Pork, Puha, Eel and Cress Oil

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


    : You will Need to Begin this Recipe 1 Day Ahead

Appears in


By Ben Shewry

Published 2012

  • About

This is a dish where all of the primary ingredients can be found wild in the one place, from the same land. I’m talking about the land I grew up on. As children, my sisters, Tess and Tamie, and I used to pick puha (also known as wild watercress) from along the banks of the stream running through our farm. As we walked down from our old farmhouse on Awakau Road to the Totara Stream, bag in one hand and eel net in the other, playing hide-and-seek among the bulrushes along the way, we sometimes spotted wild pigs that poked their snouts out from the bushes on the high ridges of the farmland. This dish binds all of those childhood memories in my take on boil-up — the Maori dish of sustenance.

To Finish

  • 1 side of smoked eel (reserved from the broth), skin removed
  • 20 g (¾ oz) shredded salted pork (reserved from the broth)
  • 16 puha leaves (reserved from the broth recipe)
  • 16 puha flowers (reserved from the broth recipe)
  • 12 small pieces edible lichen

Cut the eel across the fillet into 12 small batons. Divide the eel between the bowls and scatter over the salted pork. Place 4 puha leaves in each bowl. Pour the hot broth over the pork and finish with the puha flowers, lichen and cress oil.

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