This dish only requires dry ingredients which makes it so backpacker friendly. The ingredients can typically be found in larger grocery stores without having to place online orders. Using dry ingredients also greatly reduces the time spent preparing the meal at home which is another one of our goals. If meals are easier to prepare at home, we hope folks will be less likely to purchase expensive freeze-dried meals online.
The recipe packs a load of calories at 998 calories per serving and would easily satisfy a hungry thru-hiker. The serving could also be split in half to satisfy two weekend backpackers. Due to the high calorie per ounce nature of the recipe, the half size serving will be somewhat small since only one packet of ramen is used. If the hiker isn’t a fan of ramen, precooked and home dehydrated angel hair pasta or mini bowtie pasta also work well. There are also a variety of gluten-free ramen options on the market.
To prepare, you need only 5 oz of water. This further reduces pack weight by carrying less water needed for meal prep. Less water also means less fuel is required to heat the meal which also reduces pack weight because a small canister can be packed.
Like all of our recipes, this is designed to be freezer bag style, which is also a nice convenience because the meals do not require simmering like many of the pasta and rice sides. This reduces fuel required, again lowering pack weight and money spent. Although, the meals can be prepared in a pot if the hiker prefers that option. Our photos show the meal packaged in a vacuum sealed bag but a regular Ziplock bag can be used for storing shorter durations.
To lengthen the shelf life of the meal, we recommend that the parmesan cheese not be added until the meal is consumed. Otherwise the meal needs to be frozen and/or consumed within a month or so after being at room temperature. We also encouraging hikers to consider packing a small container of parmesan cheese with them on trail in place of the pizza box packets to reduce waste. The small container can be reused trip after trip.
The recipe works well either cooked or cold soaked, too. Cold soaking takes approximately 60 minutes.
Aaron and Chris, Backcountry Foodie.
1 packet ramen noodles (85 g)
2 pieces sun-dried tomatoes, oil-free (10 g) 1⁄4 cup whole milk powder (30 g)
1 Tbsp pine nuts (8 g)
2 tsp basil (1.5 g)
1 1⁄4 tsp garlic powder (5 g)
1⁄4 tsp table salt (1.5 g)
1 packet True LemonTM powder (0.8 g)
1⁄4 cup shelf-stable parmesan cheese (30 g) 2 Tbsp olive oil (28 g)
Noodle Substitution: One cup of precooked and dehydrated angel hair or mini bowtie pasta work well as an alternative to ramen noodles. Gluten-free noodles may also be used if desired.
Shelf life: If the meal is to be consumed in <1 month at room temperature or frozen until consumed, the parmesan cheese may be added to the bag or container with the noodles. Be aware that the cheese will potentially clump if hot water is used to prepare the meal.
1. Discard ramen noodle spice packet.
2. Cut sun-dried tomatoes into small pieces. Kitchen scissors work
well when cutting tough tomatoes.
3. Put all ingredients, except parmesan cheese and olive oil, in a bag
or container to be used in the backcountry.
4. Pack 1⁄4 cup (30 g) parmesan cheese in a separate bag or container
to be used in the backcountry. Parmesan cheese is to be added
when the meal is consumed.
5. Pack 2 Tbsp (28 g) olive oil in a leakproof container to be added
when the meal is consumed. Recommend double bagging the oil in the event there is a leak.
1. Add 5 oz (150 mL) hot/cold water to the bag or container.
2. Stir to mix well and let stand to allow the noodles to fully rehydrate. This will take approximately 5 minutes when using hot water and 60 minutes when cold soaking.
3. Once noodles are fully rehydrated, add 1⁄4 cup (30 g) parmesan cheese and 2 Tbsp (28 g) olive oil to the bag or container.
4. Stir to mix well and enjoy!