Mongolian Beef (Paleo, Gluten-Free)

Mongolian Beef (Paleo, Gluten-Free)

If you are a primarily conventional French cook going Paleo, you will find the switch to be pretty painless as a lot of French recipes make use of fresh herbs and ingredients and use wheat and grains sparingly. If your repertoire contains a lot of traditional Chinese dishes (like me), it can be done but requires just a little bit of preparation to ensure your kitchen is equipped with a large supply of staple items like coconut aminos, tapioca flour and Paleo-approved sweeteners like honey.

If you are Italian, I’m sorry.

Well, that’s not fair. There are lots of recipes out there that offer substitutes to wheat pasta (zucchini and squash being popular choices). I have yet to give these a go but they are on the list for Crunchy Mama.

But I digress.

Tonight, I made Mongolian Beef, cavewoman style. An interesting fact- did you know that Mongolian Beef is about as Mongolian as I am Italian, i.e. not at all? It has origins in American Chinese cooking. Regardless of how it came about though, it is a very popular dish in this house.

Find yourself some fresh steak. If possible, choose a good cut like New York Strip from local, grass-fed sources. I had these two beauties.

Ny strips

Cut your meat up into 1 inch cube or slices. Don’t remove the fat. It is both yummy and good for you.

cubed beef

For the marinade, I included my not-so-secret ingredient – baking soda. It is something my family has done as far back as I remember and it works amazingly well at tenderizing the beef. Mix marinade thoroughly into the meat and leave for 30 minutes to overnight.

marinating beef

While your beef is marinating, you can mix together the ingredients for the sauce and set aside.

Sauce for Mongolian Beef

When you are ready to get cooking, heat up a pan of olive oil or bacon grease – enough for shallow frying. For anyone worried about the rumors of using olive oil to cook, there is a great article you can read here on Mark’s Daily Apple.

Frying up Beef

After about 2 minutes of frying over high heat, remove the beef from the oil and drain over some paper towels.

Draining fried beef

Pour out most of the grease from your pan, throw in some ginger and garlic to fry until the pan is fragrant. Then fry up your mushrooms for 3-5 minutes.

frying mushrooms

Add the sauce to the pan and cook until the sauce is bubbly.

sauce cooking

Now add the beef back to the pan and stir until all the beef is coated evenly by the sauce.

Finishing touches

Serve with a sprinkling of sesame seeds and chopped up green onions.

ready to serve

You’ll Need:
Marinade Ingredients-

  • 2 TBSP tapioca flour
  • 2 TBSP coconut aminos
  • 2 TBSP water
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Sauce Ingredients-

  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • 2 tsp tapioca flour
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 TBSP red wine

Main Ingredients-

  • 1 lb beef, cut into cubes or slices
  • 10-12 oz of mushrooms
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 6-8 slices of fresh ginger root
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • sprinkling of sesame seeds
  • 1 cup of olive oil or bacon grease


  1. Combine marinade ingredients and marinate beef pieces for 30 minutes to overnight.
  2. Combine sauce ingredients and set aside
  3. In a large skillet, use enough oil or grease to do a shallow fry of your meat and heat on high
  4. Fry beef for about 2 minutes until mostly cooked
  5. Drain beef over paper towels
  6. Drain all but 2 TBSP of grease from the skillet and return to heat
  7. Fry garlic and ginger until fragrant
  8. Add mushrooms and fry for 3-5 minutes until mushrooms are browned
  9. Add sauce mixture and cook until sauce is bubbly
  10. Add beef back to the skillet and stir until all the beef is coated in sauce
  11. Serve with sprinkling of sesame seeds and green onions
nom nom

nom nom


  1. Yum!!! I came across your blog yesterday and was so thrilled to see such wonderful recipes. I thought I had to give up Chinese food when I went Paleo last year, it was definitely a downside. I made this recipe tonight and the whole family loved it. Thank you!

    • Thank you Marna! I’m so glad to hear your family is able to continue enjoying Chinese food on Paleo – I think I wouldn’t be able to keep this lifestyle up if I had to give it up 🙂

  2. Made this again 🙂 Everybody ate it up as usual!

  3. …mine turned out slimy …why??

    • Hi JB

      That’s strange. A few things to troubleshoot –
      * Was it slimey before you combined with the sauce?
      * Try draining the beef thoroughly before mixing with the sauce
      * Reduce the amount of oil (what kind of oil are you using)