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.
- Heat the cooking oil in a frying pan.
- Saute the onion, tomatoes and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
- 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.
- 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.
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
- 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.
- Heat the cooking oil in a pan.
- Saute the garlic, shallots (or onions) and tomatoes until fragrant and slightly softened.
- Add the chopped cooked eggplants. Season with salt and pepper. Stir.
- Pour in the beaten eggs, stirring the eggplant mixture as you pour. Cook, stirring, just until the eggs are set but still wet.
- 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