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The DAILY DIRT - The nitty and the gritty of outdoor news

Trail Chef: Spicy--and ultralight!--Curry Noodles

Gear Editor Kristin Hostetter shares her favorite freezer bag meal

It might be spring, but winter is very much on our minds over here at Backpacker—Boulder is being pummeled with up to two feet of snow right this minute. That means powdery adventures are on tap for this weekend (yay!), but packs will be laden with extra cold-weather gear (boo!).

Lighten your load and still eat like a queen with this ultralight meal, courtesy of our discriminating Gear Editor Kristin Hostetter. As she puts it: "It requires a bit of upfront prep work at home, but pretty much zero work in camp. It's superlight and, man, does it taste good! Way better than anything prepackaged." The secret: Dehydrated ingredients + a freezer bag. (Frequent backpacker.com contributor Sarah Kirkconnel share this smart technique with us back in December 2007.)



Spicy Curry Noodle Bowl

Just 6 ounces per serving!

At home, combine in a quart-size zip-top bag:

1 serving of Asian cellophane noodles (they typically come in large bricks. Break off a chunk of about 3 by 6 inches)
¼ cup dehydrated meat of your choice (burger or chicken)
¼ cup dehydrated mixed veggies
1 tbsp. curry
1 tbsp. cumin
1 tbsp. coriander
1 tbsp. garam masala
½ tsp. ground ginger
2 tbsp. coconut cream powder
2 tbsp. dry milk
Dash of cayenne
Salt and pepper to taste
Handful of cashews
In camp, add about 1 ½ cups boiling water to baggie. Squish it around and let it rest in a cozy for about 10 minutes, or until everything is tender. Top with cashews.

Like the sound of that? Check out more of Kristin's favorite ultralight, one-bag meals; plus, learn how to pull off a John Muir Trail hike with an absurdly light pack, get your base weight under 15 pounds, and outfit an ultralight kitchen.

—Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan

Photo credit: Justin Bailie

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This was the most disgusting thing I've ever tried to choke down. I literally choked! I had misgivings when I was preparing it at home... a tablespoon of all those spices for 1 serving ?!?!?!? I should have listened to my gut. I think something got lost in recipe translation.

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I like the basic concept, but have done similiar as follows:
1/2 Package Ramen Noodles (cut in half with a large chef's knife.

Any combo of spices and extra's. Experiment at home. I find it hard to find reasonable priced dehydrated meat and vegetables.

Asian markets have dried shrimp mushrooms, etc. Soak in cold water 60 minutes prior to cooking.

Sarah Kirkconnell
Mar 26, 2009

Thank you for the mention of our website! :-)

You are doing a great job with the blog - off to read the one about Quesadillas! That is something I love - cheese and tortillas ;-)

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