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    Giniling (Filipino Picadillo)

    Picadillo is one of my favorite dishes. Be it some Caribbean style like our Puerto Rican Picadillo or Mexican style or this Filipino version of the same popular and famous dish.

    It just takes different colors, flavors and taste everywhere it goes!

    Let me introduce you to this Pinoy favorite comfort food, Giniling. Once you make this, you’ll come to it every time you’re wondering what to cook with ground pork or even ground beef.

    Bowl of giniling surrounded by hard boiled eggs.

    What is Giniling

    Giniling is the Tagalog term for ‘ground meat’. What chili is to Americans, giniling is to most Filipinos. It’s one of the simplest Filipino dishes, yet is bursting with beautiful pinoy flavors.

    It’s their ultimate comfort food that they grew up eating for weeknight meals or sharing with large crowds during special celebration times.

    Like menudo and asado, giniling is also a tomato based stew, one of Spain’s legacies to its colonies. The sautéing of onions, garlic and tomatoes in oil is similar to the preparation of sofrito in Spanish culture.

    Traditionally, giniling is made with ground pork, but many love to make it with ground beef, and it’s not that rare to see some ground chicken version of the same dish.

    Ground pork along with loads of veggies is simmered in a delicious tomato based sauce until all the flavors mingle together to create an amazingly delicious dish.

    Potful of this Filipino version of picadillo.

    Many prefer the addition of raisins or even pineapple bits to add sweetness to the concoction. It’s very similar to the Spanish version, except it has Asian staples like soy sauce and fish sauce and it excludes the green olives and capers you find in some Caribbean countries.

    It’s almost always served with hard boiled eggs (yes, sounds weird but somehow it works awesome). Sound interesting? Let’s get cooking.

    Bowl of giniling surrounded by hard boiled eggs.

    These simple pantry staple ingredients are needed for Giniling

    • Ground pork – As pointed out before, you can use the same recipe for ground beef, ground chicken or half & half pork and beef.
    • Veggies – Onions, carrots, potatoes, bell peppers and peas.
    • Sauces – Soy sauce, fish sauce, tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes.
    • Tomato paste
    • Garlic
    • Raisins
    • Salt & pepper
    • Oil

    How to cook Filipino Picadillo

    Once you gather all the ingredients, it’s a pretty simple affair to make this giniling happen in one pot.

    Chop all the veggies into small pieces. Heat oil in a pan and sauté onion till soft and translucent. Add in garlic and cook for a couple of minutes.

    Time to add in ground pork and cook, stirring and breaking with a spatula till it’s no longer pink.

    Add in tomato paste along with tomato sauce, black pepper and soy sauce. Mix well and cook for 5 minutes.
    Add in carrots and potatoes with half a cup of water and cook for 10 minutes.

    Potatoes and carrots added to the pot.

    Add in bell peppers, peas, raisins, sugar (if needed to cut down the tang in the tomatoes) and fish sauce. Mix well.

    Bell peppers added in.

    You can add half cup of more water if the mixture is getting too dry. Giniling is supposed to be a semi dry dish, not too soupy and not too dry.

    Potful of cooked giniling.

    Cook till potatoes and carrots are tender. While the stew is cooking, you can boil some eggs in water till hard boiled.

    Serve the giniling along with sliced eggs on a plateful of rice.

    Storing and using leftovers

    This ground pork dish refrigerates and freezes beautifully. Store it in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator, or a couple of months in your freezer.

    Once you make this, it’s great leftovers for lunches and even breakfast. Fried eggs will also go beautifully for some Asian style breakfast the next day. Or you can make Tortang Giniling, which is nothing but mixing eggs with leftover giniling and making fritter like omelettes… Interesting.

    Close up of the pot of picadillo.

    Pinoy food is extremely flavorful and tasty. If you’re curious for Asian recipes other than Chinese and Thai, give these New Filipino flavors a go. We are sure you will fall in love with this saucy, tomatoey, tangy and umami version of pork stew. It’s all fun!!

    Giniling, on my Gyspy Plate… enjoy!

    The bowl of pork giniling atop the Gypsy Plate.

    Looking for more tasty ground pork recipes? Try my…
    Smoky Chipotle Chili
    Swedish Meatballs
    Korean Ground Pork Soup


    Giniling (Filipino Picadillo)

    Yield: 6 servings
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 45 minutes
    Total Time: 55 minutes

    This pork Giniling, or Filipino Picadillo, is a classic Pinoy comfort food. Ground pork and veggies simmer in a tomato based sauce packed with great flavors. And it's so easy!


    • 1.5lbs ground pork
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 2 cups tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
    • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
    • 3-4 Tbsp soy sauce
    • 2 tsp fish sauce
    • 1 potato, diced small
    • 8-10 baby carrots or 1 big carrot, diced small
    • 1.5 colored bell peppers (you can use any colors)
    • 1/2 cup peas
    • 1/3 cup raisins
    • 4-6 boiled eggs (optional)
    • 1 tsp sugar (optional)
    • Black pepper to taste
    • Salt, if needed
    • 2-3 Tbsp oil


    1. Heat oil in a pan over medium high heat. Sauté onions till translucent. Add in chopped garlic and sauté for a couple of minutes.
    2. Add in ground pork and sauté by breaking it up with a spatula. Cook till it is no longer pink.
    3. Add in tomato sauce along with tomato paste, soy sauce and black pepper. Mix well.
    4. Add in carrots and potatoes along with half cup of water and cook for 10 minutes.
    5. Add in bell peppers, peas, raisins, sugar (if needed to cut down the tang of tomatoes), fish sauce and mix well. If the mixture is getting too dry, add in another half cup of water.
    6. Cook till potatoes and carrots are cooked and tender. Taste and adjust salt and sugar.
    7. Boil hard boiled eggs, cut and serve along with giniling.
    Nutrition Information
    Yield 6 Serving Size 1
    Amount Per Serving Calories 680Total Fat 44gSaturated Fat 11gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 28gCholesterol 293mgSodium 2609mgCarbohydrates 31gFiber 5gSugar 15gProtein 42g

    Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.

    Did you make this recipe?

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    Picture of Alpana, blogger and recipe developer at GypsyPlate

    Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.

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      2 thoughts on “Giniling (Filipino Picadillo)”

      • Can I skip the fish sauce, or use extra soy sauce instead? Also, if using pineapple instead of raisins, how much pineapple? TIA. Looks delicious!

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