Mongolian Beef From The Comfort Of Your Home–And No Takeout
Well, I thought Winter was over but looks like we’re getting the last bits of the winter mush. What does that call for? Comfort, warmth, and delicious flavor!
This week I wanted to try out another takeout inspired dish, which gave me a good excuse to use my new wok (yay!)
This week’s recipe for Mongolian Beef is by The Woks of Life, and you can find the recipe right -> here!
Why This Mongolian Beef Recipe?
While I knew I wanted to take on a recipe for Mongolian Beef, I wasn’t sure which recipe to go with until I came across The Woks of Life. Now, if you haven’t tried their recipes, then I highly encourage you check out their recipe index as well as their book that was recently published. If you’re looking for yummy and authentic recipes, then The Woks of Life is where it’s at!
Naturally, when I came across a recipe for Mongolian Beef on The Woks of Life page, I had to try it out.
I took the time to read the passage before the recipe card to understand each step of this recipe.
One of the main takeaways from reading that portion was to understand that this recipe was made to be less salty than it would be if you followed other recipes, or frankly, ordered takeout.
So for this recipe, friends–it will be delicious, but do taste and adjust along the way. I’ll explain why soon.
The Mongolian Beef Sauce
The part of the recipe that requires the most attention is the sauce. While the sauce I ended up with wasn’t incredibly salty, I would still want to make changes to it next time. I’d likely adjust the sauce in a few ways:
- Follow the recommendation of The Woks of Life of combining water and soy sauce to make up the amount of liquid needed
- Omit using soy sauce altogether and go with Coconut Aminos
What we’re ultimately looking for is a slightly salty sauce that will then thicken up (thanks to our cornstarch slurry) and coat our crispy pieces of beef.
If you cook your beef first, then you can focus on getting the sauce just right. I would recommend tasting the sauce before cooking, and also once it begins to heat up. Why? Flavor changes as it cooks. That’s why we must taste and season along the way. And I confirm this more for this recipe than most. Any time there is a sauce used that can easily be altered by the amount of saltiness.
What Would Grey Change?
With the Mongolian Beef recipe? Nothing. The recipe guide is there and it works as it should, because it provides guidance on adjustment. As a home cook, I’d like to share what I’d change for the next time I’d make this. I make all of these recipes just as you do. I follow the recipes exactly and then put them side by side to see what could have been done differently in order to get the ideal result.
- For the beef? I’d likely heat up the oil a bit hotter to get that nice crispiness in the desired 30 seconds or so, or even fry them up separately in order to control the heat more. This would keep the browned bits from getting combined into the sauce later on.
- For the sauce? I’d taste more along the way. The sauce was balanced well enough before it met the heat once it was thickened it wasn’t where I wanted it to be. I’d probably add a combination of the Works of Life recommendations for water/soy sauce mix as well as brown sugar.
Grey’s Grade: 4.5/5
The recipe for Mongolian Beef by The Woks of Life is a tasty one. While the ingredients are easily accessible at most grocery stories, it does take a bit of timing to get it down.
Would I use this recipe again? Yes. Would I recommend this to someone who just wants to follow a recipe without having to make adjustments? Hmmm, I may point you to another recipe if that is the case. If you are nervous about making adjustments, then take a step back. The actual cook isn’t difficult, but it requires tasting along the way to make sure everything is balance as it should be.
Plus, if you stall a bit on the cook of the beef with the sauce, then you may just heat up the chili peppers so much that they lose their vibrant red 😉 Oops.
But overall, yes, this is a recipe that works and is flavorful. The beef is seasoned well. The sauce is great (with adjustments), and it very easily feeds a table of 2-3 folks.
What are some of your favorite takeout classics that you like to make at home? Let me know in the comments below!
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