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Kiwi chefs’ top takeaways

New Zealand’s top chefs reveal their favourite takeaway choices and divulge their own favourite recipes.

Simon Gault

MasterChef judge & restaurant owner

**What’s your takeaway of choice and which dish do you always get?

**My favourite takeaway is the coffee pork chops from a Malaysian restaurant and café in south Auckland. They’re Auckland’s best-kept food secret. I’m also keen on May’s mutton pies, which I had in Timaru recently.

**Do you ever cook your own version of takeaway food?

**I like to make homemade hot dogs and burgers. For the burgers I put some chipotle slaw in and stir some of my Italian rub into the mince. I usually add onion rings and, of course, you must have tomato.

**What’s your favourite “five-minute fix” dish you cook at home?

**If I’m in a hurry I often rustle up some spaghetti aglio e olio.

**Is there a takeaway that you would never eat?

**No, I’m not a food snob and I really believe there’s a time and place for everything.

**Do you ever add your own touch to takeaways?

**I used to import a gorgeous tomato and truffle sauce and I’ve been known to lift the lid off a pie and put some inside.

Spaghetti aglio e olio

  • 450g spaghetti

  • 200ml extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • ½ chilli, finely diced

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 2 tbsp butter

  • 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley Parmesan, for garnish (optional)

  1. Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil. Add the spaghetti and cook until just tender.

  2. In a separate pan, heat the oil and sauté the garlic and chilli until the garlic is tender but not brown, ensuring your oil does not get too hot. Add salt.

  3. Remove pan from the heat. Add the drained cooked spaghetti, then stir in the butter and parsley and parmesan if desired.

Peter Gordon

*Restaurant owner


**What’s your takeaway of choice and which dish do you always get?

**I’ve just moved to East London and there’s fantastic Vietnamese and Turkish takeout. Also, pizza and fish and chips from the market.


Do you ever cook your own version of takeaway food?

**I love a good burger, so I do that at home occasionally.

**What’s your favourite “five-minute fix” dish you cook at home?

**Toast. Anything on toast is my favourite all-rounder–cheese, jam, canned sardines or jamón.


Is there a takeaway you’d never eat?

**Some of the greasy-looking chicken shops are a bit offputting, plus I like to know where my chicken was raised.

**Do you ever add your own touch to takeaways?

**I always have a great selection of relishes and chutneys in my fridge, plus I usually cook my own rice when ordering Indian as it’s so easy and a lot cheaper.

**Tomatoes on toast


  • 1 red onion

  • 1 fresh red chilli

  • Small handful fresh basil and coriander

  • 3 large ripe red tomatoes

  • 50g butter

  • ½ tsp Thai fish sauce

  • Bread, for toasting

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  1. Peel and slice the onion. De-stalk the chilli and chop finely and, if the herbs are very stalky, pull the basil and coriander leaves off the stalks. Cut the tomatoes into quarters.

  2. Heat the butter in a saucepan over a gentle heat and once melted but not coloured, tip in the onion and chilli.

  3. Turn the heat up quite high and fry the onion and chilli for two minutes, stirring now and again.

  4. Add the tomatoes and fish sauce and stir well.

  5. Fry everything for a couple more minutes, until the tomato juice starts to run and create a sauce. Put your toast on now too.

  6. Stir in the herbs, take off the heat and add some fresh black pepper.

  7. Serve on the toast. This is really yummy and simple.

**Annabel Langbein

TV chef/hostWhat’s your takeaway of choice and which dish do you always get?

**I love good takeout, especially Thai, Indian, Chinese and Japanese. I also love a good burger.

**Do you ever cook your own version of takeaway food?

**I’ll quite often whip up the mushroom and chicken tom yum from my new book Annabel Langbein Free Range in the City. There’s also a really good recipe for fried rice – whenever I eat it I feel like I’m back in Thailand.

**What’s your favourite “five-minute fix” dish?

**When I’m cooking lentils, rice or potatoes I’ll often cook extra so I can turn them into a fast, fresh fix for lunch or dinner the next day.

**Thai-style tofu fried rice


  • 300g tofu, cut in 1 to 2cm dice

  • 3 tbsp soy sauce

  • 2 tbsp neutral oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger

  • 1 green pepper, cored, deseeded and finely diced

  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced

  • ½ green chilli, deseeded and finely sliced (optional)

  • 2 free-range eggs

  • 2 tsp fish sauce

  • 3 cups cooked rice

  • 2 handfuls bean sprouts or finely chopped bok choy stalks or cabbage

  • 2 tbsp toasted peanuts

  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander

  • Thai sweet chilli sauce

  • Lime wedges

  1. Place tofu in a bowl with 1 tbsp soy sauce and stir through to coat evenly. Set aside to marinate for at least 10 minutes or up to 4 hours.

  2. When ready to serve, heat oil in a heavy-based frypan and fry tofu over high heat until lightly browned (about 2 minutes). Add garlic, ginger, green pepper, spring onions and chilli, if using, and sizzle for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.

  3. Lightly whisk eggs and fish sauce together in a bowl and add to pan, stirring until eggs are set in curds. Add rice, bean sprouts or bok choy or cabbage and remaining 2 tbsp soy sauce and cook, stirring now and then, until heated through (about 5 minutes).

  4. Add peanuts and coriander. Pile into a bowl or plate, drizzle with Thai sweet chilli sauce to taste and serve with lime wedges to squeeze over the top.

**Mike Van De Elzen

**The Food Truck host & author

**What’s your takeaway of choice and which dish do you always get?

**Pork and chive dumplings from my local dumpling house – and I love good Chinese. We always order roast Peking duck, Chinese broccoli and steamed rice.

**Do you ever cook your own version of takeaway food?

**Yes, we always make our own burgers.

**What’s your favourite “five-minute fix” dish?

**A toasted sandwich with any leftovers from the fridge –try lamb, kumara, pumpkin and a touch of parmesan!

**Is there a takeaway you’d never eat?

**Probably Thai, because I always feel they are trying to cheapen the cuisine by putting very little meat and vegetables into the dish.

**Do you ever add your own touch to takeaways?

**Spice or chilli to Asian dishes or a big green salad with pizza.

**Big Mike’s beef and veggie burgers


  • 4 wholemeal buns

  • 8 patties (see right)

  • 2 heads baby cos lettuce, finely sliced

  • 4 gherkins, each sliced into 4

  • Mike’s awesome sauce

  1. Slice buns into 3. Place a pattie on a bun bottom. Add lettuce, gherkins and awesome sauce. Repeat with second pattie on a bun middle. Finish with a bun top.


  • 500g premium mince

  • 1 onion, finely diced

  • 1 courgette

  • ½ beetroot, grated

  • 1 tsp dijon mustard

  • ½ tsp curry powder (cumin, coriander, chilli)

  • 3 egg whites

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Form into 8 patties. Heat a heavy-based frying pan until hot, and brown the patties on both sides. Place in preheated oven for 4 to 5 minutes.

Mike’s awesome sauce

  • 2 soft-boiled eggs

  • 4 shallots, sliced and sautéed

  • 1 tbsp honey

  • 1 tbsp tomato purée

  • 100ml vegetable stock

  • 60ml olive oil

  • 2 gherkins, finely chopped

  1. Place eggs, shallots, honey, tomato purée and stock into a blender. Process to combine.

  2. Add oil gradually while processing to form an emulsion. Remove from blender and add gherkins.

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