to order but between you and me, the little lemon tinted fortune cookies with their profound words of life wisdom is still my favorite part, not the actual meal itself.
Now, for years I have had to listen to my husband and my nephews go on and on about PF Changs and their Mongolian Beef. I had never been there, I didn’t have any desire to go there, I saw no reason to continue to have the same conversation over and over again about how amazing they were. It was just not going to be the place for me, obviously I knew this without ever even setting foot on its property. The closest one to us was almost an hour away so the entire diatribe was really quite irrelevant, as far as I tell.
Then they announced one was opening in our town and don’t you know that Big Scary Mike’s life became all about driving past the construction site, giving me updates on it’s progress, HOLY CRAP there’s an opening date announced… and on and on and on!! I knew it was just a matter of time and again and me being the good wife, knew that my wifely duty was going to be to try to find something I could eat and let my man revel in all of his PFC glory.
My husband and our niece Kendra (known for her Kendra’s Chicken Roll fame!) have birthdays one day apart. The rest of the family was working so the three of went to PFC and aren’t I a big, fat jerk because that place is nothing short of amazing! The food is not your 30 minutes or less take out food, your unrecognizable meat dish, your drowned in some mystery syrup sauce food .. it is delightful!!! Lettuce wraps and spicy chicken and two glasses of wine, oh my!! I was a believer.
Then Kendra’s dinner arrives .. finally the Mongolian Beef I have heard so much about. So here goes nothing .. I try a bite of Mongolian Beef and it was nothing I had ever had before and it was delicious. Now, it is the only thing I will order for dinner when we go but I knew there had to a way to make that yumminess at home for those nights when you just don’t feel like getting off your couch. Get ready to be converted!
This recipe is very simple but you have to move quick so organize yourself ahead of time and you will be rewarded for your time well spent. First, pop your flank steak in the freezer for about 20 minutes. This will firm up the meat enough so that you can slice it easier. Once removed from the freezer, trim off any excess fat. Slice the meat against the grain at an angle so that you have slices approximately 1/4 inch thick.
Dump your cornstarch into a large zip top bag and then add your meat. Shake the bag so that all of the meat is covered in the cornstarch and then set aside for about 15 minutes so that the coating really sticks to the meat. Second, make your sauce. Heat up your 2 tbl of oil over medium heat. Add in your ginger and garlic and right as they begin to cook through, add in your water and your soy sauce. Raise your heat to medium-high and add in your brown sugar and stir until it dissolves. Scoop out 1/4 cup (or more) of the sauce and add in the cornstarch. Whisk to combine and create a slurry and then pour and stir that back into your pan of sauce. Remove the sauce from the heat. In a separate pot/wok/frying pan, heat up 2/3 cup vegetable oil over medium-high heat. When it is HOT, add in the meat and saute for 2 minutes or so and then with a slotted spoon remove the meat to a paper towel lined plate. Pour out the oil and wipe out the pot/wok/frying pan. Add the meat back into the pot and saute again for another minute so that the meat just starts to darken around the edges and then add in the sauce, cooking for another minute. Remove the meat and serve over rice or whatever you prefer and top with sliced green onions.
I promise you this will become one of your favorite comfort food recipes to make on rainy nights… or sunny nights.. or cloudy afternoons.. maybe even breakfast!! Any time of the day you want you will have five star quality food and you never even have to change out of your pajama bottoms. That’s good stuff right there.
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