Ditch the takeout and make this homemade Instant Pot Mongolian Beef instead. It’s super tender, cheap to make, and has all of the traditional flavors you love without having to leave the house.
Chinese takeout is definitely one of my faves, I mean, after all, that’s what inspired me to create this 30-minute beef and broccoli at home. But there are just some days when I don’t feel like leaving, and also don’t want to be in the kitchen all night. That’s where the Instant Pot really shines. It’s very similar to the “set it and forget it” mindset, and these meats always come out juicy and tender. Making Mongolian Beef in the Instant Pot is so simple and delicious!
We are using flank steak to make Mongolian beef, and if you aren’t familiar this is actually a tougher cut of meat. You may be wondering how it’s so tender if it’s tough? It’s all about the cooking method and how you slice the meat.
Instant Pot Mongolian Beef Ingredients
- Flank steak
- Vegetable oil for browning – using sesame oil here doesn’t work very well because you need quite a bit for browning in the instant pot. Instead, substitute olive oil or avocado oil.
- Beef broth
- Sesame oil – I love toasted sesame oil, but you can use regular. This adds a ton of flavor.
- Garlic – use minced garlic or garlic paste
- Ginger paste – you can also finely mince fresh ginger, but the paste tubes are SO convenient
- Chili paste – you can also use sriracha instead
- Soy sauce – go with a low sodium soy sauce, or even coconut aminos
- Light brown sugar – make sure you pack it down when measuring
- Dried chile peppers – gorgeous color and texture on your finished dish, will add some spice if cooked in the instant pot with the other ingredients
- Green onions
- Toasted sesame seeds
Slicing Meat Against the Grain So It’s Tender
Here’s the trick I was referring to earlier. Getting a tough cut of meat tender is all about how you slice it. You can see below how much more the meat stretches, making a tender bite in the second image. That’s because it was sliced against the grain.
Look for the lines or marbling (fat), see what direction they are running. Then slice the flank steak thinly and perpendicular to these lines.
How to Make Mongolian Beef in the Pressure Cooker
Follow the instructions above if you need help slicing the steak against the grain.
Place the steak in a bowl and toss with cornstarch until it’s fully coated.
Add a couple of tablespoons of oil to the Instant Pot and press the saute button. Once the oil is hot, brown the steak, adding a few strips at a time. Transfer the browned meat to a plate and set aside.
Pour in the beef broth and scrape the bits from the bottom to deglaze the pot.
Add the sesame oil, minced garlic, ginger paste, sriracha, sugar, soy sauce, and peppers to the pot. Place the browned steak in and stir together.
Secure the lid and turn the valve to the sealing position. Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.
Allow the pot to release naturally for 10 minutes after the timer goes off. Then flip the seal to release the remaining pressure.
Stir together and transfer to a bowl or plates. Garnish with green onions and toasted sesame seeds.
Can You Make Mongolian Beef in the Crockpot?
To make Mongolian beef in the slow cooker, brown the sliced steak in a skillet. Transfer to the crockpot and add the rest of the ingredients. Cook on high for 2-3 hours or on low for 5 to 6 hours.
Stove Top Instructions
Brown the beef in a skillet with a little oil once you slice it against the grain. Remove it from the pan. Add all of the remaining ingredients and bring it to a boil. Place the steak back in and let it simmer until it thickens.
If the sauce isn’t thick enough for you, make a cornstarch slurry and pour it in. Continue stirring and cooking until it has thickened.
If you are making Mongolian beef on the stovetop, consider using a higher quality cut of meat that is more tender since your cook time will be much shorter. Tougher cuts of meat work in the Instant Pot because although they still cook quickly, the pressurized cooking mimics a longer cook time.
- You can substitute fresh ginger, finely minced garlic, and/or red pepper flakes for the pastes. I like how the pastes dissolve quickly, especially in Asian-inspired dishes when you’re mixing a lot of flavors together into a sauce.
- Add or reduce the amount of brown sugar to adjust sweetness.
- Add or reduce Sriracha, red pepper flakes, chili paste, and/or dried chile peppers to adjust spiciness.
- Coating the steak in cornstarch helps the meat brown with just a bit of crusty coating. It also helps to thicken the sauce. Thin strips of flank steak will cook quickly and can become tough, so it’s really important to heat the oil first and then sear quickly.
- Sear in batches so that there is no overcrowding.
- If the sauce has not thickened to your liking after cooking, you can turn the pot back on to the Saute setting and simmer sauce – adding additional cornstarch slurry (1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved into 1 tablespoon water) and stirring until thickened.
Ways to Serve Mongolian Beef
- Over white rice, brown rice, or cauliflower rice for a low carb option
- With a side of veggies
- Over lo-mein
- With garlic noodles
Other Instant Pot Recipes We Love
Instant Pot Mongolian Beef
- Instant Pot
- 1 ½ pounds flank steak sliced into thin strips against the grain
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- Vegetable oil for browning
- ¾ cup beef broth
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic or garlic paste
- 1 tablespoons ginger paste
- 1 teaspoon chili paste or Sriracha
- ¼ cup soy sauce I use the light variety
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- Dried chile peppers
- 2-3 green onions sliced diagonally
- Toasted sesame seeds for garnish
- Slice flank steak against the grain into thin slices.
- Toss the sliced steak with the cornstarch until the pieces are all coated.
- Heat 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in the Instant Pot set on the Saute setting. When the oil is hot, brown the steak – a few strips at a time – until golden on the exterior. Place browned meat to the side.
- Add beef broth to the Instant Pot, still heated on the Saute setting, and scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pot – this is called deglazing the pan.
- Add sesame oil, minced garlic, ginger, Sriracha, soy sauce, brown sugar and chile peppers to the pot. Add the meat back into the pot and stir everything.
- Seal the pot with the lid and switch the machine to pressure cook for 10 minutes. Allow the pot to naturally release pressure for 10 additional minutes; then flip the seal to release any additional pressure before removing the lid.
- Toss contents of the pot and transfer to a serving plate.
- Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and green onions.