Poqui-poqui,  an Ilocano egg and eggplant dish | casaveneracion.com

Poqui-poqui, an Ilocano egg and eggplant dish

I have a second version for cooking poqui-poqui. We loved the first version (on page two of this post) but this one is really so much tastier. What’s the difference between the first and second versions? First, the addition of a bit of pesto and mayonnaise to the beaten eggs.

Okay, that makes this second version not so traditional but then is following tradition and insisting on being a darn purist more important? Any dish in any culture is always undergoing some kind of evolution, after all. So, why not a new way to enjoy an old favorite?

Second, the more important modification, is the way the eggplants are cooked. Instead of cooking them separately and adding them to the sauteed aromatics, I cooked the eggplants with the aromatics. Slowly over low flame. The effect? The eggplants absorbed the flavors of the tomatoes, onions and garlic. My goodness, what a difference it made!

Note that this version uses more eggs because the eggplant mixture is mushier and requires more in the form of a binder.

Recipe: Poqui-poqui


  • 4 tbsps. of vegetable cooking oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 tomatoes, diced
  • half a garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 large eggplants, diced
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp. of pesto (see recipe and variation)
  • 4 tbsps. of mayonnaise (see recipe or use store-bought)


  1. Heat the cooking oil in a frying pan.
  2. Saute the onion, tomatoes and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the eggplants. Season with more salt and pepper. Pour in about a quarter cup of water. Lower the heat, cover and cook until the eggplants are mushy and the mixture is quite dry.
  4. Beat the eggs, pesto and mayonnaise until smooth. Pour  into the pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook as though you were cooking scrambled eggs. Slowly stirring over the lowest heat until the eggs are set but still wet.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 2

The older recipe posted on April 29, 2011 is below.


It’s not the best-looking vegetable dish in the world. But, oh man, it sure is one of the tastiest meatless dishes I have tried — and I have tried a lot. Poqui-poqui is an Ilocano egg and eggplant dish that is so simple to make and with so few ingredients. The secret? First, the eggplant. Not all eggplants are created equal — some are sweet, some are bland, some are somewhat bitter. The best eggplants for poqui-poqui are the sweet ones because they create a delicate balance with the tartness of the tomatoes.

The other secret? The proportion of eggplants to eggs. Use too many eggs and the egg flavor will overpower the delicate sweetness of the eggplants. Use too many eggplants and the texture doesn’t turn out so good.

casaveneracion.com Poqui-poqui: an Ilocano egg and eggplant dish

The last secret? Lots of onions (shallots, if you can get your hands on them work best) and firm juicy tomatoes.


  • 4 large eggplants (the long Asian variety)
  • 4 tbsps. of vegetable cooking oil
  • half a garlic (the Ilocos garlic is recommended), minced
  • 4 shallots (or two onions), roughly chopped
  • 3 to 4 firm, plump and juicy tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. casaveneracion.com Poqui-poqui: an Ilocano egg and eggplant dish
  2. Grill the eggplants. You can do this over live coals or simply on a gas-fired stove. Peel off the charred skin and chop the flesh.
  3. Heat the cooking oil in a pan.
  4. casaveneracion.com Poqui-poqui: an Ilocano egg and eggplant dish
  5. Saute the garlic, shallots (or onions) and tomatoes until fragrant and slightly softened.
  6. Add the chopped cooked eggplants. Season with salt and pepper. Stir.
  7. Pour in the beaten eggs, stirring the eggplant mixture as you pour. Cook, stirring, just until the eggs are set but still wet.
  8. Turn off the heat and transfer the cooked poqui-poqui to a platter immediately to stop further cooking in the residual heat. Serve at once.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 10 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4


  1. mitzipot says

    Hi miss connie, i just tried this for breakfast knina along with longanisa and garlic rice, i thought that i would be the only one to love this because i can eat eggplant everyday but am sure glad that i was able to try it before it was all gone..Thanks for sharing!

  2. says

    For the longest time, I thought the only Filipino way of cooking eggplant with eggs was torta style. I got lazy one time and cooked it this way instead. I always thought I invented it. LOL! I never knew it was called poqui poqui either until I saw your first post :)

  3. JMP`` says

    This is essentially the way I’ve eaten it my entire life…minus the pesto/mayo and substitute the salt with Ilocano Patis.

    Guisar style. Many many MANY Ilocano dishes are done guisar-style. Just don’t forget…patis…not salt :)

  4. says

    I am an Ilocano, though not from the Ilocos region. From Pangasinan. I can ask around though, as I have also been intrigued by the name. This time, alam ko walang nakialam na Chinese… hehehe… as in the “waknatoy”

  5. Aida C. villamor says

    I used to have this for lunch way back when my friend, Mayet Siplbut before she migrated to Florida. Manang Leoning, her ever loyal helper cooks it perfectly to our delight. Manang, who hails from Abra is also an expert in preparing the bagoong isda which she calls it “samoneneng”. I’m not so sure if I spelled it right but that’s how they pronounce it. I’m beginning to miss the good old days……with my good, good friend, Mayet Siplon-Green.

  6. says

    I’m an Ilocana but don’t really remember eating this at all. I’m sure I have when I was a child coz my Grandmother is such a great cook, just couldn’t remember. I’m getting eggplants later today and will make this. Thanks Connie.

  7. Aisa C. Villamor says

    Sorry I misspelled my name and Mayet’s name also….It’s should be Aisa C. Villamor and not Aida. Mayet should be Mayet Siplon. Thank you.

  8. says

    i’m a genuine ilocana but i didnt bother to ask why the name is such… others call it also pongki-pongki…will try to ask the oldies if there is an etymology for this one…

  9. PITS, MANILA says


  10. says

    Haven’t tried this dish either. A definite try for me. Maybe this weekend so that I can have my friends taste and rate me too. Thanks for sharing! :)

  11. says

    It appears that the people I asked about the etymology of the name of the dish thought that I was either joking or did not know how to really answer me at all. My aunt (from Laoag) just laughed…pero there’s this niggling feeling that it may not be related to the woman’s private part at all. It is because the term is closer to the Tagalog word for vagina. In Ilocano, vagina doesn’t begin with a letter P. It may sound similar, but it starts with a letter U. My guess is that it may sound a bit irreverent, but it is really not about that part of the woman’s anatomy. Unless of course, one considers some link of the eggplant’s apparent appearance as a phallic symbol? But for all the trouble of finding the answers, it is still good to learn that we can perhaps learn about all these from the older people in the Ilocos region whose cuisine is one of the very best in the Philippines.

  12. Connie says

    hehehe I like the reference to the eggplant in relation to the name of the dish. Wicked hahahahaha

  13. Leslie says

    Wow. Now I know what it’s called. :) My mom is an Ilocana and always makes this as a side to grilled fish.

  14. Jhen Lao says

    Connie, I have always been a big fan of your site, actually I am soooo thankful to you since I re-discovered my love for cooking thanks to you. Anyway, I have tried this dish way back in 2008 when we had our Departmental outing in Ilocos Norte and we loved it. I have also tried cooking this dish and my Mom loved it. One of these days I will try making it again using your recipe. Thanks for being there to share your recipes. You make cooking sooo simple.

  15. via says

    I tasted this for the first time in Laoag. I’ll try subsituting silken tofu for the eggs for a vegan version.

  16. essie says

    I am Ilocano(GI- genuine Ilocano from Ilocos Norte) I have had this recipe when I was a little girl, we never have a name for it though, I guess the fact that its easy to avail of these veggies in Ilocos, you can prepare it right there and then, Ilocos homes always have the garlic and shallots( we call it lasuna different from onion( sibulyas or sibuyas)), tomatoes and eggplant( from our bangkag(farm by the river) and eggs from the poultry, You can either chop the grilled eggplant( we call it tinuno(grilled) nga tarong(eggplant) or just peel it press the eggplant meat a bit set aside( do not remove the stalk of the eggplant) or soak it in the beaten eggs, saute the garlic, shallots and tomatoes, season it with salt and pepper set it aside, fry the grilled eggplant a bit(low fire) top it with the sauteed garlic, shallots and tomatoes( spread it on top or around) pour the beaten eggs and fry making sure that it’s not overdone, this will look beautiful in the plate, we usually pair it with plain fried rice, we actually use the same frying pan we used in cooking the eggplant, cook the rice right after removing the fried eggplant just add a little bit of oil and salt, my Mom or Dad use to do it this way to impress us, we will then have one eggplant in each plate,. or cook it the way you do it which is faster, we never really have a name for, who ever coined the name “Poqui-poqui” did not refer it to the private part of a woman, its truly yummy and easy to prepare. I sometimes add chopped ham, if you want to make it richer in taste.