Grilled Eggplant with Coconut Milk

I just love eggplants — stir fried with beef or chicken, sautéed with onions and scrambled with eggs, eggplant parmesan, and a favorite — grilled eggplant with coconut milk, lemon juice, green onions and hot pepper.  DELICIOUS!

The Chamorro name for this dish is Padu’ Lalu’.  It’s what my dad (in his 80’s) calls it, but since I don’t hear it called by this name anymore, I’m assuming it’s an antigu name.  Nowadays, you hear this dish called Eggplant Fina’denne’, or it’s named by what it is–eggplant with coconut milk.  Whatever you call it, it’s delicious.  Add it to your fiesta table menu.   🙂

Grilled Eggplant with Coconut Milk (Padu’ Lalu’)


  • 6 eggplants (see note 1 below)
  • 1 can coconut milk or cream
  • 1 tablespoon lemon powder (see note 2 below)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Hot pepper, to taste
  • 4 stalks green onions

1.  Prepare the eggplants for grilling by pricking them all over with a fork.  This is so it won’t burst during the grilling process as the natural water in it heats up.


2.  Grill the eggplants, turning them over frequently to ensure even cooking.  Grill until the skins are dark brown, even black and the eggplant is soft to when you touch it.



3.  Soak the grilled eggplant in a bowl of water to cool it down.  Peel the skin off the eggplant.  Place the whole eggplants in a shallow dish (my mom actually cuts the eggplant into small, bite-sized pieces).


 4.  In a small mixing bowl, mix together the coconut milk or cream, lemon powder, salt and hot pepper.  Mix until the lemon powder and salt dissolve.  Taste, then adjust the amount of lemon powder, salt and hot pepper to your liking.  Pour the mixture over the eggplant.  Sprinkle the green onions over the eggplant and coconut milk.  Stir gently to combine.  Serve and ENJOY!




Note 1:  I like to use the long, skinny Japanese eggplants for this dish.  Buy eggplants that are still firm and not too fat, with very little to no blemishes on the skin.  You can use the large, oval eggplants common in grocery stores, only use 1 or 2 smaller ones.  You’ll need to grill or broil these longer as they are thicker and will take longer for the middle to cook through.



Note 2:  If you don’t have lemon powder (on Guam, a favorite is Yours Brand lemon powder), you can use unsweetened Kool-Aid lemonade mix.

lemon powder



Grilled Eggplant with Coconut Milk, served with BBQ ribs, White Rice and Fina’denne’


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  1. Michelle says:

    My husband grew up on Guam and was missing lemon powder very badly but now we can get the true lemon powder mix in the powder drink/ koolaid aisle at H E B

  2. Mary says:

    how much lemon juice should I use?– I am using actual lemon

  3. Faye says:

    I tried the eggplant salad, and its wonderful. My husband that wont like eggplant, started to love eggplant now.

  4. Cierra says:

    Is there anyway i can subsitute the lemon powder for lemon juice ?

  5. Shuyicao says:

    Yum!! Thank you for sharing

  6. Cathy says:

    I’ve been here in the state’s for 14-1\2 years now. …. n boy do I miss this eggplant with coconut. …. thanks for sharing! !!!!

  7. Francine Fernandez says:

    How come the coconut milk is still thick.

  8. Laith Franke, you’re in for a treat with this recipe. Give it a try and let me know what you think of it. 🙂

  9. Laith Franke says:

    WOW! I love eggplants too, but never heard of this recipe. Thanks for sharing, YUM!!! 🙂

  10. Melissa says:

    Is there another alternative to grilling the eggplant?

  11. Ger Bear says:

    Oh My! Another one of my favorite foods growing up in Guam! Thank you so much again! Cheers!

  12. elizabeth hudson says:

    Hafa adai Ms Annie, I admire U sharing our native Chamorro recipes to others. I like to share w/U an easy way to remove the skin of the eggplant. I found out that when I rub cooking oil on the skin after I prick it, then BBQ it, comes of easier even if U don’t soak it in water. But I still rinse the eggplant after I peel of the skin, for I don’t want to much water to soak in the EP. Then I mix all the ingredients together. mannge ye na Chamorro! Buenu… LIz

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