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P.F. CHANG’S | Mongolian Beef

by RRR
A bowl of DIY PF Chang's Mongolian Beef, featuring thinly sliced beef strips caramelized to perfection and coated in a rich, sweet soy glaze. The dish is garnished with vibrant green onions, adding a fresh crunch. The beef is glistening with sauce, and a pair of chopsticks rests beside the bowl, ready for serving.

The Allure of Mongolian Beef

One of the most popular items on P.F. Chang’s menu (by far!) is their Mongolian Beef.  And it isn’t just a dish; it’s an experience.  Imagine thinly sliced strips of beef, perfectly caramelized and coated in a rich, sweet soy glaze, mingling with the subtle heat of garlic and ginger. The sauce is what gives the dish its distinct flavor profile of umami. Umami is considered the “fifth taste” and is responsible for a savory and satisfying flavor profile.

Add to that a handful of green onions, which provide a fresh crunch, and you’ve got a dish that dances on your taste buds. It’s sweet, savory, and just a little bit spicy – a combination that keeps diners coming back for more.

The Origins of Mongolian Beef


So, where did this delicious dish come from? Despite its name, Mongolian Beef doesn’t actually hail from Mongolia. It’s a creation rooted in Chinese-American cuisine, with origins that are a bit murky but fascinating nonetheless. One popular theory is that it was first introduced in Taiwanese-American restaurants in the 1970s.  It is said to have been inspired by Mongolian barbecue, which is a style of stir-frying meat, vegetables, and noodles on a large, open griddle, often found in Asian-themed restaurants, where it quickly became a favorite in Chinese restaurants. The dish is designed to appeal to a Western palate, emphasizing bold, straightforward flavors and a touch of sweetness.

PF Chang’s Twist on Tradition

P.F. Chang’s is an Asian restaurant concept founded on making food from scratch every day in every restaurant. Created in 1993 by Philip Chiang and Paul Fleming, (of Fleming’s Steak House) P.F. Chang’s (Paul Fleming’s initials, see what they did there?) is the first multi-unit restaurant concept in the U.S. to honor and celebrate the 2,000-year-old tradition of wok cooking as the center of the guest experience.  Today there are over 300 locations, worldwide. P.F. Chang’s has taken the classic Mongolian Beef and added their unique spin to it. Their version stays true to the essence of the dish but elevates it with high-quality ingredients and meticulous preparation. The beef is marinated to perfection, ensuring every bite is tender and flavorful. The sauce, a harmonious blend of soy sauce, brown sugar, and spices, is simmered to a glossy finish that clings to the meat, delivering a burst of flavor in every mouthful.

Should I Just Buy the Bottled Sauce?

P.F. Chang’s also  has a retail sector of frozen and bottled foods, named P.F. Chang’s At Home.  This is a partnership with the Mega Brand, ConAgra Foods.  You may be tempted to purchase the already bottled, Mongolian sauce from said brand, but please don’t.  Not only is this homemade Mongolian sauce easy, but the bottled version tastes nothing like the real entrée that you get at the restaurant.  Bottled, store-bought versions never taste the same, in my opinion.  They require so many preservatives and stabilizers, in order to keep them shelf stable, that the flavor and freshness are always compromised.

Just follow the recipe and you’ll think P.F. Chang’s delivered their Mongolian Beef right to your dinner table.

For more Asian-Inspired recipes, check out P.F. Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Pei Wei’s Thai Blazing Noodles, and Panda Express’ Chow Mein.  Enjoy!

A bowl of DIY PF Chang's Mongolian Beef, featuring thinly sliced beef strips caramelized to perfection and coated in a rich, sweet soy glaze. The dish is garnished with vibrant green onions, adding a fresh crunch. The beef is glistening with sauce, and a pair of chopsticks rests beside the bowl, ready for serving.

P. F. Chang's Mongolian Beef

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Serves: 4-6 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 770 calories 42 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. of flank steak, trimmed of excess fat.
  • 2 cups scallion, sliced (large slice)
  • 2 TBL canola oil (plus more for wok frying)
  • 1 TBL chili oil
  • 1 TBL garlic, grated
  • 1 TBL fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 2 pinches Kosher salt
  • 8 grinds cracked black pepper

Instructions

Cut flank steak lengthwise into 3 slices. Next, cut each of the 3 slices against the grain, into bite -sized pieces. Each piece should be about 1” in length and ½” in width. Set aside. Tip: freeze meat for 10 minutes, before slicing, for easier slicing.

In a very hot saucepan, add 1 TBL of canola oil. Once oil begins to shimmer, add the garlic and ginger. Stir quickly, not allowing the ginger and garlic to burn. Add the water to stop the cooking process, be careful of hot splatter. Add the brown sugar and soy sauce and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Lower heat and allow sauce to reduce by half. Stir frequently to prevent bottom from burning. Once reduced, remove from heat, and set aside.

Place sliced beef in a Ziploc bag with corn starch, salt, and pepper. Zip and shake bag well until all the beef is coated with starch.

In a wok or very large sauté pan, on a searing heat, add 1 TBL canola oil and 1 TBL chili oil. Working in small batches, so to not overcrowd the pan, allow beef to sear on both sides. Once seared, remove beef to a small plate and repeat process until all beef is seared. Add oil between the batches, if needed.

Lower heat, slightly, and add back into the wok the Mongolian sauce and beef. Toss the beef into the sauce until the beef is well coated. Allow the sauce to thicken, about 1-2 minutes. Toss beef and Mongolian sauce with the scallions and serve.

Serve with P.F. Chang's Chicken Lettuce Wraps or P.F. Chang's Sesame Chicken and Enjoy!

FULL VIDEO TUTORIAL

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3 comments

Mary Jane Schroeder January 21, 2023 - 9:24 pm

Mongolian Beef recipe is OUT OF THIS WORLD! Thank you!

Reply
RRR January 22, 2023 - 1:06 pm

Thank you, Mary💕 Glad you enjoyed it.

Reply
Rafael April 19, 2023 - 9:16 pm

Super thank you

Reply

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