Boil Up

Boil Up

Boil Up is a traditional method of cooking used by Maori’s in New Zealand where starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes, potatoes, carrots, pumpkins are boiled together with pork bones, spinach/watercress and dumplings called dough boys.

The first time I saw this I thought my office mate knew how to cook nilagang baboy as it looks nearly similar. I then asked him what was it and he said it was “boil up”, a simple boiled pork bones with potatoes. He then told me it’s a popular traditional Maori dish that they cook at home once in a while. In Philippines most probably if you cook this people will try to pair it with rice but here since it already contains all of the important food groups like your carbs, proteins and fibre a rice is not necessary, the root crops and dough boys will definitely fill you up. Another difference is that the soup is not consumed similar to the Philippines as most of it is not served with the meal, only a few are added just to have moisture on the dish.

I know this type of dish can be found everywhere like the Sup Tulang in Malaysia, Nilagang Baboy in the Philippines and this Boil Up in New Zealand. Do you know of other nationalities that cook something similar, a simple boiled meat bone dish?

Boil Up
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 5-6
  • 1½ pork ribs
  • 1 pc bacon hock
  • 3 medium sized potatoes, cubed
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, cubed
  • ½ pumpkin, cubed
  • 1 bunch watercress
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 large onions
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • salt
  1. In a large pot add pork ribs and fill it with boiling water just enough to cover the meat. Boil for 5 minutes then drain. Clean ribs and remove any scum.
  2. Place ribs, pork hock and onions back and fill again with boiling water just enough to cover the meat. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, bring to a boil and simmer for 1½ hours.
  3. Make you dough boys by combining flour, baking powder and water. Form into ball slightly larger than golf balls then set aside.
  4. Remove ribs from the pot then set it aside then add potatoes, sweet potatoes and pumpkin. Bring back to a boil then simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the dough boys and continue to simmer for 10 more minutes.
  6. Add the ribs back and watercress, cook until watercress is tender which might take 5 more minutes.


Boil Up Wide


11 Responses

  1. Kristy says:

    Perhaps we do, but I’ve not seen it or made it. Looks hearty and warming.

  2. Yes, you are correct, similar dishes are found many cuisines – even think corned beef with vegetable cooked in the same water!

  3. leah says:

    Yes. If you google ‘boiled meat’, you’ll find different variations especially European in origin. That is, French, Irish, Italian and British.

  4. Oh that looks good! I recently make pork broth with ribs right in the slow cooker. I guess similar if I made a soup with the meat and added a few more things.

  5. A hearty dish… and tasty as well!

  6. Juliana says:

    I have never heard of this…so interesting and simple…looks delicious Raymund.
    Have a great week 🙂

  7. This dish looks like a Chinese boiled soup dish to me, it’s amazing how different cultures have different adaptations to a similar dish! This looks delicious!

  8. I have memories of my grandparents boiling meat, the flavors were always European, but I would think it is a universal way to prepare food, just swap out the taste for whats happening in your region. I’m not particularly fond of the taste of Euro boiled meat, but love me an asian broth.

  9. vaiola says:

    can not wait to make this traditional boil up yum! chuuur

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