Japanese chef adds gourmet touch to traditional hāngi

By Taroi Black
  • Auckland

Miso flavoured salmon isn't your usual hāngi offering but this is the dish Chef Makoto Tukoyama has come up with for the Gourmet Hāngi Challenge which is part of this year's Auckland Food Festival.

Tukoyama says, “I'm really focused, on mixed with Māori culture and Japanese culture and that's what I choose for my Japanese dish.

Tukoyama and his team from Ponsonby's Cocoro restaurant will be heading into the Taste of Auckland Gourmet Hāngi Challenge this week with a few secrets tucked up their sleeve.

“I'm trying to use the Japanese aroma, with Japanese pepper and bamboo shoots.  Then I’ll mix it with a NZ Aotearoa iconic seafood which is a Ika Hamana also known as a King Salmon and kuku which is the mussels.  I also added the roro of the koura which the brain of the crayfish,” explains Tukoyama.

Tukoyama moved over from Japan 15 years ago.  That's when he was introduced to the most traditional Māori food, the hāngi. 

Makoto Tokuyama will present his dish to hāngi masters Rewi Spraggon and Riki Bennett on Friday.

For more information on the Gourmet Hāngi Challenge, click here.