Māori Boil Up Recipe

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

This New Zealand Māori Boil Up recipe is taken from our New Zealand Cuisine page. A truly classic and authentic example of the original food created by the Māori people, descendants of the Polynesians who first migrated to this majestic island. New Zealand Māori Boil Up is a festive meal. Invite lots of friends and family over for dinner!

New Zealand Māori Boil Up

(Photo Attributed to Author: Matyas Havel)

You can use almost any kind of meat you like. Traditionally the most common vegetables are kumara (sweet potato), watercress, potatoes, carrots, and cabbage. But again, you can vary the ingredients as much as you like and still produce an authentic and super delicious New Zealand Māori Boil Up.

Traditionally Māori Boil Up is cooked in the hāngi. The hāngi is a kind of earth-oven, with heated rocks in a pit cooking the foods, wrapped in leaves and covered with soil. However, this New Zealand Māori Boil Up recipe can also be made in a regular modern kitchen, using modern cookware. For a post on how to build and cook with a traditional hāngi, click here.

New Zealand Māori Boil Up Recipe-


(serves 4)

For the Meat and Vegetables-
  • 2 lb. meat – pork, beef, goat, lamb, chicken, whatever – chopped into large bite-sized chunks
  • 1/2 lb. potatoes, peeled and chopped into large bite-sized chunks
  • 1/2 lb. carrots, peeled and chopped into large bite-sized chunks
  • 1/2 lb. Kumara (also called boniato, a tropical sweet potato)
  • 1/2 lb. cabbage, chopped into large bite-sized chunks
For the Doughboys-

(makes 10-12 doughboys)

  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 5 tsp. baking powder
  • salt, to taste
  • large cabbage leaves, for wrapping
  • water and milk combined half and half, as needed
To Make the Doughboys-
  1. Place the flour in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add and stir in the baking powder, mix together well.
  3. Combine water and milk, half and half, in another bowl, then pour and stir the mixture into the flour, stirring constantly. Add just enough liquid to create a doughy texture. These doughboys do not require much kneading, so just make your dough by combining the liquid with the flour.
  4. Roll the dough up into rounds about the size of a golf ball, and place them on top of the cabbage leaves.
  5. Roll the cabbage leaves up and around the dough balls tightly, then keep set aside for now. You will not drop them into the boil-up until about the last 10 or 12 minutes of overall cooking time.
To Make the Main Boil Up-
  1. Place your meat in an appropriately large sized cooking pot, add enough water the meat, plus a depth of 1-1/2″ to 2″.
  2. Bring the water to a vigorous, rolling boil, then reduce the heat to just a lively and simmer. Gently cook for about 35-45 minutes. Never allow the water to boil – a slow simmer cook will produce the most tender meat.
  3. Now and the kumara, carrots, and potatoes into the pot. Add water as needed to cover all the ingredients, and adjust the heat to maintain a lively simmer.
  4. About 15 minutes after harder veggies have been cooking, add in the chopped cabbage chunks. Again adjust water levels, and keep the heat at a lively simmer, but not boiling.
  5. Wait another 12-15 minutes, and then check the water level. You want the water to be at a depth that will cover the doughboys when you drop them in. Adjust if levels if necessary, keep the heat at a simmer, and then add the doughboys into the pot.
  6. Place the lid on and raise the heat to just a mild boil; cook for 15 minutes. To see if your dish is ready, slice open a doughboy – when they are cooked through, your New Zealand Māori Boil Up is ready to serve.

Contact us and/or Join Our Mailing List
(We respect your privacy. Subscribers’ info are not shared with anyone. EVER)


4 thoughts on “Māori Boil Up Recipe

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.