Saucy Mongolian Beef in a round bowl with chopsticks laying across bowl alongside a bowl of white rice and a bowl of sesame seeds.

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Saucy Mongolian Beef (Gluten-free)

In celebration of my Saveur Blog Award Nomination in the Most-Inspired Weeknight Dinners Category, I’m sharing a special dinner recipe with you today: Saucy Mongolian Beef!

I posted a photo of this Mongolian Beef on my Instagram feed over a year ago. To this day, I get requests for the recipe. I figured this is the perfect time to share it!

Saveur Nomination Most Inspired Weeknight Dinners

On Saveur’s Blog Award Nomination

I was in the fourth grade when I won the Altrusa Creative Writing Award, complete with a $50 Certificate of Deposit, or CD, something I don’t understand to this day.

I still remember going up to the front of the room to accept the award. Blue carpet. Students crammed. Everyone cheering. I stumbled to the front of the room, dazed, wondering how I managed to win such a magnificent award.

Months later, I would still take it out and stare at the award. That precious $50 CD. That precious certificate. That precious affirmation.

Saucy Mongolian Beef - Gluten-Free

Since then, I’ve won my share of awards and recognitions..essay scholarships, science projects, graduations. But I don’t think any of it had such a monumental effect on me as that fourth-grade writing award.

Until now.

That Altrusa award told my fourth-grade self that she could do it. She could rise. And now, 20 something years later, this Saveur Blog Award Nomination is doing the same.

With a 6-month-old, in the middle of my Master’s Degree, I started this blog with nothing but the desire to share my best with the world.

And now, almost 2 years later, I am incredibly grateful to receive such a memorable recognition. I still cannot believe I have been chosen as a finalist among such talent. This recognition has given me affirmation that all those late nights, early mornings, pains, and worries were completely, utterly, 100% worth it.

When I read the news, I literally screamed and cried all at once to my husband, attempting to get the good news out of my mouth and kind of scaring him in the process. It was a dream come true. I had never tasted a success so sweet.

Saucy Mongolian Beef - Gluten-Free

Here’s how to vote!

It’s no secret that I could not have achieved this if it wasn’t for YOUR support. Thank you so very much for reading my words, trying my recipes, and giving me some of your precious time.

Now until September 12th, you can vote for me as often as you’d like here!

Saucy Mongolian Beef (Gluten-Free)

On to our Mongolian Beef!

Before I give you the recipe for this saucy Mongolian beef, I want to share a few tips…the usual housekeeping.

  1. The cut of the beef needs to be quick cooking – ex. Rump, sirloin, or flank instead of beef stew or chuck. I have always used flank (called pasanda in Urdu). Once I didn’t, and our dinner time was spent silently chewing.
  2. You want to cut against the grain. To do this, place the steak in front of you so that the grain is horizontal. Then, thinly slice it toward you (vertical), so you’re going against the fibers of the meat. This will ensure the most tender results. I cut it so it’s about 1.5 inches long and 1/5″ wide.
  3. When searing the beef, keep the pan hot. The oil will splatter a bit. To decrease the splatter, you can skip the rice vinegar and soy sauce marinade and simply coat in cornstarch and maybe a little salt and pepper.
  4. I’ve kept the spice level mild, but do increase to your heart’s desire.
  5. If you don’t eat gluten-free, just use regular soy sauce and oyster sauce!

I typically enjoy basmati rice even with Indo-Chinese dishes, but I love serving this with Jasmine rice. I think it’d also be great with noodles.

If you enjoy Asian fusion recipes, check out my Hakka Noodles, Chicken Manchurian, Chicken Shashlik, Cashew Chicken and 20-Minute Coconut Lime Chicken! I also have a large collection of Beef Main Dishes that I’m sure you’ll love as much!


5 (5 ratings)

Saucy Mongolian Beef – Gluten-Free

This tested-and-perfected gluten-free Mongolian Beef recipe has a little extra sauce (and flavor)!



  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp gluten-free soy sauce (tamari)
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar

For the Sauce

  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup gluten-free soy sauce (tamari)
  • 2 1/2 tbsp tightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp gluten-free oyster flavored sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½-1 tsp red chili flakes, or to taste
  • 2-3 dashes ground white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt, or to taste

Ingredients For Stir-Fry

  • 1 lb (453 g) beef flank steak, very thinly sliced against the grain (see notes within text)
  • 4 tbsp neutral oil (I use avocado or grapeseed), divided
  • ½ (100 g) onion, finely chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ inch piece ginger, crushed
  • 4 green onions or scallions, cut diagonally into 2-inch strips
  • sesame seeds, optional, for garnish
  • white rice, cooked (for serving)


  • In a medium bowl, marinate the sliced beef with the ingredients listed under marinade. Cover and set aside. You can also refrigerate this for a longer marination until ready to use.
  • Meanwhile, combine the ingredients for the sauce. Keep the rest of the ingredients for stir-frying near the stovetop. This is also a good time to prepare the rice if you haven't already.
  • Heat 3 tbsp of the oil in a wok or skillet over high heat. Use tongs to lift half the meat pieces and place them into the hot oil. Brown them over high heat for about 1-2 minutes on each side. (Note 1) Remove and set aside on a plate. Repeat with the remaining beef.
  • In the same pan, heat the remaining 1 tbsp of oil and add the onions. Sauté until they are slightly brown, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and continue to sauté for a minute. 
  • Pour in the sauce and mix well. Let this simmer for about 10-15 seconds, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened. Add the cooked beef and stir-fry for a couple of minutes until the beef is cooked through and the sauce has reduced down to your desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding salt if needed or red chili flakes to make it spicier.
  • Mix in the green onions. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if using. Serve immediately with white rice.


See tips within blog post text. 
Note 1: Ideally, stir-fry in two batches to prevent overcrowding and lowering the heat in the pan. High heat helps brown the outside and seal in the juices. Also be sure not to overcook the meat, as you want it to remain as tender as possible.