Poqui poqui is a popular vegetable Ilocano dish made of grilled eggplants that are sautéd in tomatoes, onions, and garlic. It's an awesome side dish for lechon kawali, bagnet, barbeque or even grilled or fried fish (I'm drooling as I type this).
After some googling, I found out that its name origin comes from the word "poki" which means to cut up or mash in Hawaii. It was most likely termed by Ilocanos who migrated to the country (source).
My Mama cooked this dish for us a few times when we were kids. I never found out its name until I met my then-boyfriend (now husband) Ilocano family. Apparently, Poqui Poqui is a house favorite and they make it as often they make Tortang Talong.
They make it really really good. I had to ask them for a few tips before deciding on making a recipe for the blog.
A few tips
- Roast the eggplants to give the dish a nice smoky flavor. Use your stovetop or if you're really into it and making a big batch, I recommend using a charcoal grill.
- Saute the aromatics and tomatoes to bring out their natural sweetness. Wait until they're fragrant and translucent before adding the chopped grilled eggplants.
- Put lots of eggs was the advice I received from my Ilocano sister-in-law. It makes the dish lush, rich and extra flavor from the yolk. In this recipe, I used 1 egg per 1 piece of eggplant.
- Finally, season with fish sauce to bring it all together. This is the base flavor of Poqui Poqui.
More Filipino recipes you MUST try!
WATCH THE VIDEO ON HOW TO MAKE POQUI POQUI
- 5 eggplants (roasted)
- 4 eggs (beaten, use 5 if using small eggs)
- 1 onion (sliced)
- 2 tomatoes (sliced)
- 5 cloves garlic (chopped)
- ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce (to taste)
- green onions
- extra tomatoes for garnish (optional)
- Pierce eggplant with a fork in random areas. Roast for 5 to 10 minutes on the stovetop over medium flame. Turn occassionally until the skin is charred and flesh has softened. Let it cool completely. Peel off the skin then flatten with a fork. Discard the stem and cut the flesh into pieces. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a pan. Saute onions and garlic until fragrant and translucent. Add chopped tomatoes. Continue cooking until it softens.
- Add eggplants. Stir and lightly mash with a cooking spoon. Season with fish sauce. Let it simmer over low to medium heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Season with black pepper then add the chopped green onions (optional).
- Pour beaten eggs. Stir and continue cooking until eggs are slightly set but still wet. Remove from heat and transfer to a serving plate. Serve with your favorite fried meat or fish or eat on its own. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes and Tips:
- Japanese and Chinese eggplant
- White Eggplant
- Green Eggplant
- Globe Eggplant