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A platter of poqui poqui with grilled eggplant, onion, tomatoes, and scrambled eggs

A Classic Ilocano Poqui Poqui Recipe

Ilocos is the birthplace of numerous dishes well-loved across the archipelago. The long list includes pinakbet, bagnet with KBL (kamatis, bagoong, and lasona), Vigan longganisa, and the ubiquitous orange empanada. Not to be left behind is the humble poqui poqui, a vegetable dish milder in flavor than the previous items but still worthy of national (even global!) acclaim. 

Think of this Ilocano favorite as a deconstructed tortang talong of sorts. Grill eggplants until they’re smoky and tender inside and black and flaky outside. Next, peel off that outer layering to reveal the plump flesh. Instead of mashing the talong à la torta, slice them into bite-sized chunks. They also differ in how you cook the beaten eggs. Here, the goal is not to make an omelet. After adding the eggs, stir all ingredients until the dish resembles a loose scramble.

What this dish lacks in looks, it more than makes up for in the nutri-sarap department. Try this poqui poqui recipe today and uncover one of the country’s culinary gems. Mangan tayon!

Ingredients for Poqui Poqui

A box of Knorr Chicken Cubes
  • 4 pcs large eggplants
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pc white onion, peeled and minced
  • 2 pcs medium tomatoes, cubed
  • 1 pc Knorr Chicken Cube, dissolved in ½ cup hot water
  • 4 eggs, beaten lightly
  • Knorr Liquid Seasoning
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Easy Poqui Poqui Recipe

Step 1

Grill eggplants over the flames of a gas stove until charred. Alternatively, you can use a charcoal grill to cook them until the skins are blackened. Remove from heat and place under running water to peel off the skin. Chop eggplant flesh into smaller pieces. Set aside. 

Step 2

Heat oil in a pan over medium flame. Sauté garlic and onion until fragrant. Add tomatoes and eggplant pieces.

Step 3 

Add dissolved Knorr Chicken Cube and simmer until the vegetables are tender. 

Step 4

Mash all ingredients using a fork. Add beaten eggs and stir until just set. Season with Knorr Liquid Seasoning, salt, and pepper. Transfer to a platter and serve immediately.

Are you also wondering how poqui poqui got its name? Some believe you can trace the dish’s history to the ’80s when many Ilocanos migrated to Hawaii and worked at pineapple farms. Thus, poqui could have come from the Polynesian word “poke,” which means “to cut or slice into chunks.” It makes sense, because just like Hawaii’s trendy rice bowl of the same name, the Ilocano dish features chunks of eggplants and other veggies. Mystery solved!

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