Mongolian Beef

A little sticky.  A little sweet and salty.  Lots of crispy beefiness.  When served over your favorite type of riced vegetable, this Mongolian Beef makes a taste bud wanna sing.

mongolian beef

Traditionally this dish is served as a sticky, spicy and mildly sweet main course with beef and lots of bulb onion.  I’ve made this easier on the GI and on the blood sugar by using green onion and your choice of healthier sweetener. I used birch xylitol in the pictured meal, but you could use whatever sweetener you like. For AIP, use honey. For Whole30, use applesauce or just omit the sweetener altogether. The addition of bell peppers (***or carrots for an AIP substitution) adds an extra nutrient punch.

mongolian beef

mongolian beef

Since I’m on Team White Rice, I enjoy my Mongolian Beef over a scoop of white sticky rice that’s been mixed with cauliflower rice.  It’s a nice way to get my evening starchy carbs in and also ensure I’m eating more veggies. Definitely a lovingly-sneaky way to trick yourself (or your kids!) into thinking you’re eating a larger portion of those heavenly tasting carbs than you actually are.  Check out this recipe for Acorn Squash Rice for instructions on how to make your own riced vegetables!

You could add any veggies you like to this dish.  Broccoli and celery added, and reducing the sweetener, make for an outstanding broccoli beef.  Try adding roasted cashews or almonds into the mix for a lovely protein-packed crunch.

mongolian beef

mongolian beef

Mongolian Beef
Serves 6
Crisped slices of steak and tender-crisp veggies are glazed in a spicy and slightly sweet sauce. Goes deliciously over fluffy cauliflower rice!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
  1. BEEF
  2. 2 lb strip steak, trimmed and sliced very thinly
  3. 1 Tb plus 1/4 cup avocado oil
  4. 1 large bunch green onions, cut into 1” pieces
  5. 2 sweet bell peppers, thinly sliced (for AIP substitute 2 carrots, thinly sliced)
  6. 1/2 cup arrowroot starch (For Keto, omit this ingredient, and use the instructions further down for the arrowroot slurry)
  7. SAUCE
  8. 3/4 cup tamari, non-GMO (for AIP and Whole30 sub 1 cup coconut aminos)
  9. 1 cup water
  10. 1/4 cup birch xylitol (for AIP sub 3 Tb honey. For Whole30, substitute ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce)
  11. 2 Tb blackstrap molasses (omit for Whole30)
  12. 3 clove garlic, pressed
  13. 1 Tb ginger, minced
  14. 1/2 tsp sesame oil (omit AIP)
  15. 1 tsp red chili flakes (omit AIP)
  16. 1 Tb arrowroot starch mixed with 2 Tb water, to thicken if necessary
  1. Heat a large cast iron skillet with 1 Tb oil over medium heat for 5 minutes.
  2. Using a splatter screen for protection, add onions and bell peppers -or carrots- to pan, and cook for 4 minutes or until tender-crisp and gently browned. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. Add half of remaining oil to pan and increase heat to medium-medium high.
  4. In a medium bowl, add arrowroot starch. Add half of the steak slices and coat well.
  5. Using tongs, shake off excess starch, then carefully place the coated steak pieces in the hot oil in a single layer.
  6. Cook for 5 minutes without stirring so that the pieces crisp.
  7. Use tongs to turn pieces over, and crisp steak on the other side.
  8. Add cooked steak pieces to the bowl with the cooked vegetables.
  9. Add remaining oil to pan.
  10. Coat the remaining raw steak slices in the remaining arrowroot starch, and repeat the crisping step.
  11. When all steak is cooked and set aside, make the sauce.
  12. Using the same pan, turn the heat to medium-high.
  13. Add all sauce ingredients, and whisk well until it comes to a simmer.
  14. Allow sauce to reduce by half for about 5 minutes, or until it becomes thick and shiny. Depending on juices left in pan and types of sweetener used, you may need to add the additional starch/water slurry and whisk it in little by little until sauce is thickened.
  15. Pour sauce over steak and veggies, stir well to coat.
  1. Serve with rice, cauliflower rice, or my Acorn Squash Rice!
  2. Garnish with black sesame seeds for an eye catching presentation. (omit for AIP)
The Unskilled Cavewoman

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Mischacooksaip says:

    Wonderful! I doubled the ginger to give it more spice and used tamarind paste instead of applesauce (allergic to apples), and beef broth instead of water (more nutrition). This was awesome! I love how the beef gets crispy when it’s dredged in arrowroot.

    1. Hi there Mischa! Oh yesssss….that’s my favorite part…the crispy beef. I will definitely have to try your trick with tamarind next time I make it, I adore tamarind paste. 🙂

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