Savoring Simplified: The Art of Instant Pot Mongolian Beef

Written by: Najma A.



Time to read 5 min


Few dishes evoke the same level of anticipation and satisfaction as Mongolian beef in the realm of culinary delights. This timeless Asian dish, characterized by tender slices of beef cooked in a savory-sweet sauce, has captivated taste buds for generations. However, finding the time to create complex and flavorful dishes can be challenging in today's fast-paced world. Enter the Instant Pot, a modern kitchen marvel that has revolutionized cooking. With its ability to pressure cook, sauté, steam, and more, the Instant Pot has become a go-to tool for busy home cooks seeking convenience without sacrificing flavor. In this blog post, we'll embark on a culinary adventure to explore the wonders of Instant Pot Mongolian Beef, discovering its history, ingredients, and step-by-step preparation.

The Origins of Mongolian Beef

  • Mongolian beef's origins trace back to Chinese-American cuisine rather than Mongolia itself. This beloved dish emerged as part of the culinary fusion that characterized Chinese cuisine in the United States. Mongolian beef is a testament to the adaptability and creativity of Chinese immigrants who brought their culinary traditions to American shores.
  • Despite its name, there is no direct link between Mongolian beef and traditional Mongolian cuisine. Instead, the dish likely gained its moniker as a marketing ploy, capitalizing on the exotic appeal associated with the Mongolian Empire. However, the flavors and techniques used in Mongolian beef draw inspiration from Chinese stir-fry cooking methods, showcasing a harmonious blend of savory and sweet flavors.
  • The dish typically features thinly sliced beef, often flank steak, cooked with scallions and a rich sauce made from soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, and ginger. These ingredients combine to create a unique symphony of flavors that tantalize the taste buds, a blend of savory and sweet that is truly one-of-a-kind. Mongolian beef has evolved over time, with variations incorporating additional ingredients such as vegetables, chili peppers, or sesame oil to enhance its complexity.
  • While the exact origins of Mongolian beef remain somewhat elusive, its enduring popularity is a testament to its deliciousness and versatility. Whether enjoyed in a bustling Chinese restaurant or recreated in the comfort of one's kitchen, Mongolian beef continues to captivate diners with its irresistible blend of flavors and textures. Its journey from humble beginnings to culinary icons is a testament to the power of cultural exchange and the enduring appeal of great food, reassuring us of its timeless deliciousness.
Origins of Mongolian Beef

Ingredients for Instant Pot Mongolian Beef

Creating the perfect Mongolian Beef instant pot requires carefully selecting ingredients to achieve that harmonious balance of flavors. Here's a concise list of the key components you'll need:

Flank Steak (1 ½ pounds):

The star of the show, flank steak, is a lean and flavorful cut of beef that cooks up tender and juicy when sliced thinly against the grain.

Low-Sodium Soy Sauce (⅓ cup):

Soy sauce for Mongolian Beef forms the foundation of the dish, providing the signature salty umami flavor essential to Mongolian beef.

Water (⅓ cup):

Water helps dilute the soy sauce slightly, ensuring that the sauce isn't too overpowering while imparting its rich flavor to the dish.

Brown Sugar (⅓ cup, packed):

Brown sugar adds sweetness and depth to the sauce, balancing out the saltiness of the soy sauce and creating a deliciously complex flavor profile.

Garlic (3 cloves, minced):

Fresh garlic brings a pungent, aromatic quality to the dish, infusing every bite with its distinct flavor.

Fresh Ginger (1 teaspoon, grated):

Ginger adds a subtle warmth and brightness to the sauce, complementing the other flavors and adding a hint of complexity.

Vegetable Oil (2 tablespoons):

Vegetable oil is used for sautéing the beef, helping to achieve a nice sear and imparting a subtle richness to the dish.

Cornstarch (2 tablespoons):

Cornstarch is used as a thickening agent for the sauce, helping to give it a luscious, glossy texture.

Water (2 tablespoons):

This water is mixed with the cornstarch to create a slurry, which is then added to the Instant Pot to thicken the sauce.

Green Onions (for garnish):

Sliced green onions add a pop of color and freshness to the finished dish and a mild onion flavor that complements the other ingredients.

Sesame Seeds (for garnish):

Toasted sesame seeds lend a nutty flavor and crunchy texture to the dish, elevating it to gourmet status.

With these carefully selected ingredients, you'll be well on your way to creating a mouthwatering batch of Instant Pot Mongolian Beef that will impress friends and family alike.

Ingredients for Instant Pot Mongolian Beef

Instructions - Instant Pot Mongolian Beef

Now that our ingredients are assembled, it's time to fire up the Instant Pot and get cooking! Follow these simple steps to create a mouthwatering batch of Instant Pot gluten free Mongolian Beef:

Prepare the Sauce:

In a mixing bowl, combine the soy sauce, water, brown sugar, minced garlic, and grated ginger. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, creating a flavorful sauce that will infuse the beef with its deliciousness.

Sear the Beef:

Set your Instant Pot to sauté mode and add the vegetable oil. Once the oil is hot, add the thinly sliced flank steak in batches, ensuring each piece has room to brown evenly. Sear the beef for 1-2 minutes on each side, then transfer it to a plate and set it aside.

Deglaze the Pot:

After searing the beef, pour a splash of water into the Instant Pot and use a spatula to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom. This process will release all of the flavorful remnants stuck to the pot, infusing our dish with even more depth of flavor.

Pressure Cook:

Return the seared beef to the Instant Pot and pour the prepared sauce over the top. Secure the lid and set the Instant Pot to manual mode, cooking on high pressure for 10 minutes. Once the cooking time is complete, allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes before carefully venting any remaining steam.

Thicken the Sauce:

Whisk together the cornstarch and water in a small bowl to create a slurry. Stir the slurry into the Instant Pot, mixing well with the beef and sauce. Set the Instant Pot to sauté mode once again and allow the sauce to thicken for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.

Serve and Enjoy:

Once the sauce has reached the desired consistency, garnish the Instant Pot Mongolian Beef with sliced green onions and sesame seeds for added flavor and visual appeal. Serve the beef hot over a bed of steamed rice and savor every delicious bite.

Instructions for Instant Pot Mongolian Beef

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In conclusion, Instant Pot Mongolian Beef offers a tantalizing blend of savory flavors and tender textures that will delight your taste buds. With the convenience of the Instant Pot, you can enjoy this classic Asian dish with minimal effort and maximum satisfaction. Whether cooking for a crowd or simply craving a flavorful meal at home, Instant Pot Mongolian Beef will become a favorite in your culinary repertoire. So why wait? Fire up your Instant Pot and embark on a delicious culinary adventure today!

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