Hello sweet moms and parents! My name’s April with relaxlangmom.com, your sanctuary of sanity in motherhood from the sunny shores of my little island.
Today I’m sharing my quick and easy version of Pork Giniling, a classic Filipino ground pork dish loved by kids and grownups alike.
Pork giniling, finely ground pork sautéed with vegetables and seasoned with soy sauce and garlic, is one of the most iconic Filipino recipes because of ease of preparation and affordability.
In recent times, giniling has found new life with the resurgence of interest in traditional Filipino cuisine. Young cooks reframe it as a template for creativity and cultural rediscovery, experimenting with alternative proteins and alternative ingredients inspired by local heritage.
Tips for a better pork giniling
The key to great giniling lies in the pork. Traditionally, cuts like shoulder and belly are used, with their generous marbling producing rich, flavorful meat perfect for mincing. Having it fresh from the market is the best option, you can even have the butcher cut a slab of pork shoulder (kasim) and have it ground. If you’re cooking it for a dish, have them ground it on larger sizes so that you have more texture. Keep it in the refrigerator if you’re still not cooking it immediately. Personally, I also don’t wash the pork giniling because I read somewhere that it promotes bacteria growth.
The versatility of ground pork allows it to pair well with a multitude of flavors and textures. Filipino cooks season giniling with a balance of sweet, salty and sour notes. Soy sauce and patis (fish sauce) contribute savory umami, while ingredients like tomato sauce, calamansi juice, and banana ketchup lend a tangy counterpoint. The addition of vegetables like carrots, potatoes and peas not only extend its affordability but also yield well-rounded wholesomeness.
Every region puts its own stamp on giniling. Ilonggo cooks have Pork Giniling Sarciado. Kapampangans have Tortang Kapampangan. Ilocanos have Bagis. Metro Manilans rely on canned goods for convenience. Of course, there’s also the classic Arroz ala Cubana. But whether eaten over rice or made into Torta, it remains a classic comfort food that warms the soul.
The technique for making giniling is simplicity itself. Finely mince the pork and brown in oil until no longer pink. Add aromatics like garlic and onions, along with seasonings and vegetables of choice. Stir fry until the vegetables are tender, letting the flavors mingle and deepen. If you’re cooking it ahead, finish with a splash of acid like calamansi or vinegar to preserve it and also for brightness. If you happen to get a fatty pork giniling, just let it cook until you can extract the fats so its not “masebo” when you cook it.
But if you’re here for the Pork Giniling recipe, see below!
I hope this helps get you started, mama. Let me know if you have any other questions!