Ramen noodles have long been a staple in my backpacking menu plan. When I was a kid a $0.35 pack of ramen was fine by itself. And they are a perennial hit with my kids. The last thing you want is to hike 3 miles into a lake and have a meal your kids won't eat. But now that I have a palate that is more sophisticated than a 9 year olds they can leave a little bit to be desired. So I've been adding things and trying new options for the past few years. Here are a couple winners that I have come across. They also add nutrition to an otherwise pretty empty meal. Another win for hiking food for kids.
1. Summer Sausage Surprise
Okay, so it's not really much of a surprise. There's diced summer sausage added to it... I have tried adding different forms of protein to increase the benefits of this meal. I started with chopped up beef jerky. Beef jerky is fine on it's own, but when it's added to an already plenty salty soup it doesn't really do much for me. Plus unless you boil it for quite a while it stays pretty hard. So I decided to add diced and sautéed summer sausage. I liked it much better than beef jerky! I also like to add freeze dried veggies to the mix. It's nice to add texture, flavor and nutrition.
Note: You may notice that I went with spicy ramen and spicy dehydrated veggies. Yeah, that was a bit much. One or the other would have been fine.
I will also point out that a super easy way to cook ramen on the trail is in a freezer ziplock bag. It's like a home made mountain house meal. Just put the ingredients in and pour the boiled water over it. Be sure they are freezer bags and not regular! Those will just melt. For ultra easy clean up just eat out of the bag and zip it up when you're done. Mess contained!
2. Coconut Curry Chicken Ramen
I made these last year and they were amazing! Super easy and tasty enough to consider making them at home, not just on the trail. They are creamy and have added protein and fat.
1 - Package of Ramen noodles (throw away the spice packet that comes with them)
4 - Tablespoons Coconut Milk Powder
1 - Teaspoon Yellow Curry Paste
1 oz - Package freeze dried Chicken
Put the dry ingredients into a cup of water and bring to a boil. Once that starts to thicken a bit add the noodles and freeze dried chicken. Cook until the noodles are soft and remove from heat. If you're feeling fancy you can garnish with peppers and cilantro like in this picture. I did not...
I'd love to hear your favorite way to church up Ramen on the trail! Let me know what you do.