Several years back, I and my friends had a tour around the Ilocos region.
We visited some known old churches, famous landmarks and their finest beaches. And of course we also tried renowned Ilocano dishes like, vigan longanisa, pinakbet, kilawin, bagnet and many more.
Most food menu of restaurants in Ilocos has Poqui-Poqui, which is an eggplant dish and we were afraid to try them because it doesn’t really look appetizing and it doesn’t have a detailed description. I don’t know if it’s just the picture, but I guess I am not that adventurous when it comes to food unless someone says to me that it’s good. In our case, no one has tried Poqui-Poqui so we didn’t order it.
However, last weekend, I craved for Ilocano cuisine because I kindda missed Ilocos. Not just the historical places and the beaches of Pagudpod, but most especially their food.
I’m glad that in BF Paranaque where I live, there is this restaurant called Balai Ilocos that serves Ilocano dishes. It’s a small but cozy restaurant along Aguirre St.
When I looked at the menu, there is again the Poqui-Poqui. But this time, it has a description of what’s in it and how it was cooked, so I decided to try it because I imagined that it would be an interesting eggplant dish. And I’m glad that I did because it was definitely yummy!
A few days after, I decided to make my own Poqui-Poqui. I searched for recipes online and also, asked some of my Ilocano friends how to cook it. Finally, I made my own recipe, which I hope you can try cooking at home.
This recipe is good for 2 people, and best served with anything “inihaw” or grilled. You can have a side of minced tomatoes and white onions along with it, as well as bagoong alamang. Squeeze calamansi over the tomatoes and onions for added flavor if you want.
And that’s it! And if you want to read about my Ilocos trip years ago, you can check out these blog posts: