Tortang Giniling is a Filipino ground beef omelette. It is unique in that the omelette is made more like a fritter and is filled with lots of beef and veggies. It is a delicious recipe for breakfast or for a light lunch or snack.
Filipino Ground Beef Omelette
Tortang giniling is a simple Filipino omelette made with ground beef.
This omelette isn’t like your traditional omelette where the egg batter is cooked and folded around cheese and other fillings.
Rather, this Filipino omelette is made in more of a fritter style. The beef and vegetables for the filling are first sauteed and then transfered to a bowl. Once they have cooled slightly, they are mixed with beaten eggs.
This batter is then ladled onto your hot skillet in the same way you would ladle pancake batter onto a hot griddle, making small, roughly 3 inch, round omelette fritters.
What does “Tortang Giniling” mean?
“Torta” is a word that you find variations of used in many cultures (Spanish, for example, and a variant in the French “tarte”). It is used to describe a number of dishes, but it often refers to a flat cake, of sorts.
In the Philippines, a “torta” refers to an egg fritter, or omelette.
“Giniling” is the Tagalog (one of the major languages spoken in the Philipines) word for “ground meat”.
Tips for making Tortang Giniling
With all the vegetables and meat right inside this omelette, flipping it can get tricky if you use too large of a pan and let your batter spread over too large of an area.
That’s why we like to make these into pancake-sized omelettes (or fritters). (Roughly 3 inches in diameter.) This will make flipping these ground beef omelettes easier.
How To Serve Tortang Giniling
To those of us in the States, this sounds like a bit of an unusual breakfast, but if you like savory breakfast dishes, this is definitely worth a try.
If savory breakfasts aren’t your thing, this makes for a great lunch or snack as well!
Tortang Giniling (Filipino Beef Omelette)
Yield: 15 (3-4 inch) omelette fritters
- 1 Tbsp oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tomato, diced
- 1 lb ground beef
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- ½ c peas
- 5 eggs, lightly beaten
- Vegetable or canola oil for frying
- In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute until softened, 2-3 minutes.
- Add the diced tomato to the skillet and continue cooking for 5 minutes, letting the tomatoes release their juices.
- Add the ground beef to the vegetables and saute until browned, 5-7 minutes.
- Add the salt and pepper. Mix well. Taste the mixture and adjust the salt and pepper as desired.
- Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl. Add the peas and let the mixture cool slightly.
- Once the meat mixture has cooled, add the beaten eggs and mix well.
- Wipe out the skillet you used for the meat and heat a little oil in it, over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and spoon ¼ c of the egg and beef mixture into the skillet, flatten the mixture and shape it roughly into a 3-4 inch patty. (Depending on the size of your skillet, you may be able to cook more than one omelette at a time. Just be careful not to overcrowd the pan, or flipping the omelettes will be difficult.)
- Cook the omelette for 2-3 minutes on the first side. (If your omelettes cook faster than this, your pan is too hot. Reduce the heat for the next batch.)
- Flip the omelette and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes on the second side, until golden.
- Transfer the omelette to a paper towel-lined plate and continue with the remaining batter. (Keeping the plate with the cooked omelettes in a very low oven will keep them warm until all are made.)