Mongolian beef is a well-known dish from Taiwan. Restaurant chains like P.F Cheng have popularized the dish in North America even more.
Well, I’m here to let you know that, yes, you can make this with your venison, and yes, I think it’s better than the beef version.
Prepping the Venison
Typically this dish is done with flank steak. I mentioned in my stir fry recipe and venison cuts article that I like using the backstrap for stir-fries.
Either of these cuts will work well for this recipe, as will almost any other cut, perhaps not the shanks.
The key to making any cut of venison work with this dish is to slice it very thinly, then velvet the meat for 30 minutes. You can follow this guide to velvet venison.
Mongolian venison is nothing without the sauce. There are very few vegetables in this recipe. Basically, this dish is made up of 2 main components, sauce and meat, and the sauce is really what holds it all together.
The sauce is also one of the reasons why I think this dish pairs well with venison. It’s salty, but more importantly, it’s slightly sweet yet savory.
Depending on your brand of soy sauce, you may want to choose a low-sodium option; otherwise, the dish could get very salty.
I also like to use a small amount of dark soy sauce to add to the depth and sweetness of the dish. If your only option of soy sauce is intensely salty, then use water instead of stock to dilute the flavor.
One thing I love about this dish is that it is done in a matter of minutes. If you are using venison backstrap, you can skip the velveting process and eat in under 10 minutes. This is my go-to dish when I am in a rush.
Ideally, you need a carbon steel wok or pan for this dish. You may get by with stainless steel, but you won’t get the same sear on the meat.
The trick to getting the perfect meat is to get the wok screaming hot, gently roll the wok so the oil coats the walls, and then using thongs, carefully lay the meat along the wall piece by piece.
The meat will initially stick but will release after a couple of seconds. Don’t worry about the pieces that slide down into the oil. If possible, try to flip to the other side, but it cooks extremely fast.
Next, you need to remove the venison and let it rest for a minute. Because the meat has been velveted and is sliced thinly, the resting period is minimal.
While the meat is resting, you can begin cooking the sauce, which also cooks really fast. Due to the high sugar content and the cornstarch slurry you will add, the sauce becomes thick and sticky.
Ideally, no runny sauce should be left after you return the meat to the pan. I find this dish works best when the sauce coats the meat in a sticky coat.
This Mongolian venison dish is an intriguing taste of a classic dish. It's sweet, salty, and crispy. Everything you could want from a wild game dish.
- 1lb venison
- 1/4 cup soy sauce (low sodium for less salty) + 1 teaspoon (see note 1)
- 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup stock (or water for less salty)
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch (plus some for dredging)
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1 medium red chili for topping
- small bunch of spring onions
- Slice the venison thinly and pat dry and place into a large bowl. Mix 1 teaspoon of soy sauce with 1 tablespoon of water and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Pour the mixture over the venison and mix well. Set aside for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- After sufficient time has passed, dredge the venison with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, ensuring every piece is covered.
- In a small bowl, mix the sugar, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and stock. In a separate bowl mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with on tablespoon of cold water to make a slurry.
- Heat the wok over high heat. When hot, add the canola oil. Gently swirl the oil around the wok to coat the sides.
- Place the venison on the coated sides of the wok piece by piece. Sear the meat for 30-60 seconds, then flip and do the other side. Remove and set aside.
- Remove the majority of oil from the wok, leaving about 1 tablespoon.
- Add in ginger and garlic and cook for 10-20 seconds, do not allow to burn.
- Add in the sauce mixture and simmer for 1 minute
- Return venison to the wok and toss in sauce.
- Tilt the wok and push venison to one side, on the other side slowly pour in the cornstarch slurry and stir until sauce thickens.
- Add spring onions, chili, and sesame seeds, toss and serve.
- Some soy sauces are very salty. If possible, try to find a low-sodium option. Alternatively, use water instead of stock.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 553Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 115mgSodium: 1022mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 1gSugar: 13gProtein: 45g
Rusty enjoys connecting food and nature and has done so since a child. He was fortunate enough to explore cuisine worldwide and work at great European restaurants. He now enjoys thinking up new recipes that he can find around him in nature in North America.