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  1. #1
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    Default Is there a rice/pasta (just add hot water) equivalent of ramen noodles?

    Coming from uk, no chance of me dehydrating and sending parcels on, so just want to buy stuff from stores along the way Ė could possibly by in bulk at a big supermarket and then send onwards. I have no problem with noodles Ė cheap, loads of calories, lightweight and just about enough flavour to get me through. Just that Iím not aware of any similarly cheapo meals where you just add boiling water to a base of pasta or rice and add a flavouring sachet. (Pasta/rice/noodles all basically have the same calories and pasta and rice are cheap as anything dried in a supermarket here in UK) Do they sell something like this in USA? Happy to get my fill of fresh fruit and veg in towns and just deal in carbs, nuts and junk (crisps, chocolate, cereal) along the way.

  2. #2
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    You could look at knorrs....

  3. #3

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    If anyone knows of a pasta that is not still crunchy after making in a freezer bag,please advise.I like all the Knorr's rice products etc and Idahoan potatoes but have never been able to make decent pasta that turned out just right in the FB.Maybe I'm doing something wrong?

  4. #4

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    Couscous works great. You can even eat it after about fifteen minutes of cold soaking and it won't be crunchy.

  5. #5

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    I've been experimenting with grocery store foods that will work well for freezer bag cooking. Long story short, just about anything labelled "instant" or "quick" will work. I've used instant brown rice, instant barley, instant potatoes. I still need to try rolled oats. Although not labelled "quick" or "instant" most couscous re-hydrates well. I tried some noodles a while back and seem to recall the whole wheat versions did not cook as well as the white flour versions. Most things need 20-30 minutes in a cozy to re-hydrate properly.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by JNI64 View Post
    You could look at knorrs....
    Yes, what used to be called Lipton's Pasta-Sides has now become Knorrs. Excellent backpacking meals, sort of.

    And then of course there's Old Fashioned Oatmeal. Add honey and salt and peanut butter and/or butter or cream cheese or cheese and you'd be surprised how simple Oats can be the foundation to a complete backpacking meal. I never get tired of the humble Oat.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bishbash View Post
    Coming from uk, no chance of me dehydrating and sending parcels on, so just want to buy stuff from stores along the way – could possibly by in bulk at a big supermarket and then send onwards. I have no problem with noodles – cheap, loads of calories, lightweight and just about enough flavour to get me through. Just that I’m not aware of any similarly cheapo meals where you just add boiling water to a base of pasta or rice and add a flavouring sachet. (Pasta/rice/noodles all basically have the same calories and pasta and rice are cheap as anything dried in a supermarket here in UK) Do they sell something like this in USA? Happy to get my fill of fresh fruit and veg in towns and just deal in carbs, nuts and junk (crisps, chocolate, cereal) along the way.
    Minute rice works that way.
    Time is but the stream I go afishin' in.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Five Tango View Post
    If anyone knows of a pasta that is not still crunchy after making in a freezer bag,please advise.I like all the Knorr's rice products etc and Idahoan potatoes but have never been able to make decent pasta that turned out just right in the FB.Maybe I'm doing something wrong?
    As mentioned above let hydrate longer in your cozy. And person specifically wants rice and pasta options? You could throw in meat options as well like pepperoni, chicken packet, salami you know stuff like that .

  9. #9
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    I find that basmati rice will cook very will with just coming to a boil and setting in a cozy for 20 minutes. Same with red lentils (the little tiny ones). Not necessary to get pre-cooked, parboiled, freeze dried, etc... foods. Other types of rice and beans don't work so well.

    Buf for the pre-cook/dried mixes, I'm partial to Zatarains black (or red) beans and rice.

  10. #10

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    Knorr sides are a staple on the AT. Usually fortified with a packet of tuna. Inexpensive and available nearly everywhere.

    I prefer varieties with spiral noodles. I tend to burn the ribbon noodles and rice varieties to the bottom of the pot. If you use freezer bag cooking and a cozy, that's less of a problem.
    The cheesy broccoli is my favorite, but man, I've eaten way too many of them. I'll probably continue to eat too many of them

    Egg noodles are an option too, they cook real fast. I haven't figured out a good sauce for them.
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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Five Tango View Post
    If anyone knows of a pasta that is not still crunchy after making in a freezer bag,please advise.I like all the Knorr's rice products etc and Idahoan potatoes but have never been able to make decent pasta that turned out just right in the FB.Maybe I'm doing something wrong?
    Maybe, there is such a rice or pasta that answers your desire. Perhaps, Barilla Ready Pastas, for example?

    However, don't separate the 'cook's' abilities from the pasta. Knorrs noodles for example soaked longer even in cool water get softer. Soaked too long they turn into a soup like mush. 'Crunch' and soak times are also influenced by the shape of pasta or the flour used to make the pasta. For example, capellini takes something like 2-7 mins verse spaghetti that takes a longer time and linguini longer than spaghetti. For example, whole wheat pasta takes a bit longer to cook and can still be firmer than durum wheat pasta with the same shape, temp water, etc. Maybe, soak longer or pre soak?

    If liking pasta remember 'pasta' can be made from other flours. 'Pasta' actually is credited as originating out of ancient Asia not Italy. Italy adapted it. That's why Asian pasta - noodles - are more rice, mung bean, etc based. Rice vermicelli, which can be gluten free(GF), can simply be soaked for a few mins, about 5 mins, and eaten. In the U.S. it's often than added to stir fries eaten warm. There you go - no cook freezer bag 'pasta.' When warm weather hiking craving a pasta or noodle as the base adopting the no cook strategy(no heat with a flame, sun's rays not included LOL ) I use these in no cook recipes. I'll do something like rice vermicelli and add Trail Sprouts grown on trail using Outdoor Herbivore's Trail Sprouting kit, rehydrated ****ake mushrooms, peanuts or peanut sauce, dried or fresh scallion slivers, etc. Add a meat or plant based 'protein' of choice. Tweak as desired.

    GF and wheat free and easy to digest Mung Bean pasta noodles - vermicelli - is something with little to no flavor and can be found in food abundant options U.S. food system at Asian grocers. It has advantages for those that have issue with these sensitivities and digestive issues. What's sometimes referred to as cellophane(fensi) noodles can be made out of mung bean.

    There is also readily available, even at Wally Worlds, I've even seen it in limited gas station/convenience stores, SOBA 100% Buckwheat pasta - noodles- also GF free, with perhaps additional or different nutritional or health benefits over durum wheat pasta or noodles.

    TIP: Rice and mung bean pasta - noodles- are found in big bags in Asian grocers at very reduced prices, financially inexpensive IMHO. Bit more costlier than the cheapest 20 ct Maruchan and Nissin brand Ramen wheat noodles found in Wally Worlds(what food isn't more expensive than two, 40 ct total, "meal"?) but in several other perspectives better. Ramen can be made from other flours but it goes up in price from these wheat flour based cheapest Ramen brands. I have acquaintances that are Asian that are a professional translators I arrange going with me to the store to help translate any packaging. I buy them a bowl of soup or take them to lunch for their time. It's a great way to explore other cultures and expand on the hot dog, pizza, burger, and pasta has to be made from wheat mentality prevalent in the U.S. or the idea that Knorrs Sides are the only pastas or rices that have conveniences and financially cheap.

    TIP: Mung bean and rice vermicelli is very thin very narrow hence not only shorter cook or cold soak times but it doesn't as readily have that pokiness factor as, say spaghetti or Nissin Ramen, that can puncture a Ziploc hence the bag the pasta is stored in can weigh less, decrease spoilage, be less bulkier, financially cost less, etc if that matters to you.


    TIP: Most know cook times take longer at higher altitudes. However, I'm not aware it ever being mentioned anywhere that factors like pasta shape, type of flour used, pre cooked/short time cook pastas like Barilla Ready Pasta etc can mediate those cook times. I factor this in when choosing pasta - noodles - for higher elevation UL backpacking trips. I factor these in when choosing the menu as I'm accustomed to higher elevation backpacking at higher elevations than the AT. And, even if not UL higher elevation hiking higher elev can entail less access to water so it's more hassle free not having to carry more water in strenuous alpine hiking conditions that prevail, using more water for things other than drinking to maintain hydration, finding water, using water for cleaning/cleaning cookware, etc That's why climbers and mountaineers have evolved, perhaps more so than others, to be accustomed to cleaning cookware with grit, sand, small pebbles, a swipe of a ditty rag, etc, similarly in arid desert backpacking. That's why it can be important to hike in a wider diversity of environments and conditions rather than getting into ruts or always the same cookie cutter approaches. It snowballs into being a better, more prepared, more rounded, better able to survive, backpacker.

    Hope I'm not talking to me myself again.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    Yes, what used to be called Lipton's Pasta-Sides has now become Knorrs. Excellent backpacking meals, sort of.

    And then of course there's Old Fashioned Oatmeal. Add honey and salt and peanut butter and/or butter or cream cheese or cheese and you'd be surprised how simple Oats can be the foundation to a complete backpacking meal. I never get tired of the humble Oat.
    Just an little expansion on oats. There are many varieties. What most of us probably carry in our packs are the small packs of "instant" oats that will soften and be edible just by adding hot/boiling water and letting sit for 2 minutes. Then there's "quick" cook oats which need to be simmered for anywhere from 1 - 3 minutes, or after adding boiling water let sit for 10 minutes Ī in a cozy. Then there's "old fashioned" or "rolled" oats. Like the previous two, these have also been steamed and flattened in rollers, but they are thicker. They need to be simmered for anywhere from 5-10 minutes or more (depending on thickness and desired consistency), or pre-soaked for hours (often overnight) and then cooked for a few minutes. Presoaking can present a problem both in freezing weather and in regards to bear bagging/vaults if the soaking is done overnight. The same and more goes for "steel cut" oats which aren't rolled but are instead milled/cut into chunks. As a result, the chunks are thicker and have less surface area than a similar mass of a rolled oat so they take even longer to absorb liquid and cook. Steel cuts are often soaked in water and/or milk along with a touch of a little acidic (like yogurt or ?) to help enzymes break down the naturally occurring phytic acid that hinders digestion. Oats are seeds - they aren't easily digestible if eaten raw - which is why we chop them up, roll them, and cook them. The plus side for "old fashioned/rolled" and "steel cut" varieties is that the texture is nuttier/less mushy than the "instant" and "quick" varieties. The best oatmeal cookies recipes use the "old fashioned" oats for this reason - it's a texture thing.

  13. #13

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    Some glossary terms for our UK friend:
    "Wally World" = WalMart
    "Knorrs" = a brand of rice or noodle dishes, designed to be cooked (at home) but adaptable to freezer-bag cooking on the trail (https://www.knorr.com/us/en/products.html)

    (apologies if you already know these, bishbash...)

  14. #14
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    Iím asking the reverse question: Iím spending most of May 2020 hiking in Southern England. What quick-cooking or presoak or no-cook foods are readily bought in England? What are the English equivalents to the products that have been mentioned in this excellent thread?

    Iím doing a week on an old religious pilgrimage called the Old Way going in reverse from Canterbury. Iím putting together what Iím thinking of as a week of ecological pilgrimage, tying together Knepp Castle, a modern example of re-wilding and biodiversity enhancement; a visit to Gilbert Whiteís parish of Selborne; and Charles Darwinís Down House. Finally, Iím returning to Exmoor where I taught outdoors for a wonderful year in the early 1990s. Iíll be doing a a week along the South West Coast Path.

  15. #15

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    Thanks,Dogwood,for the suggestions.I note that Barilla Ready Pasta is a microwavable pouch.Maybe it can be heated in hot water in the bag if the pot is large enough,or put it in a large enough FB and add hot water that way?
    I normally shy away from pre-cooked items because the tend to weigh more than dry goods.However,from what I saw on their site,it does seem interesting.

    My problem is that at the end of the day after my shelter is set up,I'm ready to eat NOW.I usually pull something out of the food bag based on how long it will take to prepare vs how ready I am to eat something at the time.My patience limit is about 20 minutes which is what I allow for Knorr's rice entre(my favorite is Knorr's Spanish Rice and I spice it up with dehydrated pineapple chunks).

    If in a big hurry,it's mashed potatoes,ramen,or the one minute oatmeal.I don't use the instant oatmeal because I don't want the additives.I just spice up the minute kind with a tablespoon of REAL sugar and some freeze dried fruit and give it about 3 minutes in the bag and dig in.

    I will be going back to the drawing board on pasta times though but don't expect my results to be acceptable though.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by bishbash View Post
    Coming from uk, no chance of me dehydrating and sending parcels on, so just want to buy stuff from stores along the way – could possibly by in bulk at a big supermarket and then send onwards. I have no problem with noodles – cheap, loads of calories, lightweight and just about enough flavour to get me through. Just that I’m not aware of any similarly cheapo meals where you just add boiling water to a base of pasta or rice and add a flavouring sachet. (Pasta/rice/noodles all basically have the same calories and pasta and rice are cheap as anything dried in a supermarket here in UK) Do they sell something like this in USA? Happy to get my fill of fresh fruit and veg in towns and just deal in carbs, nuts and junk (crisps, chocolate, cereal) along the way.
    Cous cous is easily rehydrated and a great base to add all sorts of things to.
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  17. #17
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    :banana Why Limit Yourself Only to Instant Foods?

    I agree with those who have suggested Knorrs sides and separately "Old Fashioned Oat Meal". These days most Knorrs "rice" items are actually a blend of rice and pasta. Typically their directions call for boiling or simmering the package's contents for at least six or seven minutes.

    If you are willing to put your food into a pot and simmer or boil it for 1-3 minutes the number of tasty options available to you expands greatly beyond what works well with just cold soaking or "freezer bag cooking". And, if you make your meal slightly soupy, cooked with ample water, cleaning the pot can be accomplished very quickly and easily.

    When on the trail I occasionally enjoy eating couscous, which cooks instantly after boiling water is added. But I personally wouldn't want to hike for months fueled every night just by couscous, instant mashed potatoes, and/or ramen.

    Unless you avoid cooking altogether, you need to carry with you some sort of pot (or a kettle of comparable or greater weight) for boiling water. In addition to holding water while its heating, that little pot can also be used to cook food, and then be the 'serving bowl' from which you eat.

  18. #18
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    no matter what you go with, remember - ain't nuthin' wrong with a lil' crunch! al al al dente is still edible.

  19. #19

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    The last time I tried making pasta in a pot was a total cleanup disaster.Next morning's coffee had a taste of last
    night's dinner.

  20. #20
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    Pasta dishes can be made with "freezer bag cooking" you just need to pick the right noodles. You want very thin/small noodles and an insulating pouch to store the ziploc in while it's hydrating to help retain heat. The smaller and thinner the noodle the better it is for freezer bag cooking. I like the tiny shell noodles for mac and cheese and the extra small noodles for spaghetti dishes. They will hydrate in 6-7 minutes just fine IMPE. If anyone is curious, my mac and cheese recipe is:

    Ingredients:
    1 1/2 cup small shell noodles
    2 heaping tablespoons cheddar cheese powder
    1 heaping tablespoon Nido
    1 teaspoon cornstarch (helps thicken the sauce)
    hunk of Velveeta cheese (to taste, I usually have Velveeta on my crackers for lunch and just use whatever's left over, maybe 2 tablespoons if you like it really cheesy like me)

    optional: a little bit of meat can be nice: SPAM or chicken pouch, or little bacon jerky is really good too

    Cooking Directions:

    I separate the powders in a small ziploc inside the quart bag when I prep my meals it - pull the bag of powders out and save that for later.

    Boil 1 3/4 cup water
    Poor into 1 qt ziplock freezer bag with noodles, let hot steam out for a couple of seconds and then seal the ziploc bag
    Put ziploc into the insulated pouch
    Mix every minute or so by gently shaking and pushing on sides of bag to mix (don't bust the bag open by squeezing too hard!)
    Wait 5-8 minutes until noodles are cooked.
    If the noodles have soaked up all of the water and still are not soft I'll add a splash of water (not too much)
    If the noodles are done and there's still a lot of water in the bag then just pour some of it our (but you need a little fluid in there to mix the powders: you don't want it dry)
    Mix in powders and then the Velveeta
    Stir to mix (if the powder is clumping and it's not making a sauce, add just a bit of water and mix some more)
    Optional: add your meat
    Enjoy!

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