Ūpoko 3 - Heke Hāngī

Plate of hangi



  • 400g Meat per person (chicken, pork seasoned with salt)
  • 1 shopping bag of Watercress
  • 1 potato per person
  • 1 piece of pumpkin per person
  • 1 kūmara per person
  • Rongoa rākau - mix of whatever you can find (Kawakawa, Harakeke, Manuka, Pūhā, Koromiko, karamu, Watakirihi)


  • 4 tbsp Mixed herbs
  • 10 slices of Bread (stale toast bread is best)
  • 200g Butter
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 Onion

Rub for Pork

  • 4 tbsp Rock salt
  • 3 tbsp Sichuan pepper
  • 4 tsp Five spice powder


Method: To make Heke Hangi

  1. The hāngī  hole should be 200-300mm deeper than the basket you are using (this will allow for a layer of stones) and approximately 200mm bigger than the length and width of your basket. This will allow for you to place your sacks down the sides to protect from dirt and embers.
  2. Into the hole, layer firstly with paper, then small sticks, larger sticks adding hāngī  stones into each layer.  Once you have all your hāngī  stones placed on your wood pile, light the fire. Burn for at least 60-90mins depending on weather and quality of wood. Add more wood as required. Before the fire has burned completely put your empty hāngī  Basket on top; this will kill any bacteria that maybe around. When the hāngī  stones have turned white, then the fire is ready. You may have to turn and/or rotate stones depending on how big they are.
  3. Inside your hāngī  basket place the rongoa that you have gathered, this will form a bed for your kai (Kawakawa, pūhā, watercress) then add your meat, then on top place your vegetables and stuffing. 
  4. Remove all the embers, and un-burnt wood from the hāngī  hole. Re-arrange the stones evenly across the surface of the hole. 
  5. Once you have removed all the embers, take a wet sack and wack the stones to remove any dust and create a steaming effect, this will give us an indication of the temperature. Place the basket in the middle of the hole, place a cloth over the entire basket. Then strategically place each individual sack that has been soaking in water over the kai. The water from the sack will create two things, steam and protection from the dirt. Once the basket is covered evenly, cover with the earth. 

Method: To make Stuffing

  1. Put bread into kitchen processor and whizz until finely crumbed. 
  2. Dice onion and cook in melted butter. 
  3. Add together the crumbs, mixed herbs then add the onion and melted butter (carefully), mix and add salt to taste.

Method: To make Rub

  1. Put salt, pepper and five spice into pestle and mortar and grind until smooth. Leave on pork for minimum of 30mins but can be left overnight.

Ka hiahia pea koe ki

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