Instant Pot Mongolian Beef

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Sticky and sweet Instant Pot Mongolian Beef is fast and nourishing with freshly-steamed veggies and less than half the sweetener compared to takeout.

I’ll be honest: takeout Chinese basically never makes it onto the menu at our house. I almost always prefer to throw together something simple at home than grab food from a restaurant, even if that means omelets or sandwiches for dinner.

But there is something about the fried rice, sesame noodles, wonton soup and ESPECIALLY all those sticky/sweet meats. When we’re visiting my parents and they order it in, my kids really relish the treat.

So I decided to re-create that memorable flavor or Mongolian Beef, with it’s shiny brown sauce and gingery sweetness, as a home-cooked family dinner. And it turns out it’s fast, easy, and yummy!

This salty-sweet Instant Pot Mongolian Beef is super-tender and flav

orful after only 12 minutes under pressure. The sauce is perfectly gingery and garlicky and rich from honey and molasses (but not too much.)

We loved how the sauce soaked into the rice and veggies. Both my kids devoured it, even my picky two-year old, who spent the first half of the meal working up courage enough to even TRY it. (Got to be real… learning to eat is not always easy!)

My husband and I thought it was perfect with a squirt of Sriracha on top. Yum!

mongolian beef on chopstick

Healthier Mongolian Beef

Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t see any reason why a meaty main course should have as much sugar as dessert. Our version of this sticky, tasty beef has less than half the sweetener as similar recipes, and it’s still perfectly flavorful!

I also opted to use a combination of honey and blackstrap molasses to avoid refined sugars. It even provides some iron. (Did you know blackstrap molasses is a good source of iron? Pretty neat!)

Garlic, ginger, and scallions give this beef an amazing flavor and lots of natural healing compounds.

And we’d never leave out the veggies! We served steamed veggies on the side of the beef, but you could also toss them right into the Instant Pot AFTER cooking, and mix them in with the sauce.

Pile it all up on top of fiber-rich whole grain brown rice and you’ve got a nourishing meal for all ages.

Do you have a favorite takeout Chinese dish? What else would you like to see us re-create?

Instant Pot Mongolian Beef

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 2 cup brown rice, raw
  • 2 pound beef flank steak, lean
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce, gluten free
  • 4 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ginger root, fresh
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 6 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoon molasses
  • 2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 4 stalk green onion

Serve With

  • 2 medium carrot
  • 1/2 cup broccoli, florets
  • 1 cup snow peas

Instructions

  • Cook the brown rice according to the package instructions.
  • Thinly slice the flank steak against the grain; mince garlic and ginger.
  • Turn on the Instant Pot and press the “Saute” button; once hot, add the steak and brown on all sides.
  • Meanwhile, whisk together the soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and water.
  • Once the meat is browned, pour soy sauce mixture over it. Lock on the Instant Pot Lid.
  • Cancel the “Saute” feature, and push the “Manual” button. Adjust the time for 12 minutes.
  • While the beef is cooking, whisk together the honey and molasses in a small dish.
  • In another small dish, whisk together the cornstarch with 3 tablespoons of cold water.
  • When the Instant Pot beeps, use the vent to release the pressure all at once, then carefully open the lid.
  • Stir in the honey/molasses mixture, followed by cornstarch/water mixture.
  • Push the “Saute” button and heat the beef just until the sauce thickens, 3-5 minutes.
  • Serve the Mongolian beef over the brown rice, garnished with chopped green onions, with the steamed veggies on the side.
  • For the Veggies:  Peel carrots and slice thinly on a diagonal. Cut broccoli into florets.
  • Add all the veggies to a steamer basket along with 1/2 cup water. Steam until tender; season with salt and pepper if desired.
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14 Comments

Hi Kristen! This fed our family of four, and we had some leftovers. I’d say the full recipe would feed six in one sitting.

Hi Mariela! I know you can make Mongolian Beef in a pan, but I haven’t tested our exact recipe that way. Do you have a slow cooker? That might be a good substitute method. If you give it a try, let us know how it turns out!

Hi,
My husband an I love Asian dishes. Would you be able to recommend a honey subtitle? I have an 11 month old that I’d like to try this dish with.
Thanks!

Hello Diane! You could definitely try pure maple syrup in place of the honey. It probably would change the consistency of the sauce (less sticky) but the flavor should be comparable. If you try it, come back and let us know how it turns out!

This looks great. Did you add oil in to pot to brown the beef? It doesn’t say in the directions so I just wondered if it was omitted or not needed. Thanks!

Hi Bianca! I think this recipe would work in a slow cooker.

Try slow-cooking the beef along with the ingredients listed in Step 4, then adding the sweetener and corn starch in the last 30 minutes of cooking.

If you don’t have molasses, you could try substituting brown sugar. But I haven’t tried this, so I’m not 100% sure how it would turn out. Let us know if you try it!

Would substituting brown sugar for molasses make a big difference in taste? Would have to buy molasses just for this one recipe otherwise.