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Last updated on April 23rd, 2024 at 06:07 pm

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Instant Pot Mongolian Beef [VIDEO]

Instant Pot Mongolian Beef is a famous American-Chinese dish made with tender beef in sweet and savory garlic sauce. Flavorful, and balanced by lots of minced garlic and fresh ginger, this simple and delicious recipe, made with real ingredients, will win you over! I was not kidding when I said that this is an easy recipe, it’s ready in under 30 minutes!

Easy and tender Instant Pot Mongolian Beef

I love making anything in the instant pot because it cooks using pressure so no matter what I cook it will be tender and juicy and full of flavor. This Mongolian beef will taste better than anything you can get from a takeout shop or even a fancy restaurant. 

The beef is so savory and full of umami flavor and it just melts in your mouth. I like that by making it at home, you can fully control the ingredients you are using, and you never need to be concerned about the monosodium glutamate (MSG) you find in almost every Asian takeout meal.

After tasting this dish at PF Changs, I loved it so much that I decided to make an Instant Pot version, that is quicker and healthier. I am proud, that I have finally found the exact recipe that tastes even better than the “real” thing! All you need is some flank steak, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, rice vinegar, cornstarch, oil, and red pepper flakes.

This is one of my favorite Asian meals and it will quickly become one of your favorite instant pot recipes to make at home over and over again. If you love Chinese takeout, I highly recommend trying this delicious recipe that your entire family will love, also, it will be done quicker than your local restaurant can deliver it.

Then, I garnish mine with sesame seeds for crunch and some chopped green onions for extra flavor and a pop of color. Having a visually appealing dish is almost as important as how it smells and tastes. It goes great on top of rice like my rich and scrumptious instant pot stick of butter rice.

Reader’s feedback:

“My family and I loved this recipe. This is the first time I have made it and included the red pepper flakes and it was really good. This wasn’t too spicy. My one-year-old grandson even liked it. The meat was the first thing finished on his plate. I will make this again.”

Items you need for making this recipe:

  • An instant pot – I prefer Duo Plus but you can use whatever brand you like. 
  • A wooden spoon – Use a high-quality wooden spoon that will not scratch the bottom of your pot.
  • A large mixing bowl – Make sure it is big enough to toss the beef.

The ingredients for instant pot Mongolian beef:

For the beef:

  • Flank steak – I prefer flank steak in this dish because it is tender and easy to slice. Be sure to cut against the grain for extra tenderness.
  • Cornstarch – For coating the beef for velveting and to make slurry. 
  • Olive oil – I use extra virgin olive oil because it is light and has little to no taste so the other flavors shine through.
  • Water – To deglaze and to make slurry.

The Mongolian sauce:

  • Low sodium soy sauce – You do not need all that sodium for a good flavor. If you need extra salt, you can always add it as needed.
  • Fresh ginger – Minced ginger gives your beef a mild but flavorful sweetness with just a bit of spiciness.
  • Red pepper flakes – I love adding this for a bit more spiciness.
  • Garlic cloves – Fresh minced garlic cloves are better than powdered or jarred to provide a sweet and gentle richness with only a hint of spiciness.
  • Rice vinegar – Tenderizes the beef and adds a tangy sweetness.
  • Brown sugar – I like my beef with extra rich sweetness and the rich flavor brown sugar adds.

Garnish:

  • Green onions – Chopped green onions for garnish to give your dish more color and flavor.
  • Sesame seeds – For garnish to give your dish an extra crunchiness.

How to Make Instant Pot Mongolian Beef Recipe?

This Mongolian beef recipe can be made in your instant pot, on the stove, or in your slow cooker.

  1. Velveting the beef: To begin, place beef strips in a large resealable baggie with cornstarch and shake until the meat is evenly coated. This creates an extremely tender beef. 
  2. Searing the beef: After, add olive oil to the bottom of your instant pot and heat it using the saute setting. Sear the beef strips for two or three minutes on each side. You will probably have to cook in batches because you do not want to crowd the meat.
  3. Cook: Once that is done, add the brown sugar, garlic, red pepper flakes, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and vinegar. Stir with a wooden spoon and close the lid. Set it for pressure cook for eight minutes. 
  4. Release the steam: Then, let it do a natural pressure release for 10 minutes before doing a quick release to allow the rest of the pressure to escape. 
  5. Make the cornstarch mixture: To thicken the sauce, mix the cornstarch with water in a small bowl until it dissolves. Pour the cornstarch mixture into the instant pot and cook for two more minutes on the saute setting, stirring occasionally.
  6. Serve Best to serve warm over white rice. Top it with fresh green onions, and garnish with sesame seeds. 

Expert tip

The difference between natural pressure and quick-release

If you are a new instant pot owner, you may be wondering what the heck natural release and quick release mean. To do a natural release means to let the pressure inside your instant pot release slowly on its own. A quick release is done by turning the steam valve to depressurize the pot. You have to be careful while doing this because the steam comes out quickly.

During the cooking process, your instant pot traps the steam that is generated by the liquid and food in the pot. As it builds, the pressure increases and that is what cooks your food so fast. After you finish cooking, the pressure has to be released before opening the lid.

The safest way is to let the pot release naturally on its own. Just let it sit until the pressure is back to normal. However, remember that whatever is in there is still cooking until the steam is gone. This is great for foods that need to cook for longer times like stew, soup, and broth.

A quick release is done to let out a controlled burst of steam to avoid overcooking. If you have something that will not turn out well if it overcooks, like pasta or seafood, you can use a quick release to stop it from cooking.

Recipe variations and add-ins:

  • Other cuts of beef: Try experimenting with other cuts of meat like round steak, skirt steak, or stew meat.
  • Different meat: In fact, instead of beef use chicken, pork, or turkey for a different taste.
  • Add some veggies: Add some vegetables like carrots, broccoli florets, mushrooms, zucchini, or bell peppers.
  • Spicier beef: If you and your family are spicy food lovers, add extra red pepper flakes or some cayenne pepper.
  • Gluten-free: Those with allergies will appreciate white wine vinegar instead of rice vinegar and coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.

Serving suggestions:

Mongolian beef is perfect on top of rice or pasta. But it is also great alone paired with other side dishes.

  • This would be great with some roasted veggies on the side.
  • Whatever kind of rice you use will be perfect, either fluffy white rice made in the instant pot, brown rice made on the stove, whole grain, or jasmine rice. Any rice will do with this dish.
  • Those on a low-carb diet can use cauliflower rice.
  • Actually, pasta is another great starchy food to serve this beef on. Soba noodles or rice noodles would be perfect.
  • Serve with asparagus, green beans, or roasted bok choy on the side with a salad to balance it all out.
  • For dessert, you could serve Chinese fortune cookies. Make your own and write your fun fortunes.

I love converting popular Asian dishes into Instant Pot recipes such as my famous IP Orange Chicken, IP Mongolian Chicken, and IP Beef and Broccoli. These will quickly become your favorite recipes and you will find yourself making more Chinese food and relying less on Chinese restaurants.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Mongolian beef?

Mongolian beef is made by cooking thin slices of tender beef in a garlic soy sauce and is traditionally served on top of some kind of rice. It is not usually very spicy but some recipes (like this one) call for a bit of red pepper flakes. The sweetness comes from the fresh ginger and brown sugar and it is typically topped with sesame seeds and chopped green onions.

Where did Mongolian beef originate?

Interestingly, Mongolian beef did not originate in Mongolia. It was first recorded served in Taiwan in the early 1950s. A restaurant owner named Wu Zhaonan invented it for those patrons who could not tolerate the spicier Asian dishes.

What does velveting the beef mean?

To velvet your beef, coat it in cornstarch or baking soda and then brown or sear it in oil on all sides. This is a Chinese way to marinate meat that keeps it tender and moist while cooking. It is especially helpful when you are using thinly sliced meat. It works will all meats including chicken, pork, turkey, and even seafood.

What is the best beef for this recipe?

Most restaurants use flank steak. This is also my choice for Mongolian beef. It is easier to cut against the grain with a flank steak because it is so obvious. Another great reason to use flank steak is because it is easy to find. It is also easy on your wallet because it is an inexpensive cut. But, if you cannot find it at your store, get a skirt or flat-iron steak instead.

How to store leftovers:

  • Cool: First, let the meal completely cool to room temperature.
  • Store: After the Mongolian beef cools to room temperature, transfer it to an airtight bowl or storage container. It will be good for three to four days in the refrigerator. 
  • Freeze: It is easy to freeze this instant pot of Mongolian beef too. Put it in a large freezer bag or freezer-safe container for up to three months. 
  • Thaw: Allow the leftover flank steak to thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
  • Reheat: Microwave or reheat on the stove in a saucepan or skillet.

More Instant Pot Recipes:

Cooking Tips:

  • When you cut your flank steak, you can choose whether you want thin slices or thicker, and slice the beef across the grain.
  • An easier way to get your beef thinly sliced is to freeze it for 20 to 30 minutes first. It will be much easier to get it sliced thin enough. 
  • When browning your meat, try not to overcrowd it so you get a nice crispy beef. Also, you can skip this step if you are in a hurry.
  • Corn starch is an essential ingredient. Don’t use flour or any other thickening ingredients or it will not have the right consistency.

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Comments

(237)
Jo Pitts

Jo Pitts

I cook all the time and I love to try new recipes for the types of foods we like at home. My husband, who likes basically everything I make, made a point to tell me this was the best asian beef I've ever done, and I've done at least a dozen different recipes. Both my kids griped and said they'd make their own dinner, until they tried a bite, then they both had a big bowl of it. My recipe search ends with this one, and it'll be going in my recipe box! I doubled the recipe, used a london broil cut of beef, a mix of Bragg's liquid aminos and a different brand of coconut aminos because we are gluten free, and didn't thicken the sauce because my daughter gets weird about thick sauces. Paired it with broccoli and steamed rice. Thank you for coming up with it!

Robyn

Robyn

I made this for my husband and son but I am allergic to red meat so I can’t comment on taste. My husband, who isn’t much of an asian food person, said it was outstanding and my teen son said it was really good - instead of ‘fine’ which is huge. I did make a few changes and it still turned out great. I subbed out 1:1 ratio of coconut aminos for the soy sauce and 1:1 arrowroot powder for the cornstarch, and I used a lot less of the ginger and garlic for my husband’s taste. I used about 1/4 tsp of the frozen ginger from Target and 1 tablespoon of jarred garlic. I will say this took much longer than 30 minutes if you include all the washing/prepping and I cheated with the garlic and ginger. I would say the cook time is about 30 minutes or so depending on how long it takes to come to pressure. I did 10 min pressure and 8 min natural release since 10 minutes was successful on another recipe in the past. Thanks for the recipe, this is a keeper!


Catalina Castravet

Catalina Castravet

so happy, thank you for the feedback Robyn

Reva

Reva

My family and I loved this recipe. This is the first time I have made it and included the red pepper flakes and it was really good. This wasn't too spicy.. My one year old grandson even liked it. The meat was the first thing finished on his plate. I will definitely make this again.


Catalina Castravet

Catalina Castravet

Thank you!

karen@duck.com

karen@duck.com

Followed recipe per instructions. Sugar seemed excessive, as did garlic, but I still followed the recipe. The taste was perfect. My husband and I both loved it. Fyi, this website is hard to read on my phone. Way too much scrolling needed.

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