This is one of Andrew's favourite dish to have at any Asian restaurant. I have made it for him in a couple of different ways, but the goal was to be as close to a restaurant meal as possible. It's a nice way to treat yourself or someone you love without shrinking your wallet's contents (or having to face any ugly winter weather outside).
I use only one wok to make this version of Mongolian beef, good news if don't really love cleaning up pots (who does anyway?). The thickness of the sauce is up to your liking, the longest you cook it for, the thicker it will get. Thinning it out with water is also an option. I tried this dish with flank steaks, sliced crosswise and also with pre-cut stir-fry meat which is cheaper. According to Andrew (the tester, taster and Mongolian Beef expert), the flank steak is a better choice. Still on Andrew's expert opinion of the dish... I add half of a teaspoon of red pepper flakes to it and it gets a "2 stars" in spiciness.
Mongolian Beef Recipe:
makes 2 servings
You will need:
1 lb of flank steak, thinly sliced crosswise
1/4 cup of cornstarch
3 teaspoons of canola oil
1/2 teaspoon of grated ginger (about 1/2 inch piece)
1 tablespoon of chopped garlic (about 2 -3 large cloves)
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of soy sauce (I use low sodium)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
3 large green onions, sliced crosswise into thirds
Prepare the meat:
First, make sure the steak slices are dry (pat them dry) and mix them with the corn starch. Using your hands or a spoon, move them around to make sure all pieces are coated. Place beef slices in a strainer and shake off excess corn starch (see picture bellow).
Make the sauce:
Heat half of the oil in a large wok at medium-high and add the garlic and ginger. Immediately add the soy sauce, water, brown sugar and pepper flakes. Cook the sauce for about 2 minutes and transfer to a bowl. Don't worry if the sauce doesn't look thick enough at this point. The corn starch in the beef will thicken it up later.
Cook the meat and assemble dish:
Turn the heat up and add the remaining oil to the wok. Add the beef and cook, stirring until it is all browned (this is a quick thing). Pour the sauce back into the wok and let it cook along with the meat. Now you can choose to cook it down and reduce the sauce or leave it thinner. Add the green onions on the last minute so the green parts will stay green and the white parts crunchy.
Serve it hot with rice.
Use a strainer to help shake off excess corn starch from beef. They should be lightly coated, not over coated with corn starch.