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Maori cuisine – traditional ingredients, New Zealand

Maori boil-up, a soup made from potatoes, pork bones, dumplings, cabbage and variety of another greens. Pumpkin and sweet potatoes are also added traditionally. [Matyas Havel, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons]
Maori boil-up, a soup made from potatoes, pork bones, dumplings, cabbage and variety of another greens. Pumpkin and sweet potatoes are also added traditionally. [Matyas Havel, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons]

Traditional Maori ingredients currently used by New Zealand chefs

Kawakawa

Kawakawa is a tree and is mostly found in coastal areas of New Zealand in damp bush. It grows up to seven metres in height and has heart shaped leaves. It is the leaves that are used in cooking, they are dried, ground and then used to season.

Horopito

Horopito is often referred to as the New Zealand pepper tree. There are three different varieties of horopito in New Zealand. The tree’s leaves are green with red speckles.

Piko Piko fern tips

The fern shoot can be found growing in damp shady areas of New Zealand’s native bush. There are 312 different varieties, most are carcinogenic, and only seven types are edible. They are pale green in colour with brown speckles and are picked before the leaves unfold.

Koura

Koura are fresh water crayfish which are approximately the size a prawn.

Korengo

Korengo is seaweed which is either used in its raw state or dried and used to season various dishes.

Puha (Watercress)

Grows on the edge of fresh water rivers and creeks around New Zealand and can be eaten raw or cooked. It has a slight mustard taste.

Flaxseed oil

Cold pressed flaxseed oil is completely unrefined, nothing is added or removed. Flaxseed oil is a vegetarian source of Omega 3 and six essential fatty acids, Omega 9 antioxidants and vitamins.

Manuka

Manuka was named by Captain Cook and English Botanist Mr Banks as the tea tree when they were on an expedition at the mouth of the Purangi River at Mercury Bay in 1769. Manuka wood chips can be used to add flavour when smoking food.

… More than 50 top end hotels and restaurants throughout New Zealand are using Maori herbs in their dishes.

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