Thank You Internet: Awesome (and Awful) Backcountry Ramen 🍜

Ramen: That traditional backcountry staple of low-cost, low-weight camping calorification. All you REALLY need is the ramen itself, but why sacrifice needlessly? Just a few ounces of simple adornment can transform a spartan boil-and-go trail break into a virtual feast. And it didn't take us long to find some great backcountry ramen recipes on the internet where everything is true. Or at least when it comes to backcountry ramen recipes. Try some of these out on your next trek and you'll be glad you did. 🍜

Premium Ultralight Ramen

One does not often see "premium" and "ramen" paired together as words, but Chef Glenn from Backcountrychef.com has thousands of recipes for the camping connoisseur, including some great ones for ramen. If you're looking for yummy and light weight, these are awesome. Chef Glenn strongly recommends using bouillon cubes instead of the seasoning found in most ramen packs. You'll taste the difference.

Bean & Veggie Ramen Noodles: That means it's vegan friendly!

Ingredients:

 

  • ¼ Cup dehydrated vegetables- try French cut green beans, tomatoes, corn, and onions
  • ½ Cube vegetarian bouillon
  • 1 Cup water

At Home:

Pack the ½ bouillon cube in a 2 x 3 plastic bag or wrap in foil and enclose with other dry ingredients in a 4 x 6 plastic bag. I separate the bouillon because it has moisture that could migrate to the dry ingredients.

On the Trail:

Combine all ingredients with one cup water and soak for five minutes.

Light stove, bring to boil, and continue cooking for one minute.

Transfer pot to insulating cozy for ten minutes.

Cheese-O-Rama: Anything called Cheese-O-Rama is alright with us.

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp cheddar cheese powder
  • 1 Tbsp powdered milk
  • Pinch crushed red pepper
  • 1 Cup water

At Home:

Combine and pack cheese powder and milk powder in a 2 x 3 plastic bag and enclose with other ingredients in a 4 x 6 plastic bag. I use the cheese powder from boxes of Annie’s or Back to Nature brands of macaroni and cheese. For milk powder, I use NIDO brand whole dry milk.

On the Trail:

Combine all ingredients except the cheese and milk powder in pot with one cup water and soak for five minutes.

Light stove, bring to a boil, and continue cooking for another minute.

Remove pot from stove, add cheese and milk power, and stir vigorously.

Cover pot and place in insulating cozy for ten minutes.

Budget Ramen (Potentially a Redundant Title)

To some, Matt Fisher is the Internet Ramen King. The Official Ramen Homepage gathers thousands of submitted recipes from the vast expanse of ramen fandom and organizes them into an easy-to-search forum. These caught our eye for some trail-worthy noodle goodness.

Thai Peanut Ramen – 100% achievable with Chinese takeout condiment packages!

Sauce:

  • 2 packages of individually wrapped peanut butter tubs
  • 1 package condiment soy sauce
  • 1 package of hot sauce
  • 1 package plum sauce or apricot jam (for sweetness)

Noodles

  • 1 package of ramen (any flavor)
  • 1 package of dry peanuts (like from a mickey d’s sundae)
  • 1 1/2 cup boiling hot water

Mix first five ingredients and add to hot noodles. Stir. Top with peanuts.

Easy Chicken Ramen - With Shiitake Mushrooms

  • 1 package ramen noodles
  • 1 3 ounce can chicken
  • 1 tablespoon dried corn
  • 2 tablespoons dried shiitake mushrooms, broken up
  • 1 tablespoon dried peas
  • 1 packet soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, to taste
  • Pinch red pepper flakes

At home: combine the corn, mushrooms, peas and red pepper flakes in a ziplock bag. Put broken-up ramen in quart size ziplock freezer bag along with seasonings. Carry the sesame oil in a screw top container.

In camp: bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil. Add water, seasoning packet, and vegetables to ramen noddles ziplock bag. Once the noodles are cooked, add the chicken, sesame oil, and soy sauce. Makes 1 serving.

Miso Ramen - So easy!

  • One package ramen noodles (any brand/flavor)
  • One package miso soup mix (the powdered type that you make in a coffee cup)
  • One green onion cut into 1/4 inch pieces

Prepare the ramen according to the package instructions, but when you get to the point where you would normally add the flavor packet, add the miso soup mix instead. You want the ramen to be a little soupy before adding the miso. Mix well, then garnish with the sliced green onions and serve.

Ramens to Avoid

Hans Lienesch,The Ramen Rater, has devoted his life to building an encyclopedic online ramen review site, having posted 1900 plus reviews so far. It's a herculean effort that inspires nothing but awe. And maybe a little concern for Hans' GI tract, but WE SALUTE HIM. Hans focuses less on ramen recipes and more on authoritative reviews of ramen brands, but after 1900 bowls of ramen, one is bound to run across a few odd, strange and/or terrible ramens out there. Here are some of his highlights:

Country of Origin: Pakistan

Taste: Like that old frozen pizza you found at the bottom of the chest freezer and decided to throw in the oven just for kicks.

Apparently there's a place on this earth where the "fry sauce" of ramen is mustard and mayonnaise mixed together in a convenient  little package. Simply pinch, mix, and apply on top. And that's all we have to say about that.

This is the worst ramen the Ramen Rater has ever tasted. Wow. Stick with the recipes above and you'll do much, much better! Cheers and happy eating!