This 5-Ingredient Ground Beef Dinner Might Be the Best Thing I’ve Ever Made

Here's how I turn ground beef into weeknight dinner magic in under 10 minutes.

<p>Simply Recipes / Myo Quinn</p>

Simply Recipes / Myo Quinn

A pound of ground beef can be the start of many great recipes—a juicy burger on the grill, in an all-day bolognese or chili, and stuffed between taco shells. According to my family, however, the greatest of them all is my gingery, garlicky ground beef. Every time I make it, my six-year-old uses his outside voice to squeal, "Mommy, this is the best food you've ever made!"

It's salty, sweet, and meaty, and with just five ingredients it proves that you don't need to be fussy to have a lot of flavor. It's a lightning-fast dinner that comes together in under 10 minutes, especially if you take my recommendation below for 90-second rice. I will gladly go down in family lore with this recipe.

<p>Simply Recipes / Myo Quinn</p>

Simply Recipes / Myo Quinn

How To Make My 5-Ingredient Ground Beef Dinner

Get the rice going before you start. Then, have all of the ingredients prepped before you heat the pan because everything cooks in under 5 minutes. This makes enough for my husband and me. I double it if I'm feeding my three kids too.

  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil, like avocado or vegetable

  • 2 tablespoons grated ginger (from a 2-inch piece)

  • 2 tablespoons grated garlic (from 6 cloves)

  • 1 pound ground beef, any kind

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons agave, any kind of sugar, or maple syrup

  • Cooked rice, for serving

Set a wok or a large heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat. Add the oil and when it starts to ripple, add the ginger and garlic, and continuously stir with a wooden spoon until they become deeply yellow, about 30 seconds.

Add the ground beef and salt, and flatten and crumble the meat into small pieces with a spoon. Cook stirring frequently until no longer pink—this will take about 3 minutes.

Stir in the soy sauce and agave, and continue cooking until the beef darkens just a little, about 1 minute. You don't want to cook it for so long that the liquid evaporates—it won't be super saucy, but it'll be a little wet and glossy. Refer to the image below for how it looks after each step: the cooked ginger and garlic, the browned ground beef, and the glossy ground beef.

Serve over rice. If you want to go through the motions of eating more veggies, top with chopped green onions and serve with sliced Persian cucumbers and carrots.

<p>Simply Recipes / Myo Quinn</p>

Simply Recipes / Myo Quinn

3 Tips for Making My Gingery, Garlicky Ground Beef

1. Ground Beef: Use any kind you prefer. 80% or 70% lean ground beef will be fattier and release more liquid as it cooks. It's not necessary to drain as it'll just become part of the sauce. 90% lean ground beef will yield a drier final dish, which my family prefers.

If you want a leaner cut and more sauce, stir in 1/4 cup water or any kind of stock at the end. You may need to adjust the seasoning with more soy sauce and agave.

2. Soy Sauce: If you only have full-sodium soy sauce, don't salt the ground beef. Right before serving, add salt to taste only if needed.

3. Grated Ginger and Garlic: I'm a super fan of Microplanes—handheld graters that I use every day for grating fresh chiles, cheese, lemons, and the ginger and garlic for this recipe. I own two sizes: a zester and a coarse grater, as shown below.

I keep whole ginger in the freezer and grate just what I need for cooking. Frozen ginger is easier and safer to grate than fresh because the fibers don't get stuck on the blades. You don't need to peel the ginger and can grate it right over the wok.

<p>Simply Recipes / Myo Quinn</p>

Simply Recipes / Myo Quinn

The Shortcut Rice I Keep Stocked in My Pantry

Have you ever skipped a recipe because cooking rice for it feels like a chore? I have, even though I grew up eating rice three times a day and I can make it with my eyes closed.

Whenever making rice from scratch feels like a hassle, I reach for Hetbahn, a microwaveable instant rice and ubiquitous pantry staple for rice-loving Koreans worldwide.

Costco sells Bibigo Hetbahn, a popular brand of cooked white sticky rice. The rice comes portioned in single-serving bowls, and when microwaved for just 90 seconds, it's delicious, just like freshly cooked rice. After all, the slogan for Hetbahn is "rice that tastes better than rice." I keep it stocked in my pantry at all times.

<p>Simply Recipes / Myo Quinn</p>

Simply Recipes / Myo Quinn

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