This Thai Peanut Noodle recipe competes with my Beans & Rice for the crowd favorite. It goes on nearly every single guided trip, and on most personal trips, especially if I have a prepared batch of sauce already in the fridge.
The sauce is worthy of at-home use. Amanda and I have a container of it in the fridge, combine it with rice noodles and a chicken breast from the skillet.
Update (March 13, 2017)
I have modified the sauce, to reduce the number of ingredients and to make it runnier, so that it can be more easily poured from a bottle in the field. If you prefer a thicker version, add more peanut butter and less olive oil.
- Recommended meal weight: 5.7 oz
- Total calories: 810
- Caloric density: 142 calories/ounce
As an alternative to the crushed peanuts, you can use raisins, which injects some sweetness instead of crunchiness. If you have a big appetite, consider adding both.
The garlic needed for one 2-oz serving of the sauce is 0.03 oz. That’s a healthy sprinkle, but not enough to measure on my postal scale.
For spiciness and flavor, consider Sriracha chili sauce. Like garlic, an appropriate amount for a single serving barely registers, just .04 oz. A field-friendly alternative are red pepper flakes, which are part of the universal spice kit.
A sprinkle of green onions is a nice addition, but unnecessary.
I am told that coconut milk powder “takes a meal that was already a 10 and raises the bar.” I can’t vouch for this myself yet, but I’ve ordered a 1-lb bag of Anthony’s Organic Coconut Milk Powder and will post back. To keep the meal at its recommended serving size, I will probably sub it for some peanut butter.
Ramen noodles have their own packaging, and I normally leave them that way. The exception is a short solo trip, when at home I may crush up the noodles and re-bag them with the raisins or crushed peanuts. One package of Ramen per meal per person.
The raisins or crushed peanuts are bagged separately and divided in the field.
The sauce should be made at home. Mix all of the listed ingredients (minus the noodles and peanuts) together. I recommend making big batches with a kitchen mixer, unless you want an arm workout.
Carry the sauce into the field in a 4- or 8-oz Nalgene HDPE Container or a 16- or 32-oz Nalgene Wide-Mouth Bottle. Even if you only need one serving, do not attempt to use a 2-oz bottle to save a few grams over the 4-oz or 8-oz size — you will struggle to pour the sauce into it and to clean it later.
- If you prefer smaller noodle pieces to long, stringy ones, crush the noodles before opening the package. Be careful — the package can rip open.
- Remove the MSG-filled “flavor” packet.
- Bring to a boil at least 1.25 cups (10 oz, 300ml) of water. I prefer soupy meals, however, so I normally use at least 2 cups.
- Add the Ramen and the peanuts, turn off the stove or let it burn out, and let the noodles sit for 5 minutes.
- Add the sauce.
If you use more than the minimum 1.25 cups of water, everything can be added at the very beginning, since the extra water will prevent scorching the ingredients.
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