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Tortang Giniling: Filipino Meat Omelet

Tortang Giniling, a traditional Filipino meat omelet, is a beloved family dish passed down through generations. However, unlike most Filipino torta recipes, Tortang Giniling is a unique dish typically enjoyed at home, rarely seen in commercial establishments like restaurants and carenderias. In this article, we’ll share the secret to making this delicious and hearty dish that can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, or as a packed meal for school or work.

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Ground Meat Omelet

Tortang Giniling is a Filipino omelet made with ground meat (usually beef or pork) sautéed with garlic, onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, and other vegetables, mixed with beaten eggs, and then fried. Unlike traditional omelets, Tortang Giniling involves mixing the cooked ground meat with the beaten egg mixture before frying. This savory dish is best served with garlic fried rice and banana ketchup, providing a satisfying and easy-to-prepare meal for the whole family.

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The Spanish Influence on Tortang Giniling

Tortang Giniling can be traced back to the Spanish colonization of the Philippines, which lasted more than three centuries. The Spanish influence is evident in many aspects of Filipino culture, including language, religion, and cuisine.

Tortang Giniling, also known as “tortilla de carne picada” in Spanish, is a prime example of this fusion between Filipino and Spanish culinary traditions. In Spanish, ” torta ” refers to various dishes, including omelets, cakes, and pies. In the context of Tortang Giniling, “torta” refers to the omelet aspect of the dish, while “giniling” is the Filipino term for ground meat.

Spanish cuisine has a long tradition of using ground meat in various dishes, such as “albóndigas” (meatballs) and “empanadas” (meat-filled pastries). Filipino cuisine adapted and integrated these culinary ideas, incorporating local ingredients and cooking techniques to create unique and flavorful dishes like Tortang Giniling.

Watch my Tortang Giniling Recipe Video

Cooking Tips for Tortang Giniling

Here are some helpful tips to make the perfect Tortang Giniling:

  1. Go lean: Choose lean ground meat for a healthier, less greasy dish.
  2. Soak those potatoes: Soaking the diced potatoes in water before cooking helps remove excess starch, resulting in a better texture.
  3. Banana leaves: Using banana leaves when frying the Tortang Giniling adds an authentic touch and imparts a subtle, unique flavor.
  4. Raisins: Including raisins adds a sweet contrast to the savory flavors, making the dish even more delicious.
  5. Cooking in batches: If you’re making multiple Tortang Giniling, fry them in batches to ensure even cooking and prevent overcrowding in the pan.
a series of photos showing how to make a rice dish.

More Filipino Torta Recipes

If you enjoyed making Tortang Giniling and want to try other Filipino torta recipes, check out these two variations that are also easy to make and equally delicious:

  1. Tortang Sardinas
  2. Tortang Talong

Making Memories with Tortang Giniling

Growing up in a Filipino family, Tortang Giniling has always been a comforting and nostalgic dish for me. However, using banana leaves to fry this dish, which I learned from my parents and grandparents, adds a unique and authentic touch that sets this recipe apart.

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Tortang Giniling is not only a tasty and versatile meal; it’s also a way to share a piece of our culture with others. Whether serving it for breakfast, lunch or as a packed meal for school or work, Tortang Giniling is a delightful reminder of the warmth and love of home-cooked Filipino meals.

So why try this recipe and create your family memories with Tortang Giniling? Enjoy!


Tortang Giniling

5 from 1 vote
Course: Main, AppetizersCuisine: FilipinoDifficulty: Easy


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Tortang Giniling is a delicious Filipino dish that has become a staple in many households across the Philippines. The dish is a delightful marriage of ground meat and egg, making it an excellent option for a hearty breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

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  • 500 grams 500 grams Ground Lean Pork

  • 200 grams 200 grams Carrot (small diced)

  • 200 grams 200 grams Potato (small diced – soaked in water)

  • 50 grams 50 grams Green Bell Pepper (small diced)

  • 50 grams 50 grams Red Bell Pepper (small diced)

  • 1 medium 1 medium Tomato (small diced)

  • 1 medium 1 medium Red Onion (small diced)

  • 5 cloves 5 cloves Garlic (minced)

  • 50 grams 50 grams Raisins

  • 30 grams 30 grams Chicken Liver Pate

  • 1 tsp 6 g Salt

  • 1 tsp 2 g Pepper

  • 5 5 (slightly beaten)

  • Cooking Oil

  • Banana Leaves


  • In a pan over medium heat, heat oil. Sauté onions, garlic, and tomato, cooking until softened.
  • Add ground pork and cook, breaking it into pieces with the back of a ladle or spoon, until lightly browned—season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add the chicken liver pate and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add potatoes, carrots, and cook until vegetables are tender.
  • Add bell peppers and raisins, cooking until tender-crisp. Set the cooked mixture aside to cool.
  • Lightly beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl and mix in the cooled pork giniling mixture.
  • Prepare the banana leaves by placing them over an open flame for a few seconds, just until they soften. Wipe each leaf with a clean, dry cloth.
  • In another pan, heat oil and place one piece of banana leaf. Pour a portion of the giniling mixture onto the leaf and fry for about 3 minutes on each side, until golden brown and cooked through. Place the cooked Tortang Giniling on a cooking rack to allow any excess oil to drip off.
  • Repeat the process with the remaining giniling mixture, cooking in batches if needed.
  • Serve your delicious Tortang Giniling hot with a vinegar dipping sauce, steamed rice, or a fresh salad for a complete and satisfying meal.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Tortang Giniling?

Tortang Giniling is a traditional Filipino dish made from ground meat, usually pork or beef, mixed with vegetables and eggs. It’s a ground meat omelet or frittata.

How do I serve Tortang Giniling?

It is often served with rice and a side of banana ketchup, but you can also pair it with bread or enjoy it on its own.

Can I make Tortang Giniling vegetarian?

Yes, you can use a plant-based ground meat substitute or tofu to make a vegetarian or vegan version.

Can I make Tortang Giniling in advance?

Yes, you can make it in advance and refrigerate it. Then, reheat in a pan or microwave when ready to serve.

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