Thursday, March 22, 2012

Mongolian Beef

I have been in a cooking rut lately. I know what you're thinking (Whaaaaat? Isn't she supposed to LOVE cooking?!) and I am thinking the same thing. Mostly I'm just tired and by the time dinnertime rolls around I just don't have the energy to pull something together which stems from me not having the energy to put together a menu at the beginning of the week so dinnertime is now a dilemma about what to make and what I don't have in my pantry and refrigerator. But thank you Pinterest for coming to my rescue again!

Now, when I was first married and living in Utah, my cooking skills were nonexistant (pasta and sauce for dinner anyone? Like canned sauce with no meat or anything? Ew). I still cooked dinner most nights, but one of my husbands and my favorite places to eat was P.F. Chang's. Yum. I think I'm drooling just thinking about it. When we lived in Cleveland it was right down the street. Now that we're settled in Washington, the closest one is an hour away in Seattle. Boo!

I digress. So, when we went to P.F. Changs we would always order lettuce wraps (you can find the knock-off recipe here) and Mongolian Beef. We always ordered a few entrees so we could have leftovers, but we always ordered Mongolian Beef first. It was just so tasty! So when I found this recipe on Pinterest, I decided to give it a try.

Disclaimer: No where in this recipe did it mention P.F. Changs, and after making it I see that it isn't a knock off of the recipe. There are "knock off" recipes out there, and believe me when I say I'm going to make those too! This one is actually a little different, the meat isn't crispy like P.F. Chang's but it is still soooo good. Trust me! And another plus? It was all made in ONE WOK. For those nights that I'm not feeling ambitious, a one pot dinner sounds about right (minus the one I used to cook the rice). This is super easy and was made in no time.

The kicker? My kids looooved it. It's seriously a winner if my picky picky kids will eat it!

Mongolian Beef
by Girls in Aprons, from

1 lb of flank steak, thinly sliced crosswise (or use whatever kind of steak you want!)
1/4 cup of cornstarch
3 teaspoons of canola oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon of grated ginger
1 tablespoon of chopped garlic (about 2 -3 large cloves)
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
3 large green onions, sliced crosswise into thirds

Pat your steak slices dry and mix with cornstarch. Make sure they are all well coated, then place in a strainer and shake off excess cornstarch.

Mix together the water, soy sauce, brown sugar and red pepper flakes. Heat half of the oil in a large wok at medium-high and add the garlic and ginger. Immediately add the soy sauce mixture. 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. 

Turn the heat up and add the remaining oil to the wok (at this point I actually added about 2-3 TBSP of oil). 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. Serves 2 (although it was plenty for two adults and three kids with a little leftover)

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