Matariki kai: chicken soup, parāoa koroua, citrus and syrup cake recipes

Uncle Pare’s earliest kai memory is parāoa koroua cooked on hot embers. Watch his simple recipe as he describes how kai has shaped his life.


Ko te pūmahara tuatahi o Uncle Pare ko te parāoa koroua e tunu ana ki ngā ngārehu ahi. Mātakina tana tohutao ngāwari i a ia e whakaahua ana i te āhuatanga o te kai ki a ia.


Chicken anything soup


  • a whole chicken (I used a size 22 because that’s what I had)

  • 1 box of liquid chicken stock (I used Campbell’s)

  • 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds

  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped into large chunks

  • 4 celery sticks, chopped into large chunks

  • 1 onion, quartered (I used a large red onion)


Put all the ingredients into a slow cooker, either before you go to bed or before you go to work. Turn on low.

Next morning, or after work, remove the skin and bones from the chicken. Shred the chicken back into the broth.

Optional: Add some extra vegetables, such as parsnip, swede, kūmara, fennel, and corn kernels. Add half a box (or more) of liquid chicken stock to top it up. Turn back to high and cook additions until softened.

Finally, add some coriander, spinach, puha, or watercress.

Serve with parāoa koroua or your favourite crust in a big bowl as is, or:

  • with cracked pepper, or

  • drizzle with olive oil and lemon zest, or your flavoured olive oil of choice, or

  • chilli oil, or

  • kecap manis (sweet soy sauce) with fried shallots, or

  • over-cooked ramen noodles.

Parāoa koroua | ‘Old man’s bread’


  • 1 cup of self-raising flour

  • a pinch of salt

  • 1 teaspoon of sugar


Preheat your oven to 200°C.

Into a small bowl, whisk together:

  • 1 cup of self-raising flour

  • a pinch of salt

  • 1 teaspoon of sugar.

With a knife, ‘cut’ through the flour. Add enough warm water (usually half a cup) to make a soft dough.

Turn onto a lightly floured board. Using your fingertips, pull the dough in from the outside to form the shape.

Flatten out to desired thickness.

Transfer to a floured baking tray, and place in the hot oven. Cook for approx 8–10mins.

You may need to flip the bread three quarters of the way through the baking to crisp up the topside.

Note: You can double, triple, or quad this basic recipe – adjust your cooking time accordingly.

Any-citrus with any-syrup cake



  • 375g of butter (or substitute with Olivani or similar – I used Olivani), softened

  • 1¾ cups of sugar

  • 4 large eggs

  • 2 teaspoons of lemon, orange, or lime rind – or a combination

  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

  • 3 cups of plain flour

  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda

  • ½ a teaspoon of salt

  • 1½ cups of sour cream or yoghurt

  • preserved fruit, to serve


  • ½ a cup of orange juice

  • 4 tablespoons of sugar

  • 2 tablespoons of lemon or lime juice

  • some grated rind


Preheat your oven to 180°C. Prep a large cake tin.

Cream the butter (or marg) and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue to beat. Grate the rind and add to the mixture.

(Option: If you have lemon or orange extract, you can add a couple of drops to intensify the flavour.)

Add vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl combine the plain flour, baking power, baking soda, and salt. Sift together or stir with a whisk to combine.

Fold half the dry ingredients into the wet cake batter with half of the sour cream/yoghurt. Fold in the remainder of the dry ingredients and sour cream/yoghurt.

Spoon into the prepared cake tin, and place in the hot oven. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until it springs back baked. To cool, invert onto a serving platter.

For the syrup, I heated the syrup from my preserved tamarillos and topped with toffee almonds. Or you can make your own citrus syrup by heating all the syrup ingredients over a medium heat to boiling point (2–3 minutes).

Pour the hot syrup over the cooled cake.

Slice and serve with whipped cream or yoghurt and preserved fruit.