These Mongolian beef meal prep bowls are perfect if you are craving take out, but want to keep things healthier. With tender strips of flank steak served in a deliciously sticky sauce.
While I don't often use beef in my meal preps, this Mongolian beef is irresistible! With tender strips of steak, and a tangy, slightly sweet sauce, it goes great with some steamed broccoli and basmati rice.
We've lightened up this recipe substantially by reducing the amounts of both sugar and oil used.
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You're going to ♡ this recipe because
- it's lightened up in terms of sugar and oil compared to many popular recipes
- the beef is tender and flavorful
- it tastes great, even on day 4
What is Mongolian beef?
Contrary to what the name suggests, Mongolian beef does not actually originate from Mongolia, but is rather a Chinese-American interpretation of a beef dish served at Mongolian barbecue restaurants (1). Confusing, right?
Mongolian beef involves pan frying thin slices of flank steak, and serving it up in a brown sauce that includes soy sauce and/or hoisin (2). The recipes vary greatly by chef!
If you are looking for a good, authentic Mongolian Beef recipe, check out this one from the Woks of Life.
- flank steak- when cooking with flank steak, it's extremely important that you cut it thinly, and across the grain; otherwise it will be chewy and tough.
- honey- brings sweetness and balance to the sauce; you may swap it for brown sugar or maple syrup (equal volumes). Alternative sweeteners have not been tested.
- soy sauce- we are using reduced sodium soy sauce for this recipe; you can swap for tamari or coconut aminos if you are following a gluten-free diet
- veggies- while steamed broccoli is pictured, use your favorite veggie. You could use a stir fry blend, cauliflower, green beans or bok choy.
Step by step directions
1. Coat steak in cornstarch- Slice steak thinly, then divide steak in half. Work in two batches to toss the steak until lightly coated in cornstarch.
2. Cook the steak- Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Work in batches to quickly sear the steak on each side, then transfer to a clean plate.
3. Make the sauce- It's best to do this before you start cooking. Shake up the honey, water, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger and garlic. Add it to the pan, return the beef to the pan, and cook until the sauce has thickened.
4. Portion, store & reheat- Divide the Mongolian beef between four meal prep containers with ½ cup cooked rice and 1 cup steamed vegetables. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave until steaming hot.
While I haven't tried, one reader has suggested that you could swap the honey with monk fruit sweetener. You would need to start lower than ¼ cup (she suggested 1 tablespoon) and adjust to taste. Serve over cauliflower rice and you have yourself some low carb Mongolian beef!
I haven't tried this, and do worry that the texture of the beef might change and become tougher after thawing. If you try it, would you let us know in the comments how it went?
Yes! Use chicken thighs cut into small strips. You'll want to cook the chicken through fully at the 'sear' step.
- protein- swap the beef for ground beef, chicken thighs sliced into strips, or crispy baked tofu
- vegetables- swap the broccoli for carrots, cauliflower, bell peppers, or any stir-fry worthy vegetable
- make it low carb- serve it up in a lettuce wrap or over cauliflower rice
- add noodles- swap the rice for egg noodles, or a mixture of noodles and zucchini noodles
More stir fry inspired meal prep
- Honey Sesame Chicken Lunch Bowls
- Vegan Ginger Teriyaki Lunch Bowls
- Peanut Ginger Tofu Stir Fry
- Maple Ginger Cashew Chicken Bowls
- Sweet Chili Shrimp Stir Fry
- ¼ cup honey see note 1
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce reduced sodium
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon ginger finely chopped
- ¾ lb flank steak see note 2
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3-4 tablespoons oil
- ¼ cup green onions sliced
For Lunch Bowls
- 4 cups broccoli steamed; see note 3
- 2 cups rice basmati pictured; see note 4
- Sauce- In a jar or salad dressing shaker, combine the honey, water, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger and garlic. Shake until combined, then set aside.
- Steak- Slice the flank steak against the grain into ¼ inch thick slices. Working in two batches, toss the steak in the cornstarch and allow it to sit for 10 minutes.
- Cook steak- Heat 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Working in 3 batches, cook the beef for 2 minutes per side, or until lightly browned. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate while you work on the other batches.
- Put it together- After all the beef is cooked, carefully wipe excess oil from the pan with a paper towel. Pour the sauce into the pan, return the beef and simmer for 1-2 minutes, until thickened.
- Serve- Top with green onions and serve over rice with steamed broccoli.
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