Amidst the foodies, few dishes have exploded in popularity in recent years as much as ramen. And rightfully so. Tender pork belly and simmering bubbles of fatty broth, a variety of textures of vegetables, supple noodles. A good bowl of ramen sells itself.
Then there are those cheap packets of ramen. Long a staple with nickel-and-diming outdoor enthusiasts, these affordable blocked meals are efficient. But they suck. After college and many back-up backcountry meals of hard noodles and a little packet of spices with plenty of sodium but devoid of excitement, these little things don’t seem as appealing. However, it’s entirely practical to not give up on these and to try a new twist. According to Edison, “to invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.”
On a recent sea kayaking adventure in Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve in Alaska, we tried the following for 4 people:
- 3 packets conventional ramen with chicken flavor
- Olive oil
- 3 carrots, chopped
*Our seaweed came from an open crossing and was entirely fresh. Avoid seaweed by the sea shore or rotten and falling apart. It should look fresh. Or you can buy seaweed from the grocery store and reconstitute. However, using a local ingredient is both exciting and totally practical. As always, use new wild foods with moderation.
The other spices and oil help to create a mock umami flavor, the sensation and taste of fat. This is a great, nourishing little bowl for after a cold, rainy paddle. Hope you enjoy and visit back for future backcountry recipes!