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    Giniling (Filipino Picadillo)

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

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

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

    Bowl of giniling surrounded by hard boiled eggs.

    Ground meat comes to my rescue when it’s a busy weekday evening and I want to put some decent meal on table, without spending too much time in the kitchen. With its versatility and quick cooking time, it’s the perfect ingredient for whipping up a delicious dish in no time.

    Enter Giniling, the Filipino-style picadillo and new flavor bomb in my kitchen. Its sweet, tangy and umami flavors are finger-licking delicious, and loved by all in my family.

    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.

    Ingredinets Needed

    • Ground pork – As I 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 I gather all the ingredients, it’s pretty straightforward to make this giniling in one pot.

    I chop all the veggies into small pieces. Then, I heat oil in a pan and sauté the onion until it’s soft and translucent. Next, I add in the garlic and cook it for a couple of minutes.

    Then, it’s time to add the ground pork and cook it, stirring and breaking it up with a spatula until it’s no longer pink.

    After that, I add in the tomato paste along with the tomato sauce, black pepper, and soy sauce. I mix everything well and let it cook for 5 minutes.

    Finally, I add in the carrots and potatoes along with half a cup of water and let it cook for 10 minutes.

    Potatoes and carrots added to the pot.

    I toss in the bell peppers, peas, raisins, and a bit of sugar if needed to balance out the tanginess of the tomatoes. Then, I add in the fish sauce and mix everything together until well combined.

    Bell peppers added in.

    You can add half cup 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.

    I let the stew simmer until the potatoes and carrots are tender. Meanwhile, I boil some eggs until they’re hard-boiled. Once everything’s ready, I serve the giniling with sliced eggs on top of a plate of rice.

    Close up of the pot of picadillo.

    Pinoy food is extremely flavorful and tasty. Check out my other Filipino Recipes and find out about this great cuisine. Let me know if you try my version of Giniling and share these new flavors with your friends and family.

    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
    Egg Roll in a Bowl
    Spicy Ramen


    Giniling (Filipino Picadillo)

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

    My 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)
    • ½ cup peas
    • ⅓ 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.


    1. 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.
    2. 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.

    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?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

    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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