This Instant Pot Mongolian Beef with carrots and green onions is flavorful, delicious and so easy to make. This pressure cooker recipe is not as sweet as other versions of Mongolian beef, which allows for the savory notes to come out more.
I've been using my Instant Pot more and more lately. It just makes meat SO tender and I love just tossing things in there and having them come out so flavorful. My latest favorite thing to make is this Instant Pot Mongolian Beef. I made it for the first time last Friday night. Then I made a few tweaks, and made it AGAIN on Sunday night. And then I brought leftovers in my lunch on Monday and Tuesday and then was sad it was all gone. It's THAT good.
This Instant Pot Mongolian Beef is incredibly easy to make too. I plan on making this recipe a lot once the baby is born. And it serves 4, which means LEFTOVERS. I may even double the recipe to make more.
I actually cut down the sugar amount from other pressure cooker Mongolian Beef recipes I'd seen. On Friday night the amount I used just seemed like too much and made it too sweet. So I cut that down for making it Sunday and it was much better and more balanced. I also added shredded carrots on Sunday, and loved the bit of additional flavor (and "hidden" vegetable).
What is Mongolian Beef?
Mongolian beef is not actually from Mongolia! It's a Chinese dish that has thinly sliced meat that is seared and typically cooked with a brown soy sauce. Most versions are sweet, and sometimes spicy. It's usually paired with cooked vegetables and scallions (green onions).
- Beef - Sliced thinly. This can be flank, round, or other steak you have.
- Canola or vegetable oil
- Carrots - Grated. If you like, you can just slice the carrots too. They get pretty soft when cooking in the Instant Pot, which I like.
- Brown sugar - I use light brown sugar for this recipe
- Soy sauce - You can use coconut aminos in place of soy sauce if you wish
- Sesame oil - I love the flavor sesame oil gives this dish, but if you can't locate it, you can leave it out.
- Cornstarch - The cornstarch combines with water to thicken the sauce at the end.
- Green onions - This is optional. For topping!
- Rice, cauliflower rice, or quinoa
- Broccoli/green beans/veggie - If you like, throw in some broccoli or other vegetables at the end
How to serve
I'd recommend serving over white rice, brown rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice. If you're making white rice, brown rice, or quinoa, I've found a half cup per serving works well. (So for this dish, I did 2 cups dry rice).
I love serving with a steamed vegetable like green beens or broccoli if you'd like. There are two options.
- Steam the vegetable separately and then throw in at the end. I've done this and works well!
- If you have something like broccoli, after the Mongolian beef is all cooked, place the Instant Pot on saute mode and throw in your veggie. Cook until the vegetable is at the desired level of tenderness. This is the method I take lately so I don't have to dirty any extra dishes! I usually throw in some fresh or frozen broccoli and simmer until cooked.
Want to make it spicy?
If you want to make the Instant Pot Mongolian Beef spicy, add 3-4 dried chili peppers when cooking, or you can also add some red pepper flakes at the end.
Looking for more Instant Pot recipes to try?
- Instant Pot Chicken Risotto
- Instant Pot Parmesan Risotto
- Instant Pot Chili
- Instant Pot Potato and Leek Soup
How to Make the Instant Pot Mongolian Beef
First prep all the ingredients. Mince the garlic, cut the steak into strips, and grate the carrots. That's honestly the hardest part of this dish. Then you Turn the Instant Pot onto Saute mode and add the oil, once it's hot (basically 30 seconds later), add the steak and then the garlic, stirring occasionally while the steak browns.
While that's cooking, mix together the water, soy sauce, sesame oil, and brown sugar and mix/whisk together until combined. Add the grated carrots to the pot, then pour the soy sauce mixture over the top, stir, then it's time to close up the Instant Pot!
Set it on manual mode and high pressure for 10 minutes, then quick release and turn off. Add the water/cornstarch mixture and stir in, then have it on saute mode for 2-3 minutes until sauce has thickened. Serve over rice/quinoa/cauliflower rice and top with green onions and a steamed veggie (if desired).
Instant Pot Mongolian Beef
- Instant Pot
- 1.5 lbs steak (flank or round)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
- 2 medium carrots
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar
- ¾ cup soy sauce
- ¾ cup water
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 3 Tbsp cornstarch
- ⅓ cup water
- green onions (if desired)
- First -- prep your ingredients! Cut the steak (against the grain) into thin strips. Mince the garlic. Peel and grate the carrots.
- Get out your Instant Pot and plug in. Set the Instant Pot onto SAUTE mode and add the oil. Let heat up for about 30 seconds, then add the steak to the pot. Stir to start browning, then add the garlic. Stir occasionally until outside of meat is browned (about 3-5 minutes).
- While meat is cooking, combine the soy sauce, water, sesame oil, and brown sugar and stir or whisk until well-combined.
- Once meat is browned, turn off the saute function and add the grated carrots to the pot, and then pour the soy sauce/water/sesame oil/brown sugar mixture over the top. Stir to combine and then put the lid on the Instant Pot.
- Make sure the pressure release valve is set to SEALING and put the Instant Pot on MANUAL mode, HIGH pressure for 10 minutes. (Instant Pot will take 5-10 minutes to come to pressure, then will start counting down).
- While meat is cooking, combine the cornstarch and ⅓ cup water and set aside.
- Once the meat is done, QUICK RELEASE to release the steam, and then remove the lid. Turn off the Instant Pot.
- Pour the cornstarch/water mixture into the pot, and stir to combine. Turn the SAUTE mode on and cook for 2-3 minutes, until sauce has thickened.
- Serve the meat over a grain of your choice, and top with sliced green onions if desired.
Tips and Tricks
- I'd recommend serving over white rice, brown rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice. If you're making white rice, brown rice, or quinoa, I've found a half cup per serving works well. (So for this dish, I did 2 cups dry rice).
- I'd recommend serving with a steamed vegetable like green beens or broccoli if you'd like. Just toss in the steamed veggie after its all cooked and done and mix together with the beef and sauce before putting over rice, quinoa, or whatever grain you have.