Take-out Fake-out: PF Chang’s Mongolian Beef

in Beef, Copycats, Take-out Fake-out

Mongolian Beef

There are just some dishes I don’t think about making at home because there are plenty of times when going out is just plain worth it – especially considering someone else gets to do the dishes! Like sushi. While we do make sushi at home occasionally, I like that at a restaurant I can order a piece of this and a piece of that to try something new. If I don’t like it, it’s just one piece. Variety like that at home is hard to manage (for me, anyway).

Then there are times when my husband is scooping up a forkful of something and he’ll pause, look at me across the table, and say, “You know, we could totally make this at home.” Usually, he’s right. And I’d probably do it way more often if someone could hook me up with their clean-the-kitchen fairy. I can pay in chocolate cake or bottles of Port… take your pick!

This was good. This was really good. Very restaurant-esque, not terrible for you, cooked very quickly, and everyone cleaned their plates. It’s already on the menu again for next week!

Mongolian Beef

A DIY version of PF Chang's Mongolian Beef.


  • 1 lb flank steak, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1/4 cup of cornstarch
  • 3 tsp vegetable oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup of low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (measured, not packed)
  • 3/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 large green onion, sliced thinly


  1. Pat steak slices dry and add to a bowl with corn starch. Toss to ensure all pieces are just coated. Shake off excess corn starch using a strainer.
  2. Heat 1 1/2 tsp oil in a large wok or non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and ginger, stir until fragrant.
  3. Add the soy sauce, water, brown sugar and pepper flakes.
  4. Cook the sauce for about 2 minutes and transfer to a bowl.
  5. Turn the heat to high and add the remaining oil to the wok. Add the beef and cook until browned on all sides.
  6. Pour the sauce back into the wok and cook until the sauce reaches desired consistency.
  7. Add the green onions (a pinch reserved for garnish), stir, and remove from heat. Plate, top with remaining onions, and serve.


Yields: 2-4 servings

Adapted from PF Chang's and Pink Bites

Estimated time: 20 minutes

54 comments… add one
  • Shawnda, you make that look so easy & delicious. I have some flank steak in the freeze that I was trying to find a use for. I have a feeling I’ll be making this recipe sometime this week. Thanks for a great idea!!

  • you make it all come together so beautifully!

  • Looks awesome! I love Mongolian Beef, so I will mark this one to try next time I get the craving for it!

  • Is it wrong that I want to lick my screen??? That looks absolutely AMAZING!!!!

  • It looks better than take out, I can see why you’re having it again this week! And it’s nice that you can control how much fat/sugar is added!

  • What a gorgeous picture! And the recipe looks fantastic too!

  • Saw this photo on FoodGawker and impulsively clicked on it. I’ve never made this at home before, but that’s about to change!

  • That looks so good! I’ve never had mongolian beef but I am definitely going to try this recipe. I’m totally with you on the dishes too. I always joke with my husband about the magic dish fairy but she never seems to come.

  • That color is gorgeous. Can’t wait to try this.

  • Sounds like my kind of dish 🙂 easy, tasty and fast !

  • looks tasty! beautiful photos 🙂

  • This looks so good! I like making “take-out” Chinese food at home instead of ordering take out!

  • This looks so much better than the place we like to go when craving Mongolian beef. I can’t wait to try it.

  • I made this tonight and it was SO good. I added some noodles at the last step for a complete meal!! My boyfriend loved it.

  • Jasmine

    omg i’m so happy to have found this recipe! i love mongolian beef and chicken, but sometimes i don’t want to go all the way to the chinese restaurant to get it. i’m definitely gonna try this at home!

  • Beautiful and it totally looks like takeout! Man this sounds good! Cant’ wait to give it a try 🙂

  • wow…I would have thought this yummy dish would have been harder and taken much longer for some reason! You are tempting me to put it on my menu too for next week with some brown rice. Yum. Love the photograph…

  • I made this recipe last night and it was delicious!!!! I’m so glad you posted it. I made it with chicken because flank stank was outrageously priced. Even though it was really good, I imagine it is probably better with steak so I’ll have to wait until it goes on sale and try it again. I served coconut rice on the side and it went perfectly. Thanks for this recipe!

  • This looks better than most of the mongolian beef I have been served at restaurants.

  • Jen

    I tried this recipe tonight! While I don’t think it came out as good as yours, I still liked it. I will definitely be trying this again. Your photograph is beautiful!

  • Karoliina

    I just made this dish and dare I say it came out exactly like in the picture and it tastes so delish!! Better than any Chinese you can in a restaurant in Finland. Thank you for the recipe — this will be a staple in our home.

  • This is beautiful! Looks delicious 🙂

  • Wow! I’m totally with you on letting restaurants do their thing, especially when it comes to sushi and Thai food. I had never even considered making my own Chinese “take-out,” but this looks tasty and easy!

  • Jess

    made this last night and failed! haha. i think i didn’t shake enough of the extra corn starch off. we’re trying again next week!

  • Maeghan

    Just made this tonight and loooooved it! Definitly going into the dinner rotation list.

  • Bruce

    One thing I like doing is using sesame oil just like you would regular vegetable oil when you make the sauce.

  • CMH

    I will totally come clean your kitchen for bottles of port!!

  • That looks delicious!
    Can’t wait to try it. We love Food, but hate going out to eat! 😉

  • Wow, my kind of food! Mongolian beef is what I order each time at Chinese restaurants!

  • Maeghan

    Made this last week, and am making it again tomorrow night, delicious!

  • My husband would love this! I will definitely bookmark this one to make soon!

  • That mongolian beef looks tasty!

  • My mouth is watering!

  • Calum

    This is great, I just made it with lamb (the butcher ran out of beef) and it was wonderful.

  • This was delicious! This will definitely be put into the rotation at our house! Thanks. =)

  • This looks super tasty! Perfect with rice!

  • I made this last night for my girlfriend and we both loved it. I added a little broccoli and some almond slivers. Thank you!

  • Kiera

    I made this today for lunch for my roommates and I. It was easy, and delicious – Thanks!

  • Flank Steak was $8/lb, so I went for a $3/lb London Broil. Worked well! Thanks 🙂

  • Jessica

    I tried this with sirloin (it’s all I had) and wow, this is spectacular! I don’t know that we’ll go out for American Chinese food again with this recipe. Thanks so much!

  • When are you going to post some more recipes, love this one!

  • Sometimes I hesitate to make Chinese at home because of the countless ingredients it can require (I still have lop chong in my freezer from 2006). This one, though, I can’t wait to try.

  • I’ve made this recipe a couple times now. Absolutely delicious! The first time I used regular soy sauce and it came out a little too salty — I think you really must use the low sodium soy. Otherwise great recipe!

  • Mongolian Beef is the dish that my husband always orders when I can talk him into going for Asian! I’ve made this a few times and he really enjoys it. Over the weekend I made this recipe again, but I threw in some broccoli and mushrooms along with the sauce at the end and I really liked it! I know those things aren’t traditionally a part of Mongolian Beef, but I love veggies in my Chinese food and they soak up even more of that yummy sauce! Thanks for another great recipe!

  • Marcus

    Made this tonight with chicken instead of flank steak (grocery store was closed) and it was delicious!

    Chef notes:
    1) I originally didn’t add all the sauce thinking it would be too much, but it reduced well and I ended up adding the rest to also give my rice a nice tasty dressing
    2) I added the red pepper flakes during the meat frying portion instead of in the sauce — I found this gave the meat a nice bite and looked great!

  • Kaitlin

    I made this tonight for dinner and it was FABULOUS! So easy, too.

  • Kelly

    This was awesome! I made it last night for my boyfriend’s birthday – he loves Mongolian Beef and he thought it was great. It was so easy and came out perfectly – looked and tasted better than a restaurant. Can’t wait to eat the leftovers for lunch!

  • Omg I use to eat this in Auz and it was my fav! But since moving to the UK I’ve havnt seen it since cant wait to cook this THANKYOU!!

  • David

    I tried this recipe just the other night. The recipe is fantastic! Mine didn’t turn out so good. Mine was waaaaaay salty. I’ve now learnt that I am an extreme novice, and that there is a difference between a dark soy and a light soy. I had the light soy on hand from when I purchased it, perhaps half a year ago, as a misguided attempt at trying to master the art of Chinese cooking. Every attempt I have made using the light soy has left me feeling disappointed. I’m going to try a few more recipes with other soys. Fingers crossed.

  • Camm

    How would you make this into turkey meatballs??
    All I have is ground turkey right now 🙁

  • Pam

    The sauce was tasty, but it was too salty for me, and I had to start over with 1/4 cup of low sodium soy sauce and 3/4 cups of water. I also cooked the meat first, set it aside and then prepared the sauce. I can’t compare it to PF Chang’s because I’ve never eaten there but it was good.

Leave a Comment