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Backpacker Magazine – Online Exclusive

Recipe: Sierra Szechwan Chicken Salad

The Sierra Szechwan Chicken Salad provides a healthy option that satisfies.

by: Christine and Tim Conners

Total Servings: 6
As Packaged for the Trail: 1 serving
Weight per Serving: About 3 ounces

1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon Szechwan chili oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 pound somen (Japanese) noodles
1 (10-ounce) can water-packed chunk chicken, drained
6 green onions, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 cups matchstick carrots
1 (8-ounce) can sliced bamboo shoots, drained and chopped
1 (15-ounce) can baby corn on the cob (unpickled), drained and chopped
8 ounces frozen petite peas, thawed
1 tablespoon dried cilantro
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, lightly toasted
Optional: 2 tablespoons sesame oil
3/4 cup water per serving, added on the trail

Preparation at Home:
1. In a large bowl, combine soy sauce, chili oil, and Dijon mustard. Stir.
2. Cook somen noodles in boiling water until al dente. Drain.
3. Add noodles to bowl with soy sauce mixture and toss, coating noodles thoroughly.
4. Spread noodles in a thin layer on drying trays and dehydrate.
5. Break chicken into pieces and dehydrate along with onions, red and green bell peppers, carrots, bamboo shoots, baby corn, and peas.
6. Once somen noodles have dried, break them into smaller pieces, about 1 inch long, and combine in a large bowl with all other dehydrated ingredients. Add cilantro and sesame seeds. Toss well.
7. Evenly divide mixture into 6 (3-ounce) portions, packaging each portion in its own quart-size ziplock freezer bag.
8. Pack optional sesame oil in a small bottle.

Preparation on the Trail:
1. Several hours before lunch, add 3/4 cup water to a single-serving bag dried salad mix. Carefully reseal the bag.
2. Place salad bag in a safe location at the top of your pack.
3. Enjoy salad for lunch, adding optional 2 tablespoons sesame oil.

This salad can also be served after chilling for a few minutes in a cold stream or warming briefly over a stove.

Pam Coz-Hill, Visalia, California, Lipsmackin’ Backpackin’

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