If you’ve heard of P.F. Chang’s Mongolian beef, this is the pork version

No, I’ve never been to P.F. Chang’s although I read that the U.S. food chain opened its first Asian branch in Alabang two months ago. It’s easily a two-hour drive to Alabang and… I just wouldn’t. The copycat recipe for P.F. Chang’s Mongolian beef, I found via Pinterest. I posted it on my cooking, wining & dining board where I file all sexy-looking dishes I stumble upon on Pinterest with the intention of cooking them all at some future time. The source of the photo I repinned on Pinterest was Six Sisters’ Stuff which pointed to Food.com as the original source of the copycat recipe. Doesn’t that sound insane — original and copycat both referring to the same recipe…

But, anyway… In cooking the pork version of the copycat recipe for P.F. Chang’s Mongolian beef, I followed the basic recipe from Food.com but with some additions. Which makes one question relevant at this point: When you visit a website, do you read the comments? I do. Because not reading them is missing half the fun and totally missing bits of useful information.

For instance, in the Food.com Mongolian beef recipe, the meat isn’t seasoned before it is fried. Ergo, it relies solely on the sauce for the seasoning. Which is crazy, really, because layering flavors is a basic technique for flavorful cooking. Layering flavors? Essentially, it means seasoning is added at various stages of the cooking. That shortfall was remedied by a commenter who goes by the name Bento or Bust who said that he / she marinated the meat in a mixture of soy sauce, hoisin sauce and cornstarch for 30 minutes before frying. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Not only do the flavors of the soy and hoisin sauces permeate the meat, they also give the meat a deeper and richer color.

I had to mention Bento or Bust and his / her comment because the tweak that he / offered is a huge part in the success of my pork version of the dish. Of course, I added a couple of other things. Like sesame seed oil, rice wine and chili…

casaveneracion.com Pork version of P.F. Chang's Mongolian beef

Recipe: “Mongolian Pork”

Ingredients

  • 750 g. of skinless pork belly (pork neck will work too)
  • 1/4 c. of light soy sauce (I used Kikkoman)
  • 3 heaping tbsps. of hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp. of sesame seed oil
  • 1/3 c. of tapioca or cornstarch
  • about 1 and 1/2 c. of vegetable cooking oil for frying

For the sauce:

  • 2 tbsps. of vegetable oil
  • 1 heaping tbsp. of ginger, minced
  • 1 heaping tbsp. of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 c. of dark soy sauce
  • 1/4 c. of rice wine
  • 1 bird’s eye chili, finely sliced
  • 1 c. of sugar

Instructions

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  2. Slice the pork thinly (1/4 inch thin or thinner) across the grain (see how to slice meat across the grain).
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  4. Put the pork in a bowl and add the soy sauce, hoisin sauce and sesame seed oil.
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  6. Mix well.
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  8. Add the cornstarch.
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  10. Mix well. Cover and allow to marinate in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  11. Meanwhile, start making the sauce.
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  13. Over medium-mow heat, heat up the 2 tbsps. of vegetable cooking oil in a pan. Add the ginger and garlic and cook, still over medium-low heat, until fragrant. Should take a couple of minutes. Don’t wait for the ginger and garlic to brown.
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  15. Pour in the rice wine and soy sauce. Add the chopped chili and sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
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  17. Turn up the heat to medium high and allow the sauce to boil gently until it acquires a syrupy consistency, about ten minutes. Taste the sauce. If you want it more salty or sweet, stir in some salt (more soy sauce will make the sauce too dark) or more sugar, as needed. Set aside.
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  19. Heat the 1 and 1/2 c. of cooking oil in a wok or frying pan. I don’t use a thermometer but the ideal temperature for frying is between 350F to 375F. You can test the temperature by dropping a piece of bread into the oil. If the bread sinks, the oil isn’t hot enough. If it browns in less than five seconds, it’s too hot.
  20. Over medium high heat, fry the pork in batches. Do not overcrowd the pan. Cook ten to 12 pieces at a time to maintain the temperature of the oil. If the pork slices are thin enough, each batch should cook in four to five minutes.
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  22. Drain the fried pork on a stack of paper towels as each batch cooks.
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  24. When all the pork is done, gently reheat the sauce. This is a caramelized sauce and, as with anything caramelized, it would have thickened considerably as it cooled. You want to make it thin enough to coat the pork pieces with. So, reheat gently. Once it has thinned to a syrupy consistency again, add the pork to the sauce, stir and toss alternately until all the pork pieces are coated with the rich sticky sauce.
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  26. Sprinkle the pork with finely sliced scallions (green onions) and serve on top of steaming rice.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 15 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4 to 6

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Comments

  1. geri says

    I have only been to P.F. Chang 3 times, what other food I got didn’t make that much an impression but I like their chicken lettuce wrap very much. My husband loves mongolian pork so I am bookmarking this recipe. I made the chinese braised beef last week and it’s really good. I am going to do it again and add mushroom and baby corns too – I am already excited at the thought hehehe.

  2. Angela Ubaldo says

    It took me forever to make the Chinese braised beef only because my husband and my son kept having to go somewhere almost everyday . We ate out most of the week last week. I finally finished the dish today but I added a couple of carrots to it, baby bok choy , and to finish, after I turned off the heat I threw in some mung bean sprouts and roughly chopped cilantro sprigs . Surprisingly, we have a cooler temp. here in Houston than in Chicago – It was the perfect dish for such a cold night ! We have a restaurant here in Houston called Pei wei ( a PF Chang restaurant ) and I love their Moongolian beef – I almost always get it everytime I go there. I will try to make it with pork – I bet that will taste great too! Thanks for the tweaks and tips .

  3. says

    geri, re “didn’t make that much an impression…”

    I can imagine. One of the reasons I’m not so gung-ho at trying it is because it’s a chain. There’s Chinatown and the multitude of real Chinese restaurants for real Chinese food.

    You’re welcome, Angela. :)

  4. says

    wow! another must-try dish! thanks for the step by step instructions Ms. Connie. By the way, i tried your tres leches cake and vietnamese springrolls. thanks always for your wonderful dishes more power and more recipes to try out soon :)

  5. Joy says

    pf chang is so overrated, overpriced and you are paying for the interior design (like an imperial palace)…you get better food at a good local eatery in chinatown.

  6. says

    First time to try a recipe from your website & WOW! SUCCESS! Although I used light soy sauce instead of the dark soy sauce and reduced the sugar to 1/2 cup. Added some cilantro leaves and scallions. My children & husband enjoyed in tremendously. Thank you.

  7. Tumbling says

    Hi Ms. Connie,

    Firstly, I’d like to thank you. your website is really a big help for us; especially for the Filipino’s abroad.

    I tried the Mongilian Pork Recipe last night, and my housemate who’s from South Africa loved it. He doesn’t like dishes that are sweet, he thinks sugar is not meant for Main dishes. But last night he said that the food was a blast.

    I tried PF CHangs Mongolian Beef & Lamb (Pork is not allowed in this country – UAE), and I have to say that your recipe is quite close to theirs. if not, exactly the same.

    One appetizer from PF Chang’s that I’m sure everyone loves is the “Dynamite Shrimps”. It’s more like “Wasabe Prwans” for other restaurants. But of all the restaurants that I’ve been to, and all the prawns I’ve had, nothing compares to PF CHang’s Dynamite Shrimp. – would be great if you can upload that recipe. I have had a hard time looking for that recipe.

    nonetheless, Here’s to you and your family (Holding a glass of Wine!) for sharing your life and good food to everyone!!

    Thanks and looking forward for more enjoyable dishes!!

    Tumbling

    • says

      Hi Tumbling, I am allergic to prawns, shrimps and all crustaceans. My husband and daughters love them, however, so maybe… maybe, I can try the Dynamite Shrimp for them someday. Maybe. :)

      • Tumbling says

        ohhh.. sayang.. Hopefully po matry mo.. I promise, your Family will love it.. it has this sweet and spicy and creamy taste.. hehe..

        God Speed..

  8. Menchie Naval-Alegre says

    I was finally able to do this last night! We love it! Thanks again! It’ s definitely in my son’s list of can you make it again recipes!

  9. max says

    thank you so much for the recipe, it is really delicious. maybe next time i’ll try the desserts : )

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