What Is Mandarin Beef? The Full Guide

Are you a fan of Chinese cuisine? Have you ever heard of Mandarin Beef?

This delicious dish originates from Peking, China and is a popular stir-fry that combines tender beef strips with a variety of vegetables and a killer soy sauce and brown sugar sauce.

With over 850 million speakers, Mandarin Chinese is the world’s largest language, spoken in a vast area of northern and southwestern mainland China, as well as in countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, and Singapore.

In this article, we’ll explore the history and ingredients of Mandarin Beef, as well as provide a recipe for you to try at home. Get ready to tantalize your taste buds with this mouth-watering dish!

What Is Mandarin Beef?

Mandarin Beef is a popular Chinese dish that is known for its tender beef strips and unique blend of flavors. The dish is typically made by marinating the beef in a mixture of soy sauce, sherry, ginger, and sesame oil for about 15 minutes. The beef is then stir-fried with a variety of vegetables such as bell pepper and scallions in a unique sauce made from soy sauce, brown sugar, oyster sauce, chili flakes, and other spices.

The dish is believed to have originated in Peking, China and has since become a popular dish in Chinese restaurants all over the world. The name “Mandarin” comes from the fact that Mandarin Chinese is the most widely spoken of all Chinese dialects spoken as a first language in a vast area of northern and southwestern mainland China.

The History Of Mandarin Beef

The history of Mandarin Beef can be traced back to the imperial court of the Qing Dynasty in Peking, China. It was a dish that was served only to the emperor and his guests, and was considered a delicacy. The dish was made with the finest cuts of beef and a variety of vegetables, and was seasoned with a blend of spices that were carefully chosen to complement the flavors of the meat.

As time went on, Mandarin Beef became more widely available in restaurants throughout China. It was a dish that was enjoyed by people from all walks of life, not just the wealthy elite. The recipe for Mandarin Beef also evolved over time, with different regions adding their own unique twists to the dish. For example, some regions added peanuts or cashews to the dish for added crunch and flavor.

Today, Mandarin Beef is a popular dish in Chinese restaurants all over the world. It is loved for its tender beef strips and rich blend of flavors. The dish has become an important part of Chinese culinary culture and continues to be enjoyed by people from all corners of the globe.

Ingredients Used In Mandarin Beef

Mandarin Beef is made with a variety of ingredients that come together to create a delicious and flavorful dish. The key ingredient in the dish is beef, which is typically made with top sirloin or top round steak that has been trimmed of fat and cut into bite-sized strips. The beef is then tossed in cornstarch, salt, soy sauce, sugar, and white pepper, which gives it a coating and helps to tenderize the meat.

Other ingredients used in Mandarin Beef include a variety of vegetables such as broccoli florets, sliced green onions, Chinese or Napa cabbage, and sliced water chestnuts. These vegetables add texture and flavor to the dish and are typically stir-fried along with the beef.

The sauce used in Mandarin Beef is also an important component of the dish. It is typically made with a combination of soy sauce, brown sugar, oyster sauce, chili flakes, and other spices. This sauce gives the dish a unique blend of sweet and savory flavors that perfectly complement the beef and vegetables.

How To Make Mandarin Beef At Home

Making Mandarin Beef at home is easier than you might think. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make this delicious dish:

1. Start by preparing the beef. Trim any excess fat from the beef steak and cut it lengthwise into 2-inch strips. Cut the strips crosswise into 1/8-inch slices, stack them, and cut lengthwise into thin strips. Toss the beef with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, cornstarch, salt, soy sauce, sugar, and white pepper in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2. While the beef is marinating, prepare the sauce. In a small bowl, mix together soy sauce, sherry, cornstarch, garlic, and ginger. Set aside.

3. Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat until very hot. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and swirl it around to coat the side of the wok.

4. Add the marinated beef to the wok and stir-fry for about 2 minutes or until browned on all sides.

5. Pour in the sauce mixture and stir until it boils and thickens.

6. Add in any vegetables you’d like to include, such as bell pepper or scallions. Stir-fry for another minute or two until the vegetables are cooked to your liking.

7. Serve immediately with rice or noodles.

By following these simple steps, you can enjoy a delicious plate of homemade Mandarin Beef that rivals any Chinese restaurant’s version of the dish.

Variations Of Mandarin Beef

There are many variations of Mandarin Beef that you can try to add some variety to your meals. One popular variation is to add some heat to the dish by using more chili flakes or adding some sriracha sauce. This will give the dish a spicy kick that is sure to please those who love bold flavors.

Another variation is to switch up the vegetables used in the dish. While bell peppers and scallions are traditional, you can experiment with other veggies like broccoli, carrots, or even mushrooms. This will add some different textures and flavors to the dish and make it more interesting.

If you’re looking for a healthier version of Mandarin Beef, you can use leaner cuts of beef like sirloin or flank steak and reduce the amount of sugar used in the sauce. You can also substitute some of the soy sauce with low-sodium soy sauce to reduce the sodium content.

For those who are vegetarian or looking for a meatless option, you can substitute the beef with tofu or seitan. This will give you a protein-rich meal that is still full of flavor and texture.

Lastly, if you want to switch up the sauce used in Mandarin Beef, you can try using hoisin sauce instead of oyster sauce. Hoisin sauce has a sweet and savory flavor that pairs well with beef and vegetables.

Health Benefits Of Mandarin Beef

Mandarin Beef is not only a delicious dish, but it also comes with several health benefits. The beef used in the dish is a great source of protein, which is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body. Additionally, beef is known to contain important nutrients such as iron, zinc, and vitamin B12, which help support a healthy immune system and promote healthy blood circulation.

The vegetables used in Mandarin Beef, such as bell pepper and scallions, are rich in antioxidants and vitamins that help protect the body from harmful free radicals. Bell peppers are particularly high in vitamin C, which is essential for maintaining healthy skin and promoting wound healing. Scallions are also known to have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.

The sauce used in Mandarin Beef contains several beneficial ingredients as well. Soy sauce is a good source of protein and contains important amino acids that help support muscle growth and repair. Oyster sauce is rich in vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc, and calcium, which are important for maintaining healthy bones and teeth. The chili flakes used in the sauce also contain capsaicin, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.

Pairing Mandarin Beef With Other Chinese Dishes

If you’re looking to serve Mandarin Beef as part of a larger Chinese meal, there are plenty of dishes that pair well with this flavorful beef dish. One classic Chinese side dish that goes well with Mandarin Beef is steamed rice. The rice helps to balance out the flavors of the beef and adds a nice texture to the meal.

Another great option is to serve Mandarin Beef with noodles, such as chow mein or rice noodles. The noodles add a nice contrast to the beef and soak up the delicious sauce, making for a satisfying and filling meal.

For a vegetable side dish, consider sautéed garlic bok choy or Chinese broccoli. These vegetables have a slightly bitter taste that pairs well with the sweet and savory flavors of the beef. You can also add some steamed or stir-fried mixed vegetables like snow peas, green beans, and bell peppers to your meal for some added crunch and color.

If you’re looking for more protein in your meal, you can also consider serving Mandarin Beef with other meat dishes like General Tso’s Chicken or Kung Pao Shrimp. These dishes have similar bold flavors and textures that will complement the beef nicely.

Finally, don’t forget about drinks! For a red wine option, try a fruity Zinfandel or Grenache to pair with the bold flavors of the beef. If you prefer white wine, Riesling is always a great match for spicy dishes like Mandarin Beef.