Niyok Biringhenas


Eggplant and coconut may not be the most expected combo, but it's certainly not one to miss out on



Eggplant gets a tropical lift with this recipe from the Mariana Islands. My recent series has been focused exclusively on how people from around the world eat eggplant and this dish is an amazing addition. Sweet, smokey, and refreshing – Nijok Biringhenas is about to become your latest eggplant obsession.

The submission for Nijok Biringhenas comes to us from Ryan, who currently lives in Saipan. This island is one of the fourteen stunning islands that makes up the U.S. territory known as the Mariana Islands. Located in the western Pacific Ocean, Saipan is known for its warm climate and sandy beaches, which is exactly where Ryan prefers to enjoy his Nijok Biringhenas.

Nijok Biringhenas translates to coconut eggplant and resembles something like an eggplant ceviche. According to Ryan, eggplant is a staple ingredient in the Mariana Islands and frequently appears in stews and stir frys. However, for very special occasions, eggplant gets to star in Nijok Biringhenas. Ryan shares that this dish usually accompanies grilled meats, but he often treats it like a dip and eats it alongside fried tortillas or pieces of local flatbread. After trying it for myself, it’s hard to imagine a wrong way to eat this delicious concoction.

For Nijok Biringhenas, you’ll need only a few simple ingredients: Chinese eggplant, coconut milk, onion, calamansi juice, and red Thai chilies. The eggplant is first charred on a grill, the stovetop of a gas oven, or broiled in the oven until the skin can be removed gently. Cubed pieces of the charred eggplant are then mixed with diced onion and diced Thai red chilies. Finally, everything is left to marinade in a combination of coconut milk and calamansi juice, which is a tart fruit juice that tastes like a cross between a lemon, lime, and orange.

The final result of ​​Nijok Biringhenas is perfectly balanced. You’re hit with the smokiness of the charred eggplant, the crunch from the onions, the spice from the chilies, which is all rounded out by the sweetness of the coconut milk and the tart punch of the calamansi juice. Eggplant and coconut might not seem like a natural fit, but they’re a tropical match in this mouthwatering meal.

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Niyok Biringhenas


  • 2-3 mini/baby eggplants or 1 Asian eggplant
  • cup coconut milk
  • 1 chili chopped
  • ½ yellow or white onion chopped
  • calamansi or lemon juice to taste


  • Cook eggplant over open flame until skin is charred.
  • Cool and peel.
  • Chop eggplant into large chunks and put into a bowl.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and salt to taste. Let sit in the fridge or at room temp for up to 30 mins
  • Serve room temp/cold!


Recipe inspired by JRM Guam
Course: Lunch, Snack
Region: Oceania
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian


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