Poqui Poqui, for Filipinos of non-Ilocano background, sounds an amusing name for a food dish! I could go into a long story about the name of this dish, along with others of Ilocano heritage such as warek-warek, kabatiti and utong, but I’m leaving that as a research project for those with curious minds.
Poqui Poqui consists of the flesh of grilled eggplants sautéed in garlic, onion and tomato then combined with beaten eggs. For the English translation I have put down frittata, but it’s not the same as an Italian frittata. Poqui poqui is not as dry, the texture is softer, and it doesn’t form a set shape like traditional frittata.
You can also boil the eggplant to remove the skin but for me it must be grilled to give the dish its characteristic slight smokey taste. My favourite accompaniments for poqui poqui are bagnet (the Vigan equivalent of lechon kawaili) or longganisa.
Although the dish does not appear as visually appealing as the similar tortang talong the flavour is so amazing you can’t able to stop eating this! Give my recipe a try and let me know if you agree.
- 3 large eggplant
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 small white onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 2 small tomatoes diced
- 3 eggs lightly beaten
- salt and black pepper to season
- Under a griller, or over a gas flame or charcoal, grill the eggplants until the skin is well blackened. Remove from the heat and place into a paper bag to cool.
- Peel off the skin, chop the flesh and reserve.
- In a wok or saucepan heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the tomato, cook for 2 to 3 minutes until softened, using the back of the spoon to mash.
- Turn the heat up and add the eggplant flesh, cook for 1 minute.
- Pour in the beaten egg, and continue to cook while stirring until the egg is just set. Turn off the heat and season with salt and pepper.
- Serve hot with rice and your favourite accompaniments.
I prefer the onion to be only lightly cooked so it still retains a crunch and adds extra texture to the poqui poqui.
PS if anyone gets stuck working out the amusement with the name of this dish leave a comment below with your guess and I’ll let you know if you are correct!