Category: Main Dishes
A slightly Americanized lower sodium alternative to the traditional Mongolian beef
1 - 1 1/2 pounds of stir fry beef
1/2 cup of Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 cup of corn starch
Sesame seeds (I recommend Tuxedo sesame seeds)
Chopped scallions or green onions
Crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup of dry rice
2 cups of water
Layer a few paper towels on a wire rack. Use more paper towels to pat dry your beef, lay it in a single layer on the paper towels that are layered on the wire rack, then sit it in the cold oven for about an hour before cooking to let it rise in temperature a little.
After about an hour, take the beef out of the oven, then preheat to 275.
Place the beef in a large bowl, then add about 1/2 cup of corn starch. Toss the beef in the bowl to coat all of the pieces lightly, then use tongs to take the beef out and place back on the pan with the wire rack (without the paper towels this time). You can shake the beef to remove any excess corn starch, you just want a light coating to prevent the beef from getting tough while cooking and to help thicken the sauce.
Once the oven is preheated, go ahead and start the rice cooking. It takes about 20 minutes for rice to cook, which is perfect.
Slow roast the beef in the oven for 10 minutes.
Now, place the Worcestershire, brown sugar, and garlic in a small pot, and heat it on the stove on medium low temperature. You don't want it to boil, you just want the ingredients to all combine well.
About 3 minutes before the beef is ready to come out of the oven, start to preheat a large pan on medium high heat with the olive oil.
After you take the beef out of the oven, let it sit and rest for 2 or 3 minutes. Then use tongs to place it all in the large pan, and flip the pieces often so that you're just searing the outside.
After about 2 minutes of searing, pour the sauce mixture over the beef and turn down the temperature to medium heat. The beef might still be pink, that's OK. Let it simmer uncovered for about 5 minutes, then turn the temperature down to medium low and let it simmer until the rice is done.
If you want t add sesame seeds, just place them in a dry pan and place it over medium heat. Shake the pan every 30 seconds or so to keep the seeds moving, and they'll turn brown pretty quickly. Once they do, pour them from the pan to a bowl or the hot pan will burn them.
Spread out the rice, then use the tongs to layer the beef on top of the rice. If you like, you can use a spoon to pour some of the sauce over the beef and rice.
Then, optionally add a few pinches of sesame seeds, green onions or scallions, and / or red pepper flakes.
*** Additional Notes
1. When you buy stir fry in the grocery store it's typically Eye of Round, which is a very tough and low quality meat! You can often go to the butcher counter and get Prime Bottom Round for cheaper, and it's a better quality steak for this dish. Flank steak is also great, but I don't recommend Ribeye or Strips; they don't have the right fat content for this dish.
2. A traditional Mongolian beef uses Soy Sauce instead of Worcestershire. But 1/2 cup of Kikkoman Low Sodium Soy Sauce is 7003mg of sodium, while 1/2 cup of Lea & Perrins Reduced Sodium Worcestershire is 1,080 mg of sodium. The flavors are similar enough that I can't tell a major difference in the taste.
3. A traditional Mongolian beef will marinade overnight in the sauce and skip the slow roasting process, then make a second batch of the sauce for cooking. I tried both ways and honestly couldn't taste a difference, but the marinade added a lot more sodium to the dish! Marinading overnight would make the beef more tender, of course, so slow roasting is an alternative that cuts back on the sodium.