Mongolian Beef Fried Rice

Mongolian Beef Fried Rice |

Mongolian beef fried rice has a tangy aroma of chili and cumin. It is simple yet satisfying. The fresh green onion and pungent spices turn leftover beef and rice to a feast. It only takes 10 minutes to cook and you will finish the whole plate under 5 minutes!

Have you ever tried to serve noodles or rice dishes as breakfast? We do that all the time in China. Fried noodles and rice dishes are favorite breakfast items in many other Asian countries too, including Japan and Singapore.

The Best Fried Noodles in the World

I had one of the best fried rice noodle dishes in Singapore during a business trip. It was at a small bistro under the office building. I’d never have discovered that place without my co-workers. Even if I had passed by the place by myself, I probably wouldn’t have gone inside, because it looked very shabby and only had a few items on the menu.

It was almost nine in the morning, but the store was busy and packed with people. There was also a 5-meter (16-foot) queue out the front door. I ordered by following the crowd, a brownish fried rice noodle topped with two lonely pieces of fish cake. Man, it was too damn good! I don’t know how they seasoned the noodles, but they had a very intense umami taste that I rarely get from a stir fried dish.

Best Fried Noodles in Singapore |

The Magic of Animal Fat

Later, my colleagues revealed its secret. The noodles were fried in lard. No wonder! That explained why the noodles tasted as great as pork fried noodles, without even a tiny piece of meat. It also explained why my hair smelled like a restaurant kitchen after breakfast, even though I only spent 10 minutes in that bistro.

The price of miserable hair for the rest of the day is a bit steep, but the noodles were awesome indeed!

Using lard or other types of animal fat is very common in Chinese cuisine. I heard from my mom that in the 60s and 70s, poorer families used lard as cooking oil because vegetable oil was in short supply. When my parents were young, they always got a cut of pork fat at a low price and used it to make lard at home. They even didn’t dare to fry rice with the lard, because it uses a lot of lard and the dish would just become too delicious, so they’d eat more. Instead, they only mixed a small spoon of pork fat with warm rice and drizzled it with some soy sauce. It made a very simple meal taste much better.

Mongolian Beef Fried Rice |

What You Can Do With Animal Fat

Using lard to fry rice, noodles or veggies adds tons of flavor and will make a plain dish as satisfying as a meat dish. Now we can afford to use lard to fry rice or add it into other dishes, but we tend to use vegetable oil most of the time for health reasons. However, if I ever have lard or grease left over from beef or chicken (like this wonderful chicken fat from making chicken stock), I will save it and use it in stir fried dishes. Have you ever tried fries cooked with duck fat? Same idea, same superiority of flavor.

I used some leftover beef and beef fat to cook this Mongolian beef fried rice. It is so easy and only takes 10 minutes to cook, but tastes 10 times more awesome than normal fried rice. It was made from leftover beef that didn’t contain any seasoning (originally used to make beef stock), and I simply used some soy sauce, cumin, and chili powder. The finished dish had a tangy aroma of spices and the beef had a complex savory taste that you usually get from roast beef. The rice blended perfectly with all the ingredients and made me want to keep eating. This is the power of animal fat!

Mongolian Beef Fried Rice |

However, if you don’t have any animal fat in your pantry, no worries! You can simply use vegetable oil instead. The dish will not be as rich in character, but will still be delicious.

A simple fried rice is a comfort dish for me year round and I eat it often for Saturday breakfast and brunch; that’s the time I wake up lazy and craving something delicious, but with a mostly empty fridge!

Although I have shared fancy Thai fried rice and vegetable ham fried rice before, this sort of fried rice is what we cook on a daily basis, because it only contains a few ingredients, provides a great way to use leftovers, and requires very little time to put on the table!


Mongolian Beef Fried Rice

  • Author: Maggie Zhu
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 15 mins
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Cuisine: Chinese


This recipe requires cooked (leftover) beef and rice.
For the beef, I used boiled, unseasoned beef. You could also use roast or some other type of beef. If you use seasoned beef, you should reduce the salt used in the recipe.
You could use leftover rice or chilled, freshly cooked rice. To learn how to use rice for stir fried dishes, you can refer to the tips in this post.


  • 1 tablespoon beef fat (or vegetable oil)
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 3 cups cooked rice, chilled
  • 1 cup cooked beef (roast or boiled), diced
  • 1/3 cup green onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes (or powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • Mongolian Beef Fried Rice Ingredients |


  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat. When oil is warm, add beaten egg and let it cook until the bottom side is cooked but the top is still raw, about 30 seconds.
  2. Add rice on top of the egg and chop and stir it with a spatula immediately to coat the rice with the uncooked egg mixture. Keep chopping and cooking the rice until the grains are separated thoroughly, about 3 minutes. If the skillet gets too hot and starts to smoke intensely, lower the heat to medium or low. If the skillet is getting cold and you cannot hear a vibrant sizzle, turn back to medium or medium high heat.
    Mongolian Beef Fried Rice Cooking Process | Mongolian Beef Fried Rice Cooking Process |
  3. Spread beef on top of rice and swirl in light soy sauce. Stir a few times to mix. Sprinkle cumin powder, chili flakes and 1/2 teaspoon salt (1/4 teaspoon if the beef is seasoned) over the rice and stir well.
    Mongolian Beef Fried Rice Cooking Process | Mongolian Beef Fried Rice Cooking Process |
  4. Add green onion and stir a few times. Turn to low heat and taste the rice. Season gradually with salt, stirring well each time.
    Mongolian Beef Fried Rice Cooking Process |
  5. The rice is ready to serve when when the seasonings are mixed evenly and the rice is hot. If you like the mouthfeel of charred rice, turn off heat and let the rice sit a while without stirring. The rice on the bottom will become crispy in 1 to 2 minutes.
  6. Serve warm.

The nutrition facts are calculated based on 1 of the 2 servings generated by this recipe.

Mongolian Beef Fried Rice Nutrition Facts |


Omnivore's Cookbook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to
Meet Maggie

Hi I'm Maggie Zhu! Welcome to my site about modern Chinese cooking - including street food, family recipes, and restaurant dishes. I take a less labor-intensive approach while maintaining the taste and look of the dish. I am originally from Beijing, and now cook from my Austin, Texas kitchen.

Never Miss a Recipe!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

9 thoughts on “Mongolian Beef Fried Rice

  1. Helen @ Scrummy Lane

    What a fabulous tip to use leftover meat fat for cooking. I love that idea! Here in the UK duck fat is considered to be the best for cooking roast potatoes … and it really is. It’s so tasty. Would love to try the rice. What’s not to love about making an easy dish super tasty? 🙂

  2. Lisa Kaufer-Smithey

    This looks amazing and I always have extra white rice. Could I do this with left over chicken thigh meat? I am a Nagi FAN 😉 YAY Nagi!! and use lots of chicken thighs in my recipes. I could even boil a boneless piece of thigh if that would be better. We do not eat a lot of red meat, not that we do not enjoy it, but we seem to eat chicken, pork, lamb etc. more often.- OH I could use pork? Excited about your blog, and will be trying a few new dishes for 2015. (cooking meat in oil and sugar!) THX, Lisa

    1. Maggie Post author

      Hi Lisa, thanks for stopping by! Of course you can use leftover chicken thigh (including boiled one) or pork in this recipe, it will be super delicious too! I used beef because that’s what I had at hands the other day. Yep, I’m a big fan of chicken thighs too. Here in China, we consume more pork and chicken and other meat, so I had quite a collections of these recipes. Hope you can find what you like here and happy cooking! 🙂