Paleo Mongolian Beef

Squash your Chinese food cravings with this healthier spin on the restaurant classic, Paleo Mongolian Beef!


It's my curse in life to be constantly out-ordered by my husband when it comes to Chinese food. The man KNOWS his Chinese food! While I slip into the temptation of ordering something that “looks great and light!” (think lemon pepper shrimp, chicken and vegetables, steamed beef and broccoli, etc.), he sticks with old faithfuls like Mongolian Beef. When our orders show up, I longingly stare at his plate of rich, flavorful beef, wishing that I'd just ordered the same thing.

You see, I usually stay away from ordering dishes like Mongolian Beef because the sauce makes me a little nervous! I can't be sure of what mystery ingredients went into that sticky, lovely sauce. So, I stay away deciding that the likely 2-day stomachache isn't worth the 15 minute indulgent meal.


The last time Austin and I were out for lunch (which we usually do on Sundays), a light bulb went off. Our plates hit the table; his that dark, sticky, craveable beef and mine, some steamed shrimp with broccoli. I sighed looking at our two plates and before I even took a bite (or drowned my shrimp in chilies), I took out my phone. I pulled up my “recipe ideas” note pad and added “Paleo Mongolian Beef” to the list. After years of longing, it was HIGH time I take a healthier stab at that delicious dish!

What we now have here folks is a VICTORY. A *serious* victory! I'm so excited by how this dish turned out that I want to tell the world! It's crispy, sticky, flavorful, and better than any restaurant Mongolian Beef I've ever sampled. Be patient with the sauce as it comes together. Allowing the water to evaporate and sugars to caramelize is what gives this dish its signature sticky quality! Note that the 4 chili peppers added will not add a lot of heat. If you prefer a spicier dish, crush the peppers instead of adding them to the sauce whole. The seeds will help infuse the spice you're looking for!


While this recipe would almost fall into the “squeaky clean” category, note that I do toss the beef pieces in a couple teaspoons of arrowroot prior to frying. If you're following the Path A of the Fed & Fit Project, omit the arrowroot and follow the rest of the instructions as written!

Serve it up with some basic cauliflower rice or even spoonful of white rice and enjoy this healthier spin on the restaurant classic!

I hope you love this recipe as much as I do!



Paleo Mongolian Beef

  • Author: Cassy
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 5 servings


  • 1.5 pounds beef flank steak, cut into 1/4-inch thick pieces against the grain
  • 2 teaspoons arrowroot
  • 4 tablespoons butter, ghee, or avocado oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
  • 4 whole dried chili peppers, crush for more spice
  • 2 cups (16.9 fluid ounces) coconut aminos
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 1 bunch green onions, cut into 1.5-inch long pieces on a diagonal
  • 1 teaspoon white sesame seeds, for garnish, optional


  1. Sprinkle the arrowroot over the pieces of beef and toss to evenly coat. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a frying pan or wok over high heat. Working in small batches, add the beef pieces to the hot oil so that no two pieces are touching (we're avoiding “crowding” the pan so that each piece can get a good crisp). Sear the beef on one side for about 2.5 minutes, or until it has a deep brown color, then flip it over to get the same texture on the other side. Once cooked and crispy-looking, transfer the cooked pieces to a separate bowl or plate. Continue with the rest of the beef pieces, adding more butter or oil as needed.
  2. Once the beef pieces are all cooked and set aside, add 1 tablespoon of butter and the teaspoon of sesame oil to the same pan. Turn the heat down to medium and then add the garlic. Saute for about 2 minutes and then add the ginger and chili peppers. Saute for an additional two minutes, until fragrant, and then add the coconut aminos. Bring the sauce up to a simmer and use a spoon to stir while scraping any beef bits off the bottom of the pan.
  3. Let the sauce simmer for about 15 minutes, or until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Taste the sauce and add salt as needed. At this point, add the beef back into the pan. Add the green onions, stir, cover, and let the beef cook over medium heat for 3 minutes, or until the green onions are wilted. Turn off heat and serve with your choice of cauliflower rice or white rice!
  4. Garnish with the sesame seeds and enjoy.




27 Responses to “Paleo Mongolian Beef”

  1. #
    Cassieposted December 9, 2016 at 9:31 am

    MMMMMMMm This looks SO yummy!

  2. #
    Mariuxiposted December 9, 2016 at 10:51 am

    This looks amazing! I’m lactose intolerant and avocado oil is not available where I live. Can I sub in coconut oil instead?

    • #
      Cassyposted December 9, 2016 at 11:56 am


  3. #
    Kelliposted December 9, 2016 at 11:54 am

    Hey this looks great. Do you think it would work with chicken? Thanks!

    • #
      Cassyposted December 9, 2016 at 11:56 am


  4. #
    Erica Graffposted December 10, 2016 at 5:43 am

    This looks AMAZING! Thank you for this recipe (and all that you do)!!

    • #
      Cassyposted December 22, 2016 at 10:16 pm

      Haha it’s so my pleasure!

  5. #
    Ericaposted December 10, 2016 at 5:44 am

    Also LOL at autofill for adding my last name to my comment ^^

  6. #
    Jennifer Williamsposted December 10, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    Seriously, I just made this and the family [even the 3 year old] gobbled it up! It was delicious, thank you so much.

    • #
      Cassyposted December 22, 2016 at 10:15 pm

      That’s so great!!

  7. #
    Caroleposted December 12, 2016 at 8:42 am

    Hey! This recipe looks great but coconut aminos can be quite pricey where I live… Do you think there is a way to modify that to retain the taste but maybe have a little less in the recipe?


    • #
      Cassyposted December 22, 2016 at 10:13 pm

      You can use tamari if you’re not sensitive to soy! Just don’t add any additional alt because tamari comes pretty salty 🙂

  8. #
    jennyquackposted December 12, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    I just made this, essentially a half recipe. It is awesome! I can’t wait for my peeps to get home to try it! Incidentally, if you want to use less coconut aminos, you could maybe try beef broth with it. You will be condensing it down so it will be less amino-y but I bet it would still be great! I find this sauce a bit salty, but I am a salt-wimp and it is ‘chinese food’ after all. Yum!

    • #
      Heather pposted December 12, 2016 at 5:54 pm

      I found it salty too & I love salt. This recipe was amazing. Next time I will just add 1/2 tsp instead of one. My teenage son couldn’t get enough of it. Thank you so much for this incredible recipe.

  9. #
    Sydneyposted December 14, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    This was my first time making one of your recipes and YUM! Can’t wait to search your site for some others. Excellent and definitely satisfied my itch for Chinese food!

    • #
      Cassyposted December 22, 2016 at 10:14 pm


  10. #
    Morganposted December 18, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    This ended up being way too salty! We ended up throwing it out which was a big disappointment.

    • #
      Cassyposted December 22, 2016 at 10:14 pm

      Such a bummer!

    • #
      Cassyposted December 22, 2016 at 10:17 pm

      I re-made it after reading your comment and agree that it can be made with less! Some folks loved it with the original amount, but that can always be added in later.

  11. #
    Emilyposted December 22, 2016 at 11:38 am

    Love your recipes and am excited to try this one. Is there a type of pepper you recommend for this and do you think it can be purchased at a regular grocery store or would I need to go to an Asian market or something?

    • #
      Cassyposted December 22, 2016 at 10:11 pm

      Any kind of a dried chili will work! They’re usually found with the other spices. No need to go to an Asian market …unless you can’t find dried or even fresh chilies at your local grocer. Hope this helps!

  12. #
    Marissaposted January 4, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    Hi Cassy,

    I can’t have any starch. Do you think it would still come out OK (I don’t mind if that sauce is not as thick) if I omitted that ingredient?


  13. #
    Jesseposted January 17, 2017 at 11:38 am

    I made this for my wife who thought it was inedibly salty. I used like 1/2 cup and didnt add any extra salt. I thought it was pretty good. The beef texture was awesome. I think a little honey and rice vinegar would elevate the sauce.

  14. #
    VPposted October 15, 2017 at 7:24 am

    This was really good but I found the 2 cups of coconut aminos made it very very salty. Wondering if you used a low sodium version?

  15. #
    Jen Williamsposted January 4, 2018 at 10:23 am

    I made this last night–it was so good! We changed up a bit, because we didn’t have sesame oil or coconut aminos. I used coconut oil and Tamari sauce. I only used about 1 cup of tamari, and like others said, it was pretty salty. I ended up adding some honey to combat the salt and it was wonderful! I know I added sugars, but I think it needed it. Loved it over cauliflower rice! Thanks Cassy!

    • #
      Cassyposted January 4, 2018 at 12:07 pm

      You’re so welcome! Yes, tamari is MUCH MUCH saltier than coconut aminos (what the recipe calls for). The coconut aminos will also add natural sweetness, reducing the need for other sweeteners. Glad you liked it!

  16. #
    Amberposted April 6, 2018 at 9:07 am

    I made this last night and followed the recipe exactly except I skipped adding any additional salt. It was absolutely DELICIOUS! It tasted like real chinese food but so much better. I will definitely be making this again and again. Thank you!

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