Tortang Giniling is very similar to a frittata. The traditional Filipino way of cooking torta makes use of banana leaves. I believe our grandmothers did this because they did not have such a thing as a non-stick pan way back then. The banana leaves serves as a liner to help prevent food getting stuck on the pan and limit scorching. Plus, they add flavor and fragrance that’s makes the dish distinctly appealing. Filipino torta is mainly ground meat (giniling), pork is usually used. I prefer ground chicken or turkey when I make my torta.
Here in the Northeast, banana leaves are available in any Asian store. They come frozen in plastic packages. However, I did not use banana leaves to make my torta. I just used a thick bottomed stainless steel pan.
First, sautee onions and garlic in a little oil. Add your ground meat and cook till browned. Then add cubed potatoes and carrots. I did not have red bell peppers on hand but I usually throw some in towards the end of cooking. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until vegetables are tender but not mushy. Let the mixture cool.
Once it has cooled, add 5 eggs to the meat mixture and blend well. Note: do not beat the eggs before adding it in.
Heat a thick bottomed stainless steel pan then add your oil. It’s important to make sure your pan is properly heated and your pan well coated with oil. Add your meat mixture and spread evenly. Cook over medium to low heat until bottom is browned and appears to hold it’s shape. I cook this for about 2-4 minutes depending on the thickness of my torta. Cook until just set and you can see bubbles forming on top. Then transfer the pan to the oven and broil on high until cooked and the top is browned evenly. This only takes a few minutes so make sure to watch it while broiling. Note: You may use a non-stick pan but make sure it’s oven safe.
Filipinos usually eat this with rice and ketchup. This would also be good served with a side of salad.