Ginisang Corned Beef

Time20 minutes
YieldsServes 2 to 4
(Jade Cuevas / Los Angeles Times)
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A classic Filipino stir-fry often eaten for breakfast, ginisang corned beef draws influences from Spanish sofrito (a basic sauté of tomato, onion and garlic) and American corned beef, both popularized in the Philippines during periods of occupation.

The namesake corned beef is always, always canned. This is crucial. Premium brands like Palm or Ox & Palm, found at any Asian grocery store, are preferable — they’re made with what seems like good-quality beef from New Zealand — but the Libby’s and Hereford’s brands at most supermarkets will work as well. You can even use corned beef hash, mellowed out with diced potatoes, in a pinch.

Once you’ve sautéed the onion and garlic and the aromatic base of ginisang, add the corned beef and tomato. At the simmering stage, choose your own adventure: Do you want a soupy or a dry ginisang? (My preference is reflected in the recipe.)

A handful of frozen peas at the end adds a pop of freshness. Watch their color; when they turn vibrant green in the pan, they’re ready. Season with black pepper and fish sauce (preferably patis, the salty-sharp Filipino fish sauce, though any fish sauce works) or a pinch of salt. Ginisang corned beef is most commonly eaten with rice or fried potatoes, but you can also stuff it between slices of toast and take it down in sandwich form.


Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until fragrant and slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Add the corned beef in one piece and cook until heated through, using a spatula or fork to break it apart, about 2 minutes.


Add the tomatoes and press them down in the pan. Continue cooking until the tomatoes are soft and have released their liquid, about 3 minutes. Stir in the green peas and cook until bright green and tender, about 1 minute. Season with fish sauce and black pepper. Remove from the heat and serve with rice.