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Authentic Mongolian Beef Recipe: How to Make This Delicious Dish at Home

Mongolian Beef is a beloved dish known for its savory, slightly sweet sauce and tender beef. This article explores a keto-friendly version of the classic recipe, offering a healthier alternative that doesn't skimp on flavor. By using ingredients like flank steak, coconut aminos, and erythritol, this recipe maintains the authenticity of the traditional dish while being suitable for a low-carb, gluten-free diet. Perfect for a quick and satisfying meal, this version of Mongolian Beef is sure to become a favorite in your recipe collection.

Key Takeaways

  • Flank steak is the preferred cut for authentic texture in Mongolian Beef, but other cuts can be used if desired.

  • Coconut aminos provide a soy-free, umami flavor, making the dish both keto-friendly and gluten-free.

  • Erythritol is a key ingredient for sweetening the sauce without adding carbs, aligning with keto dietary requirements.

  • The dish can be prepared in under 30 minutes, making it a convenient option for a quick, flavorful meal.

  • Garnishing with green onions and sesame seeds adds brightness and a nutty crunch, enhancing the overall flavor profile.

Understanding the Ingredients

The Role of Flank Steak

Flank steak is the cornerstone of Mongolian Beef, prized for its rich beefy flavor and lean texture. When prepared correctly, it absorbs the sauce's flavors while maintaining a tender bite. Slicing the steak thinly against the grain is crucial for ensuring that each piece is not only flavorful but also easy to chew.

Cooking the steak to the perfect doneness is a delicate balance. Here's a simple guide to help you achieve the best results:

  • Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.

  • Cook the thinly sliced flank steak until browned, approximately 2-3 minutes per side.

  • Reduce heat to medium-low before adding the sauce to avoid overcooking.

Remember, the goal is to coat the steak evenly with the sauce, allowing it to thicken slightly without drying out the meat. This ensures every bite is succulent and packed with flavor.

Choosing Coconut Aminos Over Soy Sauce

When adapting traditional recipes for a keto-friendly diet, it's essential to consider the ingredients that align with dietary restrictions. Coconut aminos serve as an excellent substitute for soy sauce, offering a similar umami flavor without the gluten and soy found in traditional soy sauce. This makes it a suitable option for those with allergies or sensitivities.

For those on a ketogenic diet, coconut aminos is a preferred choice due to its lower carbohydrate content. Here's a comparison to illustrate the differences:

  • Soy Sauce: Higher in sodium, contains wheat and gluten.

  • Coconut Aminos: Lower in sodium, soy-free, wheat-free, and gluten-free.

Incorporating coconut aminos into your Mongolian beef recipe ensures that you can enjoy the rich flavors of the dish while adhering to a keto and gluten-free lifestyle.

The Importance of Erythritol in Keto Cooking

In the realm of keto cooking, sweeteners play a pivotal role in recreating traditional flavors without the added carbohydrates. Erythritol stands out as a preferred choice due to its minimal impact on blood sugar levels, making it an essential ingredient for those adhering to a ketogenic lifestyle.

While erythritol is a sugar alcohol, it is unique in that the body does not metabolize it into glucose. This characteristic is crucial for maintaining ketosis, as it allows for the sweetening of dishes without disrupting the metabolic state. Below is a nutritional breakdown highlighting the non-impact of erythritol on net carbs:

Choosing erythritol over other sweeteners can also contribute to a more authentic taste and texture in keto adaptations of classic recipes, ensuring that health goals do not compromise the dining experience.

Preparing the Mongolian Beef Sauce

Combining the Key Ingredients

The foundation of a great Mongolian Beef sauce begins with the right balance of flavors. Hoisin sauce is essential, providing a caramelized sweetness that is both rich and complex. To this, we add a savory dimension with soy sauce, though some may prefer coconut aminos for a healthier twist.

Erythritol steps in as the sweetener, offering a low-carb alternative to traditional brown sugar without compromising on taste. It's important to adjust the amount of erythritol to achieve the desired sweetness, keeping in mind the keto dietary considerations.

Fresh minced garlic and ginger are non-negotiables, infusing the sauce with their pungent and aromatic qualities that are characteristic of authentic Mongolian Beef. These ingredients are not just add-ons but the soul of the dish, totally making it.

Adjusting Sweetness with Erythritol

When preparing the Mongolian Beef sauce, achieving the right balance of sweetness is crucial. Erythritol is a popular choice for those following a keto diet, as it provides the desired sweetness without the added sugars that impact blood sugar levels. However, erythritol is not as sweet as some other sweeteners, such as monk fruit sweetener, and may require adjustments to measurements.

Remember that the sweetness of erythritol can vary between brands, so it's important to taste and adjust accordingly. Below is a simple guide to help you with the conversion if you're substituting erythritol for another sweetener:

  • Start with the recommended amount of erythritol.

  • Taste and add more if necessary, using small pinches to avoid over-sweetening.

  • Re-taste after each addition to find the perfect balance.

Keep in mind that the nutritional information provided for recipes is approximate, and erythritol carbs are typically not counted towards net carbs due to their minimal impact on blood sugar.

Incorporating Garlic and Ginger for Authentic Flavor

The authenticity of Mongolian Beef hinges on the inclusion of key aromatic ingredients: garlic and ginger. These two components are not just add-ons but the backbone of the dish's flavor profile. Fresh minced garlic and ginger are essential, infusing the sauce with a warm, spicy, and slightly sweet aroma that is unmistakably characteristic of traditional Mongolian cuisine.

To ensure the flavors are well balanced, consider the following steps:

  • SautГ© the minced garlic and ginger in a small amount of oil, such as sesame oil, to enhance their flavors.

  • Combine these aromatics with the other sauce ingredients, ensuring they are evenly distributed.

  • Adjust the quantity of garlic and ginger according to your taste preference, but do not skimp on these crucial ingredients.

Cooking the Flank Steak to Perfection

Tips for Slicing and Browning the Beef

To achieve the perfect texture and flavor for your Mongolian Beef, slicing and browning the steak correctly is crucial. Begin by patting the flank steak dry, which ensures proper searing and prevents steaming. Slice the beef against the grain into thin strips, as this will enhance tenderness and allow for even cooking.

When browning the beef, do so in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. Overcrowding can lead to excess moisture, which prevents the beef from developing that desirable golden-brown crust. Here's a simple guide to follow:

  • Heat your skillet with a bit of olive oil over medium-high heat.

  • Season the beef lightly with salt and pepper.

  • Brown the beef in small batches until edges are crispy.

  • Remove each batch and set aside before adding the next.

Avoiding Overcooking to Maintain Tenderness

To ensure the flank steak remains tender and succulent, it's crucial to monitor the cooking time closely. Avoid cooking the beef for too long, as this can lead to a tough and chewy texture. Instead, aim for a quick sear on high heat to brown the meat while preserving its juiciness.

Here are some tips to prevent overcooking:

  • Marinate the flank steak prior to cooking to enhance its flavor and tenderness.

  • Use high heat for a short period to sear the meat, locking in the juices.

  • Remove the steak from heat as soon as it's cooked to your desired level of doneness.

Merging Sauce and Steak for Optimal Coating

Once the flank steak is browned to perfection, it's time to merge it with the sauce for that signature Mongolian Beef flavor. Pour the prepared sauce over the steak in the skillet, ensuring that each piece is thoroughly coated. This step is crucial for achieving the glossy, flavorful finish that makes this dish so appealing.

Stir the mixture gently on medium-low heat, allowing the sauce to thicken slightly and adhere to the steak. This process should take an additional 2-3 minutes. Be mindful not to overcook the steak during this stage to maintain its tenderness.

  • Reduce heat to medium-low.

  • Pour sauce over the steak.

  • Stir to coat evenly.

  • Cook until sauce thickens.

Serving and Garnishing Your Dish

Plating the Keto Mongolian Beef

Once your keto Mongolian beef is cooked to perfection, it's time to plate this delectable dish. Carefully transfer the beef onto a serving platter, ensuring to leave any excess sauce in the pan for those who prefer a little extra on the side. The rich, savory flavors of the sauce have now beautifully infused the beef, promising a mouthwatering experience with every bite.

To finish, sprinkle a generous amount of chopped green onions and a handful of toasted sesame seeds over the top. These garnishes not only add a pop of color but also introduce a fresh and nutty dimension to the dish. For those who enjoy a bit of heat, a sprinkle of red pepper flakes can elevate the flavors even further.

Here's a simple guide to garnishing your keto Mongolian beef:

  • Chopped green onions for freshness

  • Toasted sesame seeds for a nutty crunch

  • Red pepper flakes for a spicy kick (optional)

Remember, the key to a memorable meal is in the details. So take a moment to appreciate the beauty of your creation before serving it to your eagerly awaiting guests.

Choosing the Right Garnishes for Enhanced Flavor

The final touch to any dish is the garnish, and in the case of Mongolian Beef, it can elevate the dish from good to great. Selecting the right garnishes is crucial for enhancing the overall flavor profile and adding a visual appeal that complements the rich and savory notes of the beef.

  • Green Onion: A classic choice for Mongolian Beef, green onions add a fresh, oniony flavor that contrasts nicely with the savory sauce.

  • Sesame Seeds: These tiny seeds contribute a subtle nuttiness and a delightful crunch.

  • Fresh Herbs: While not traditional, a sprinkle of fresh herbs like basil can introduce a new dimension of flavor.

When plating, distribute your chosen garnishes evenly to ensure each bite includes a little extra burst of flavor. The garnishes should be fresh and applied just before serving to maintain their texture and aroma.

Pairing Suggestions for a Complete Meal

To complement your Keto Mongolian Beef, consider a variety of side dishes that align with your dietary preferences. A well-rounded meal enhances the dining experience and ensures a balance of flavors and nutrients.

  • Steamed vegetables: A simple yet nutritious choice that pairs well with the rich flavors of Mongolian Beef.

  • Cauliflower rice: A low-carb alternative to traditional rice that absorbs the sauce beautifully.

  • Green beans in balsamic vinegar: Adds a tangy contrast to the savory beef.

  • Keto-friendly potato wedges: Seasoned and baked to perfection, they offer a satisfying crunch.

Exploring the Health Benefits

Keto-Friendly Adaptations of Traditional Recipes

Adapting traditional recipes to fit a ketogenic lifestyle involves substituting high-carb ingredients with low-carb alternatives. The Keto Mongolian Beef recipe is a prime example of this practice, ensuring that the flavors you love are still present without the added carbohydrates.

  • Replace sugar with erythritol or other keto-friendly sweeteners.

  • Use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce to lower the carb count.

  • Choose almond or coconut flour over traditional wheat flour for thickening sauces.

This approach allows for a variety of dishes to be enjoyed on a keto diet, from savory entrees to sweet desserts. For instance, you can indulge in a Keto Orange Chicken that mimics the taste of Panda Express, or a Keto Seafood Paella that brings Spanish flavors to your table without the carbs.

Gluten-Free Considerations in Mongolian Beef

When adapting Mongolian Beef to a gluten-free diet, it's essential to scrutinize every ingredient. Coconut aminos serve as a perfect substitute for traditional soy sauce, which contains wheat. Always check for potential cross-contamination on packaged products to ensure they meet gluten-free standards.

To thicken the sauce, which traditionally uses wheat-based thickeners like flour or cornstarch, a keto-friendly alternative is necessary. Xanthan gum is an excellent low-carb option that mimics the thickening properties without the gluten.

Here's a quick checklist to keep your Mongolian Beef gluten-free:

  • Verify the gluten-free status of coconut aminos.

  • Use xanthan gum instead of flour or cornstarch for thickening.

  • Opt for erythritol instead of traditional sweeteners.

  • Consider adding low-carb vegetables for a nutritious twist.

Nutritional Information and Serving Sizes

Understanding the nutritional content of your meals is crucial, especially when following a specific diet. The nutritional values provided here are estimates and may vary based on the exact ingredients used and the preparation method.

Here's a quick overview of the nutritional profile for a standard serving size of the Keto Mongolian Beef:

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

It's important to note that erythritol, a common sweetener in keto cooking, is not included in the carb count as it does not impact blood sugar. Net carbs are calculated by subtracting the dietary fiber from the total carbohydrates.


In summary, this keto-friendly take on Mongolian Beef is a delicious and easy-to-make dish that brings authentic flavors to your table without compromising your dietary goals. With the use of flank steak, coconut aminos, and erythritol, you can enjoy a savory, slightly sweet, and utterly satisfying meal that rivals the taste of P.F. Chang's famous recipe. Whether you're following a ketogenic diet or simply looking for a healthier version of this classic, this recipe is sure to become a staple in your culinary repertoire. Remember to adjust the sweetness to your liking, avoid overcooking the beef, and garnish with green onions and sesame seeds for an added burst of flavor and texture. Happy cooking!

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes this Mongolian Beef recipe keto-friendly?

To make Mongolian Beef keto-friendly, traditional high-carb sweeteners are replaced with erythritol, and soy sauce is substituted with coconut aminos. These swaps reduce the carbohydrate content, making the dish suitable for a ketogenic diet.

Can I use a different cut of beef for this recipe?

Yes, while flank steak is recommended for its authentic texture, you can use any cut of beef you prefer. Just ensure it's thinly sliced to absorb the flavors well and maintain tenderness.

What are coconut aminos and why are they used instead of soy sauce?

Coconut aminos are a soy sauce alternative made from the sap of coconut palms. They are used in this recipe because they are gluten-free and have a lower glycemic index, which is ideal for keto cooking.

How can I adjust the sweetness of the dish?

The sweetness can be adjusted by varying the amount of erythritol used in the sauce. You can add more for a sweeter taste or use less if you prefer a more savory flavor.

Is this keto Mongolian Beef also gluten-free?

Yes, by using coconut aminos instead of traditional soy sauce, which contains wheat, this recipe is made gluten-free and suitable for those with gluten sensitivities.

What garnishes work well with this dish?

Sesame seeds and chopped green onions are perfect garnishes for keto Mongolian Beef. They add a nutty crunch and a brightness that enhances the overall flavor of the dish.

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