Giniling Guisado/Ginisa - Basic Recipe (Ground Pork/Beef Sauté)

In the Philippines, or at least in our household --- this is the foundation of a lot of dishes, especially when combined with veggies. I always love coming home to the smell of this dish cooking on the stovetop.  

Giniling is the Tagalog term for ground and specifically refers to ground meat.   Ginisa means to sauté or cook in oil with garlic, onions, or tomatoes which is what this dish is all about. Guisado is a Spanish term which refers to braising or stewing meat with tomatoes, garlic, onions and soy sauce – the Asian guisado, anyway. Which is which? Well, whether you call this ginisa or guisado… it’s down home good especially when you combine it with vegetables or use it for omelettes.


1 Tablespoon Olive or Vegetable oil (more if using non-stick pan)

4-6 Garlic cloves, chopped (love garlic so I always use a lot!)

1 medium Onion, chopped

1 lb ground Pork or Beef (whichever you fancy)

3 Roma or Plum tomatoes, diced and seeded (if desired)

3 Tablespoons soy sauce (adjust it to the level of saltiness you can stand…)

½ cup water

Salt and pepper

Patis / Fish sauce (optional)


Heat oil in medium in a deep pan. Sauté the garlic and onions for about a 1-2 minutes.

Add the ground meat and cook until it changes its color.

Crumble the meat with a fork to prevent clumping as you brown it. Season with a little salt and pepper. Instead of salt you may season it with fish sauce, to taste, if you are feeling a little adventurous!

Add the diced tomatoes and cook for another 3 minutes. Pour in the soy sauce and water.

Bring to a boil. Cover then simmer on low heat for at least half an hour to allow the meat to absorb the flavor of the liquid. Correct the seasoning if necessary. If it needs a bit of lifting up, a little fish sauce will go a long, long way! 

So how can we use this basic recipe in other dishes?
The possibilities are endless….

Add your favorite vegetables and cook until tender  - from cabbage, squash, green or Asian long beans, etc….

Add to baked beans so it becomes  “true” Pork and Beans.

This is also a great stuffing for cabbage or even for Bell Peppers.

Definitely, indispensable for eggplant omelette (Tortang Talong) and Spanish/Potato omelette.

Note: If you intend to use this as a stuffing, either omit the water or let it evaporate as you cook it. But if you wish to add veggies to the stew then retain the liquid so you have enough to pour over the rice.

Make this ahead, freeze and use when the need arises!

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  1. Very clever advice! You're right I can make more and use it later.

    1. Yup, I always makes a big batch of this 'cause it's so versatile. Thanks for stopping by Jules.

  2. im just curious. im just using store bought ground meat. how should i clean it? should i wash graound meat in a strainer? or just cook it directly?

    1. I just cook it directly. Make sure your meat is all good still though. I usually give it a nose test. Just to be sure that it still smells alright. :-D

  3. how much servings can I make with this recipe?

    1. Depends on what you use this for. I don't serve it like this - it's always accompanied with vegetables so with that - 6-8 servings should be safe.

  4. Hi, can I use tin tomatoes for this dish?

    1. You can if you want to - I prefer fresh though but if that's not available canned is fine, too. :)

  5. Thanks for sharing your recipe. So simple and easy yet seem so delicious. God bless!


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