Beijing Beef vs. Mongolian Beef

Last Updated on August 29, 2023 by Lauren Beck

In Beijing cuisine, tenderly sliced flank or sirloin steak dances with vegetables, glazed in soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice wine, and sugar.

Mongolian cuisine takes a different route with tougher shank meat, stir-fried to tenderness in sesame oil and soy sauce.

Green onions often join in for a fresh twist. Both tell tales of beef’s versatile charm in Chinese kitchens.

What is Beijing Beef?

Beijing beef is a stir-fried dish with thinly sliced flank steak, green peppers, and onions in a sweet and savory sauce.

The dish is believed to be of Chinese origin, and its name likely comes from the city of Beijing (formerly Peking).

What is Mongolian Beef?

Mongolian beef is a dish of stir-fried flank steak, onions, and scallions in a savory sauce.

The dish is believed to be of Chinese origin, but its name likely comes from the Mongolian Plateau region.

What do Beijing beef and Mongolian beef taste like?

Beijing beef is sweet and savory, with a hint of hoisin sauce. Mongolian beef is similar, but the flavors are more intense, and the dish is often spicier.

How to make Beijing beef?

Here is a recipe for Beijing beef:


  • 1 pound flank steak, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions


  1. Whisk together soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes in a large bowl.
  2. Add beef to the bowl and toss to coat. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes, up to 1 hour.
  3. In a large skillet or wok over high heat, add oil. Once hot, add onion, bell peppers, and scallions. Stir-fry for 3-4 minutes until vegetables are slightly softened.
  4. Add beef to the pan and continue to stir-fry for 5-6 minutes until browned and cooked through.
  5. Serve with rice or noodles. Enjoy!

What is Beijing Beef at Panda Express?

Panda Express Beijing Beef is a sweet and savory dish with flank steak, onions, and bell peppers in a hoisin sauce. It’s one of the chain’s most popular dishes.

What is the most popular item at Panda Express?

Orange chicken, with orange on the side

Panda Express is a popular chain of Chinese-American restaurants. The most popular dish at Panda Express is the Orange Chicken.

It is a dish of battered and fried chicken pieces that are tossed in a sweet and tangy orange sauce.

Does Panda Express Beijing beef have peanuts?

Panda Express Beijing beef does not have peanuts. Peanuts are not used in the dish or listed as an ingredient on the Panda Express website.

What kind of meat does Panda Express use?

Panda Express uses beef that is sourced from USDA-inspected [1] plants. The beef is then cut into thin strips and stir-fried with various vegetables.

What’s the difference between Mongolian beef and Szechuan beef?

The difference between Mongolian beef and Szechuan beef is that Szechuan beef is cooked in a spicy chili pepper sauce, while Mongolian beef is not.

Both dishes are of Chinese origin and are typically made with flank steak, but the similarity ends there.

Szechuan beef is a more recent dish, while Mongolian beef has existed for centuries.

Why is it called Mongolian beef?

Mongolian beef is a dish that originates from the Chinese province of Inner Mongolia.

The dish consists of thinly sliced beef that is stir-fried with vegetables in a savory sauce. Mongolian beef gets its name because it is a popular dish in Mongolian cuisine.

What Does Beijing Beef Taste Like?

Beijing Beef delivers a distinctive taste that’s a symphony of sweet and savory. Tender beef strips are enveloped in a tangy-sweet glaze, creating a memorable contrast of flavors and textures.


Having navigated Chinese culinary landscapes, let’s explore Beijing and Mongolian beef. It’s a tale of flavors, both shared and distinct.

Beijing beef balances in sweet and savory notes, while Mongolian beef cranks up intensity, often with a spicy edge. Flank steak is their common launchpad, but they take divergent routes.

Beijing beef invites green peppers and onions into a hoisin sauce tango – a visual and gustatory treat. Enter Szechuan beef, akin to Mongolian, igniting taste buds in a chili pepper-infused dance.

Mongolian beef, aptly named for its roots, salutes Mongolian cuisine.

In both, the language of flavors weaves tales that span geography and the rich tapestry of Chinese culinary craft.


Lauren Beck
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