By Laura Lancaster
High in calories and rich in fat with plenty of protein—you could argue that peanut butter is the perfect backpacking food. But there are only so many variations of the classic peanut butter and tortilla combo that hikers can eat before their jaws start to stick together. To spice things up, trade the tackiness of Jif® for the creaminess of coconut with this recipe that takes its inspiration from Thai cuisine. This version utilizes powdered peanut butter and coconut to simplify the sauce (and reduce the mess), with roasted peanut oil added back at the end. Hikers with bigger appetites looking for a heartier meal can add freeze-dried chicken.
1 packet vermicelli rice noodles (substitute instant white rice if desired)
3 tbsp. freeze-dried spinach
1 tbsp. dried onions
2 tbsp. chopped roasted peanuts
2 tbsp. peanut powder
1.5 tbsp. coconut powder
1 tsp. powdered soy sauce
½ tsp. curry powder
¼ tsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. roasted peanut oil (more if desired)
1 packet dehydrated lime juice
Combine the rice noodles and freeze-dried spinach in a sealable bag; do the same with the chopped roasted peanuts and dried onion. Mix together the dry ingredients and add to a third sealable bag. Pack the roasted peanut oil in a reusable container.
Heat 2 cups of water. While you’re waiting, add the contents of the peanut sauce powder baggie to your bowl. When the water starts to boil, add the vermicelli rice noodles and spinach to the pot. Cook according to the noodle package directions and turn off the heat.
Pour some of the noodle water into your bowl, mixing with the peanut sauce powder, until it reaches the desired consistency. Discard the rest of the noodle water. Add the noodles to the bowl with the peanut sauce, along with the roasted peanut oil. Stir to incorporate. Top with the roasted peanuts and dried onions and enjoy!
Cover photo by Scott Rinckenberger