Filipino Picadillo! A flavorful and hearty combination of ground meat, vegetables, and spices that come together to create a truly satisfying meal.
What makes Filipino Picadillo so special is the perfect balance of sweet, salty, and savory flavors that come from the combination of ingredients like soy sauce, tomatoes, raisins, and green peas. And the best part? It's incredibly easy to make!
Filipino Picadillo (Giniling)
Filipino Picadillo is sometimes referred to as "giniling" or "giniling na baboy and or beef giniling" which translates to ground pork or ground beef. Giniling is a common term used in the Philippines to refer to any dish made with ground meat, and picadillo is one of the most popular dishes made with it.
Regardless of the meat used, the dish typically includes a mix of vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and green peas.
But what really makes this dish unique from other types of Picadillo is the addition of raisins. It may seem like an unusual ingredient but its addition balances the sweet and salty flavor of the dish. Its plump, chewy texture also adds a pleasant contrast to the soft and tender ground meat and vegetables in the dish.
And here's what you need to make Filipino picadillo:
- Ground Pork or Beef - you can use ground pork or ground beef or a mixture of both. For more flavor, use ground meat with a little bit of fat.
- Garlic and onion - use fresh garlic and onion for the best aroma and flavor.
- Tomato paste - use alternatively with tomato sauce. I personally like tomato paste as it also helps thicken the sauce.
- Tomatoes - fresh tomatoes brighten up the flavor of this dish.
- Broth/stock - you can use either beef broth or pork broth. For convenience, you can also use bouillon cubes that have been dissolved in hot water.
- Vegetables - carrots, potatoes, and green peas are the essential vegetables of this giniling recipe.
- Soy sauce and oyster sauce - soy sauce and oyster sauce deepen the flavor of Filipino picadillo. You can substitute soy sauce with fish sauce if preferred.
- Raisins - raisins balance the salty and savory flavor of this dish.
Simmer slowly - This is the key to making the ground meat moist and tender, and the sauce slightly thick and flavorful.
Make sure to cover your pot with a lid and set the heat to medium-low so the liquid doesn't evaporate too quickly. Don't worry about the sauce being too watery as you can reduce it later on.
Halfway through cooking, add in the diced potatoes and carrots. The tomato paste and starch from the potatoes will thicken the sauce as it continues to cook.
Add these ingredients to make it extra festive or if serving for special occasions:
- Quail Eggs - add hard-boiled quail eggs toward the end of the cooking for extra protein, minerals, and vitamins. I mean who doesn't want that? If you can't find quail eggs, use the normal chicken eggs. They are equally good, just a little chunkier 🙂
- Green Olives - adding green olives to Filipino picadillo can add a delicious briny and tangy flavor to the dish. However do note that it can be quite salty, so you may need to adjust the seasoning of the stew accordingly.
What to Serve With
Filipino Picadillo is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed on its own or with a variety of sides. Here are a few options for what to serve it with:
Steamed rice - Rice is a staple food in the Philippines and is commonly served with many dishes, including Picadillo. The rice can be plain, or you can try adding some garlic or other seasonings to give it some extra flavor.
Fried plantains - Fried plantains, also known as "saging saba," are a popular Filipino side dish that complements the sweet and savory flavors of Picadillo.
Sunny side eggs - sunny-side-up eggs are great to serve with to giniling. The runny yolk adds a creamy texture to the dish, which can help balance out the texture of the rice and meat. So if you enjoy eggs, don't hesitate to give this combination a try!
Secret to the Best Giniling
The secret to the best giniling is cooking it one day ahead and serving it the next day after all the flavors have developed. Sounds familiar? Yes, the same applies to adobo, menudo and caldereta.
Storage and Shelf-life
Store left-over Picadollo in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in an airtight container. If you want to store it for a longer period, you can freeze it for up to 1 month for optimal taste and texture.
Watch How to Make It
Filipino Picadillo (Giniling Recipe)
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil (I used canola)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 medium onion (chopped)
- 2 pounds lean ground beef or pork (I use a mixed of both)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 large ripe tomatoes (chopped)
- 3 cups beef broth (add more if preferred)
- 2-3 pcs bay leaves (laurel leaves)
- 2 teaspoon sugar
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- 2 medium potatoes (cut into small cubes)
- 1 large carrot (cut into small cubes)
- ½ cup raisins
- ½ cup green peas (frozen)
- In a pan over medium heat, add oil. Stir-fry garlic and onions until soft and translucent.2 tablespoon vegetable oil, 3 cloves garlic, 1 medium onion
- Add the ground meat. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until no longer pink. Season with black pepper.2 pounds lean ground beef or pork
- Pour the soy sauce, oyster sauce, tomato paste, and fresh tomatoes. Stir until combined. Cover with a lid and simmer until the tomatoes have softened.2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons oyster sauce, 3 tablespoons tomato paste, 3 large ripe tomatoes
- Add beef broth, bay leaves, and sugar. Stir, bring to a simmer then turn down the heat to medium so it bubbles gently. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes with th lid on. Stir occasionally.3 cups beef broth, 2 teaspoon sugar, 2-3 pcs bay leaves
- Add the diced potatoes, carrots, and raisins. Continue cooking UNCOVERED until vegetables become tender and the sauce slightly thickened. Do a taste test. Add more sugar, and season with black pepper and salt, to taste.2 medium potatoes, 1 large carrot, ½ cup raisins, salt and pepper
- Finally, add green peas. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Serve and enjoy!½ cup green peas
Originally published June 2019. Updated March 2023 with new photos, video, and a streamlined recipe after further testing to improve the recipe!
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What type of soy sauce are you using? Its not even dark. It looks like vinegar
Silver Swan Soy Sauce. The addition of the soy was accidentally not captured in the video process. But it's there. I re-use the cup of the soy for water, hence the color.