This is a quick and delicious Mongolian chicken recipe that’s both sweet and savory. A healthier alternative to the classic Mongolian beef preparation with ingredients that pack a punch!
Mongolian Chicken Recipe
We’ve said goodbye to summer now that Labor Day weekend is over. Kids are back at school and summer clothing is being pushed in the dark end of our closets. See you next year warm weather, it’s been a grand summer! With a busy schedule ahead, I think it’s fair to say that no one wants to cook anything too complicated this week. An easy chicken dish like this Mongolian chicken recipe is just what the doctor ordered! Sweet and packed with umami, it’s a tasty dish that only takes 15 minutes to make from start to finish.
What is Mongolian chicken?
The question should actually be ‘what is Mongolian beef?’, which is a popular dish served in Chinese-American restaurants. You have probably seen it on the menu at P.F Changs and/or ate it as a kid in your local Chinese eatery. The sweet and savory combination was created to cater to the American palate as true authentic Chinese food rarely is sweet. Made with sliced steak (usually flank) and chopped scallions (other vegetables such as onions and bell peppers can also be included), the dish is cooked in a sauce consisting of soy sauce, sugar, hoisin sauce and chilies, or something similar to that flavor profile.
Why is it called Mongolian if it’s not from Mongolia?
From what I gathered it’s called Mongolian beef because of the way it’s made, not because of the way it tastes. In 1951, the method of stir-frying meats and veggies on a large, open surface (similar to teppanyaki) first appeared in Taipei, Taiwan. This method reminded them of Mongolian barbecue and their traditions and thus, is loosely based on that. Just like General Tso’s chicken, it looks like the term got lost in translation somewhere along the way despite never having made an appearance in China!
What makes Mongolian chicken so delicious is partly due to the way the chicken is prepared. Instead of cooking it bare in a fry pan, the chicken is tossed in cornstarch and left there for a few minutes. This tenderizes the meat and makes it velvety and moist – yummy! The chicken is then added to a pan, cooked with ginger, garlic and a simple sauce made of soy sauce, chicken stock, brown sugar and toasted sesame oil.
The result is perfection: tender chicken pieces that are nutty, sweet, savory and the perfect companion to sliced green onions! Mongolian chicken is another quick recipe I have recently added to my lazy/busy day menu because it’s so satisfying yet requires very little prep work in the kitchen. It’s not a messy recipe to make and the flavors are familiar enough to please most people’s palate.
Did you like this Mongolian Chicken Recipe? Are there changes you made that you would like to share? Share your tips and recommendations in the comment section below!
Serve this recipe with a side of Japanese rice. Watch our video on How To Make Japanese Rice the stove top or rice cooker method!