In The Kitchen... with Tash McGill

Kia ora whanau,

At Healthy Hospo NZ we’ve been trying to think of some ways to keep you healthy in your bubble (and outside, for those of you lucky enough to be in level 2!)

We teamed up with our buddies from Campari NZ and thought why not talk to some of our awesome Chefs around NZ and share some of their favourite recipes.

You know, get inspired to get creative and try making something new in the kitchen!

So we’d love to introduce you to a little series we’ll be sending directly to your inbox over the next few weeks: In the Kitchen… with Healthy Hospo.

We will feature one chef a week, publish their favourite recipe, ask them a little about themselves and why they chose this particular recipe.


This week, we’d like to introduce you to Tash McGill.

Tash: "Long before I became a spirits writer, I worked my way through uni perfecting my knife skills as a kitchenhand and prep cook in cafe kitchens. Cooking at home is something I absolutely love, especially if it involves cooking for others. Despite not having a formal career in the kitchen, I've somehow ended up VP of Foodwriters NZ where I'm committed to carving out a diversity of voices and a deeper embrace of Māori and Pasifika voices in our national food strategy and stories."

Why did you choose this recipe?

"Dinner in my house has two levels - we are feasting luxuriously or we are feasting, but quickly at the end of a long day! This dish is easy to pull together while still feeling indulgent enough that I could serve it to a last minute guest, as easily as grabbing a last minute dinner at Sake Bar Icco in Kingsland, where they happen to serve my favourite miso eggplant dish. This version turns it into a meal rather than a snack, without compromising the goodness. I studied Japanese language at school and have been fascinated by Japanese culture ever since, especially in the intersection of flavour and food here in New Zealand. And who doesn't love an excuse to perfect the jammy egg? Oodles of chili oil and sesame seeds are a must."

To follow Tash on Instagram, check out @tashmcgill



Served with yu choy, rice and a soft boiled egg.

Ingredients (for 2 Serves):

1/4 cup rice (white or brown)

One med/large eggplant (1/2 per person)

2 cups/bunches of small greens - tat soi, pak choi, boy choy, yu soi

2 eggs


2 cloves (or 1 tsp) garlic

1 inch piece grated (or 1 tsp) ginger

2 tbsp soy sauce/tamari

1 tbsp mirin

1 tsp sesame oil

2 tsp white miso paste


Chilli flakes or chilli oil

Sesame seeds or furikake





This whole meal comes together in about 30min, depending on how fast you want to work.

You'll need a pan and a couple of small pots (or if you have taken Uncle Roger's advice - a pot, a pan and a rice cooker).


1. If you're using fresh garlic, finely mince 2 cloves and grate your ginger. But pre-crushed garlic and ginger from a jar is FINE and more than acceptable.

2. Mix your sauce ingredients together into a small bowl, whisking together with a fork and a dash of hot/boiling water. Leave to sit.

(You can also make double/triple the quantity and keep it in a small jar in the fridge for a couple of weeks at a time.)


3. Trim the ends of your greens, break them into individual leaves.. I hate using the phrase 'asian greens' but choose whichever ones you prefer. You can also substitute spinach or silverbeet - you might just need to adjust your cook times.

4. Dice your eggplant into 2cm cubes, give or take.


5. Make your rice. Pot rice works really well for this because you're going to steam your veg on top of the rice. But you could also substitute any kind of rice you like.

Here's I how I cook rice in a pot:

  • Put the rice in the pot. Rinse and drain the rice three times, then fill with fresh water. Vaguely 2:1 ration or just measure with your fingers, like Uncle Roger.

  • SALT your rice water.

  • Cover it and bring to the boil.

6. Put another pot of water on to boil for your eggs.

7. Heat your pan to medium-high with a generous slug of oil. Add your eggplant and begin to cook. Don't mess about with it too much because you want some caramelisation. Toss until all sides are a little crisp - this should take 7 - 8 minutes. Drop the pan temp to medium and add your miso sauce mixture.

8. By now, your water should be boiling for your eggs - add your eggs and let them cook at a rolling boil for 6 minutes.

9. Keep turning your eggplant as it softens while the eggs are boiling. You're looking for your eggplant to get a little sticky and soft. When the timer goes off for the eggs - turn the eggplant to low.

10. Put your greens on top of the rice (it should be close to done). Salt and pepper your greens, and cover again until steamed through and the rice is finished. No more than 5min.

11. Once your eggs are done, remove them from the heat and run under cold water. Peel immediately.

12. Once your veg are steamed and the rice is done (fork fluffed and tender) - it's time to plate up.

  • Place your rice in a bowl/plate. Scoop your eggplant in, add your greens on top.

  • Cut the egg in half and place on top of the rice.

  • Hit with another dash of sesame oil, chili oil or flakes, sesame seeds or furikake seasoning


Replace the egg with salmon or chicken.

Double the greens by subbing the eggplant for broccoli.

You could also replace the eggplant with tofu.


If you end up giving this recipe a go, we'd love to know!

Upload a story or post on Instagram and tag us: @healthyhosponz

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