Mongolian Beef and Barbecue by Larry Andersen

Mongolian Beef

and Barbecue

Although Mongolian beef is neither Mongolian nor Chinese, the ingredients and spices provide some insight into Chinese cooking. The story goes like this: After a hard day of riding across the Asian steppes, Genghis Khan and his men would place their shields over hot embers to cook their food, and so was born Mongolian barbecue. One has to forget the fact that most of the Mongol shields were wood or hide and not iron or steel. Nonetheless, it makes for a good story, marketing hype and helps to explain the unique grill that is a keynote of the Mongolian barbecue establishments.

In some establishments you order from the menu. In others they have buffet lines where you select the meat and vegetable ingredients into a bowl for your barbecue. You hand the bowl to the cook who grills the selected ingredients on the scorching hot grill while you watch. With practiced aplomb the cook will slide the cooked food deftly into your bowl. Your meal is usually served with noodles or rice.

Preparation: 45 minutes Life Experience Recipe
Serves 4 persons
  • 1 pound flank or round steak
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • ½ green Bell pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce plus 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 4 scallions
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper flakes
  1. Place meat into freezer until almost frozen. Slice across the grain into thin strips. Place the meat strips into a bowl. Salt and pepper to taste. Add 1 teaspoon each of sesame oil and soy sauce. Stir to mix. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for an hour.
  2. Peel and quarter onion, separate the layers. Trim scallions, include the green part and cut into 1-inch lengths. Cut green pepper into thin strips. I prefer to steam broccoli and add at the last minute for stir frying. Peel and mince garlic.
  3. Mix hoisin sauce, soy sauce with cornstarch and cayenne pepper flakes and set aside.
  4. Heat wok and add a tablespoon of oil. Add beef strips and stir fry until browned and cooked through. Remove to plate and set aside.
  5. Add additional tablespoon of oil. Add vegetables (if broccoli is steamed, do not add until the end) and stir fry until vegetables are just tender. Push vegetables up the side of the wok. Add the soy sauce and cornstarch mixture and stir until sauce has thickened. Return meat strips (and broccoli) to the pan and stir fry to cover with the sauce and heat through. Pour into serving bowl.

More about the Mongolian Barbecue in Anchorage, Alaska

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Latest revision done September 2014
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