The Mongolian Grill Style Restaurant where you fill a bowl with vegetables, meats, and a sauce has always been one of my favorites. I’ve wanted to recreate it at home for some time now and finally got around to figuring out the logistics of how to do it. This recipe post is going to be a bit different than others on the website because you aren’t actually cooking everything at once. It’s quite the long recipe post but that’s just because I feel like I need to do some explaining.
STEP 1: Prepare the Chicken
The first thing that should be done to prepare for your Stir Fry adventures is to prepare the meat. You can choose any meat you like for this and the process I’m about to explain can be repeated for just about any of the land meats. Seafood would probably be a bit different. We are going to do a process called velveting. This is what makes the meat you get at Asian restaurants so soft and silky. It is a way to tenderize the meat and also give it some flavor. There are are few different ways you can velvet meat. You can do it in hot water or hot oil. To keep things more macro friendly I decided to go with the hot water this time. Typically the cooking process is only done for a short time, like 30 seconds to a minute and it finishes cooking in the wok. Because I am making a large amount to store in the freezer, I am going to boil it for 2-3 minutes so that it cooks all of the way through.
Storing the chicken when you batch prep it is of prime importance. If you spend the time and money to make it all you want to protect it so it doesn’t get freezer burnt and go bad. I recommend vacuum sealing it to remove the air and help prevent freezer burn. After you boil the chicken, spread it out on a large sheet pan and pat it dry with a paper towel. I also put a fan in front of it to help cool it faster and dry it at the same time. Once it has cooled, move the sheet pan into the freezer and allow it to freeze solid. This is of critical importance if you are going to vacuum seal it. Failure to do so will make all of the chicken freeze in a giant ball and it will be impossible to pull out one portion at a time. Once you have flash frozen the chicken, move it to a zip top bag and remove the air. You can store this in your freezer for months as long as you keep it frozen and free from air. The vacuum sealer I use is the Zwilling Fresh & Save Vacuum set. It has zip top bags that you can open, close, and re-vacuum making it perfect for things like this.
Here is the recipe card for how to velvet the chicken:
Velveted Chicken for Stir Fry
- 5 lbs (2268 g) boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 3 tbsp (45 g) soy sauce i use low sodium
- ½ cup (120 g) egg whites
- 2½ tbsp (20 g) cornstarch
For the Chicken
- Place your chicken into the freezer for about an hour before you start to prep. This will make it easier to cut and handle.
- Cut the chicken into thin slices of about ⅛"-¼" in thickness. Place into a large bowl.
- Into the bowl, add the egg whites, soy sauce, and cornstarch. Mix well until everything has been well incorprated. Store in the fridge for 30 minutes to give it time to marinate.
- Heat a large pot of water on the stove and bring it to a light boil. If you are doing the full 5 pounds of chicken you will likely want to cook this in batches so it doesn't cool down the water too much when you drop it in.
- Add the chicken to the boiling water and cook it for about 2-3 minutes or just until it is cooked all of the way through and no longer pink in the center. It won't take long since it has been cut so thin.
- Remove from the water using a spider or a colander and place on a large sheet pan to dry.
- Repeat this process until all of your chicken has been cooked.
- You can use a paper towel to help soak up any excess liquid on the sheet pan or on the chicken to help dry it out.
- Once the chicken has cooled a bit, place the sheet pan uncovered into your freezer for a couple of hours until the chicken has frozen solid.
- Freezing uncovered, in a singler layer is how we flash freeze in a home kitchen. This helps ensure that the food has a chance to freeze as individual pieces instead of in one big clump. It is a requirement for if you are going to vacuum seal this, which you should.
- Once the chicken has frozen solid, remove it from the freezer, break up the pieces, and transfer to a zip top bag. I use the Zwilling Fresh & Save Vacuum Bags.
- Take out all of the air, and store them in your freezer for later use.
STEP 2: Prep Your Vegetables
It doesn’t matter what you put into your stir fry. Pick whatever vegetables you like. You can even buy the frozen stir fry vegetables if you wish, that will get the job done. You can go straight from the freezer to the wok. I like to do a big variety of vegetables starting with some aromatics. Ginger, garlic, scallion, onion. Then I look around at the store for what is in season or looks the best. It will typically be some kind of peppers, zucchini, cabbage, and mushrooms. Whenever I do broccoli I use the frozen stuff because it is precooked and that saves me from having to steam it or parboil first. Preshredded cabbage, coleslaw mix, or one of those bagged salad mixes are some shortcuts to easy vegetable consumption as well.
Whatever vegetables you decide on, wash them, cut them into small pieces, and store them in an air tight container. As long as your fridge is cold and your containers are air tight, these should easily last for 5 days in your fridge. Each night when you are ready to stir fry just pull out what you need and cook it.
I love adding a fresh and/or a pickled element on top many of my meals. This time I went with pickled carrots and cucumber ribbons. Pickled carrots are insanely easy to make and they can take a dish from marginal to unbelievably good simply by adding some textural, temperature, and flavor variation. Here is how I make my pickled carrots.
- 4 medium (200 g) carrots
- 1½ cups (360 g) water
- 1½ cups (360 g) vinegar
- 1 tbsp (12 g) sugar
- 1 tsp (6 g) salt
For the Carrots
- Wash and peel the outer layer of your carrots.
- Using a vegetable peeler, go down the length of the carrot to create ribbons.
- For the brine, mix together the water, vinegar, salt, and sugar. Stir to combine and pour over top of the carrots in a glass jar. If you don't have enough to cover the carrots, you can just add more water and vinegar in equal parts.
STEP 3: Make Your Sauce
The sauce that I prefer to use in this prep is a plain, standard brown sauce that I intend to be used as a base. From this sauce you should add more complexity and flavors to finish in the wok. I like having a plain sauce so that you aren’t stuck with the same flavor for each of your meals over the week. You can add gochujang to it, or brown sugar, or chili garlic oil. The combinations are endless. Do what you like.
Basic Stir Fry Sauce
- 1½ cups (360 g) chicken stock
- ½ cup (120 g) soy sauce I use low sodium
- 3 tbsp (48 g) oyster sauce
- 2⅓ tbsp (35 g) mirin
- 1 tbsp (15 g) water
- 2 tbsp (16 g) cornstarch
For the Sauce
- Mix all of the ingredients together and store in a glass jar in the fridge. It will last for a couple of weeks. Shake it up prior to use.
STEP 4: Prep Some Rice or Noodles
Prep a good amount of rice or noodles to use as the carb component of your stir fry bowls. I usually do 2-3 cups of dry rice in a rice cooker and store it in a container in the fridge.
STEP 5: Make Your Stir Fry
When it comes time to cook your stir fry each night all it takes is pulling the ingredients out of the fridge and freezer and preparing them to go into your wok. Heat your wok or skillet over high heat, add a bit of oil and add in your vegetables first. I like to make sure the aromatics are on the bottom getting the heat first so that they (especially the onions) can caramelize a bit. Adding a bit of salt to the vegetables will help them cook down a bit faster.
Once the vegetables are about 50% cooked, you can add in the chicken. I go straight from the freezer into the wok. It will be thawed and ready in a couple of minutes. Next I make room in the center for some sauce and add about 1/4 cup or 60g worth as well as any other flavorings to add complexity. In the video on this page I did gochujang and gochugaru. When the sauce has started to thicken, pour in your rice, mix everything together, and it is done. Plate it up and top with the pickled carrots, cucumber, and green onions.
If you need to track the nutritional information the best way to do it is to get out all of your ingredients first, place what you are going to use into a bowl over top of a scale and track the different vegetables and meat in your app as you add to the bowl. I recommend creating a recipe in your tracking app for the chicken and the sauce so that you can easily track them by the gram since they are both more than a single ingredient. For the chicken, add all of the raw weights into the tracking app and then there should be a place to input the total cooked weight, which you should obtain after it has finished cooking and dried off. Once you do this you can use your tracking app to track the chicken by the gram, making things so much easier. The same process goes for the sauce.
Because this recipe is not really a standardized process and you can include however much or little of each ingredient as you want, there isn’t really a strict set of ingredients and rules to follow. Just do what you do. For the sake of demonstration and for you to follow along, I’m going to include the recipe for the meal that I had in the video. I don’t expect anyone to follow this exactly, that’s not what it’s for. There are going to be weird weights and measurements because I was just grabbing stuff out of the containers as I cooked. That is how this meal should be done. I went heavy on the vegetables and light on the oil because at the time I filmed the video I was dieting.
Stir Fry Meal Prep
For the Stir Fry
- Heat a large wok over high heat. Add in some oil.
- Add the vegetables to the wok, with the aromatics on the bottom so they can develop color first.
- Once the vegetables are about 50% of the way cooked, add in the frozen chicken and allow it to cook for a 1-2 minutes.
- Add in the gochujang and gochugaru, stir until everything has a been coated.
- Make a well in the center of the wok and pour in the brown sauce. Once it starts to bubble and thicken, add in the rice. Stir to mix and allow it to heat up.
- Transfer the contents of the wok to a bowl, top with pickled carrots, cucumber, and green onions.