Vegan giniling using lentils

Lentil Giniling (Lentil Crumble)

Giniling is a popular Filipino ulam that uses ground meat, usually pork, as its main ingredient. For this vegan version I used crumbled sprouted lentils. I also added chopped walnuts for texture, but a nut-free alternative to this would be fried tofu or tempeh crumbled or cut into small pieces.

These days, inflation has made a lot of our food expensive, and beans are among the most affordable sources of protein and nutrients. Beans, when soaked, sprouted, and cooked, double or triple in volume and can be good for several meals. 

For instance, this recipe uses a cup of dried brown lentils and the yield is about 3 cups. The giniling seasoning is flexible enough so you can serve the lentil crumble several ways. 

Serving ideas

  • Make arroz a la Cubana. Serve with hot rice and fried saba.
  • Add to vegan tortang talong.
  • Add to Buddha bowls or bibimbap with a side of kimchi. Make your own!
  • Mix with spaghetti aglio olio or toss in cold pasta salad.  
  • Use as the meat alternative in quesadilla with vegan cheese and hot sauce.
  • Put inside pita pockets along with a slather of hummus, crunchy cucumber sticks, and fresh tomato slices.


  • 1 cup dried brown lentils
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 4 to 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ¼ to ½ cup of walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil
  • Water

Giniling seasoning

  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp chili oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper


  1. In a large bowl, soak lentils overnight. Make sure that the lentils are covered with at least 2 inches of water. 
  2. Drain and rinse the lentils twice and sprout for at least 2 days, until tails emerge. (See sprouting instructions)
  3. Steam the lentils until tender, around 20 minutes. Alternatively you can boil the lentils then drain it well.  
  4. Tip lentils into a bowl. Roughly mash half of it with a fork. Don’t make it smooth. You want it crumbly. Set aside.
  5. Make your giniling seasoning by mixing the ingredients in a separate bowl.
  6. Heat pan to medium and add oil. Sauté diced onions and carrots until soft. 
  7. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
  8. Tip lentils and giniling seasoning into the pan. Mix well to distribute the seasoning evenly. 
  9. Sauté until the lentil giniling is fairly dry and there is a sizzling sound, around 5 to 10 minutes. 
  10. Remove from heat. Mix in the chopped walnuts. Serve hot or at room temperature. 

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