My family’s tried and tested formula recipe for a basic and versatile ground meat dish that’s perfectly seasoned and tasty – Ginisa or Giniling Guisado. Simply add your favorite vegetables to the mix for a complete meal or add some tomato sauce to make it a yummy stew!
In the Philippines or at least in our household, this is the foundation of a lot of dishes especially when combined with a lot of vegetables. I always loved coming home to the aroma of this dish cooking in the stove top as I know it would be either made with my favorite vegetable – squash or some green beans, among others.
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 that 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 omelets.
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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
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
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 salt and pepper, to taste. You can use fish sauce instead of salt for better flavor if you wish.
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,
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 as the need arises!
If you like what you see and would like to receive new recipe updates, we’d love you to subscribe to our posts or join our site. Needless to say, we’d love you to like us on Facebook or follow us on Pinterest where you can get more recipes and updates. Thanks and happy browsing!