I regularly use Ramen for FBC cooking and also Angel Hair or thin egg noodles (although these can taste a little like raw flour). I tried the new quick cook pasta but wasn't impressed - too crunchy. However, I just recently discovered Trader Joe's Rice Sticks. They cook up pretty well in a cozy and don't need rinsing like so many of the rce noodles you get at an Asian grocery. What pasta do you use?
If I wouldn't eat it at home, why would I want to eat it on the trail?
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Cous-cous! It looks like pulverized rice but is actually pasta. It is very compact (takes up far less room in your pack or bear canister). It doesn't need cooking; just add boiling water and let stand 5 minutes. It doesn't need any advance preparation such as cooking and then dehydrating. You can buy a whole-wheat version (which I prefer), which is much more nourishing and doesn't have the "off" flavor of some whole-wheat noodles. It could double as breakfast cereal, too. IMHO it's one of the most versatile items for the backpacking diet!
Edited by OregonMouse (03/24/1102:59 PM)
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey
Cooking pasta to the point and then drying it in a dehydrator works fine for me!
I then put a portion of the precooked and dried noodles in an 1 litre freezerbag, add e. g. dried vegetables, mushrooms, herbs and spices, sauce-powder and perhaps a piece of storable cheese. Then I ad boiling water, stir well, close the bag, put it in some insulation (fleece pullover, bag cozy) and wait 10-15 min.. Then I stir again and eat (long spoon...). The rehydrated pasta tasted and felt always like freshly cooked in my experiments.
Take care that you cook/dry small, "thin walled" pasta, for it will rehydrate easier.
Couscous for me too, and semolina when I go for the "sweet" taste. Or what we call "coquillettes",which need about 2 mn boiling time then setting in the pot. Ramen packets are for emergency use only ! Couscous is very handy, goes well with instant soups for instance (curry, minestrone...) Instant polenta is not bad, too.
Loc: Eastern MA, USA
[quote=thecook]I regularly use Ramen for FBC cooking and also Angel Hair or thin egg noodles (although these can taste a little like raw flour).
The problem with boil-water-and-dump (AKA freezer bag) cooking is that the boiling water begins to cool as soon as it is poured. Most pasta turns back into paste (wet raw flour) before it reaches the cooking temp needed for the change to a cooked noodle. So, yes, the noodles then should taste like raw flour.
Pre-cook and dehydrate, or use couscous, OR bulgur, a whole wheat precooked pasta nutritionally equivalent to brown rice.
Raman is very bulky and if you are trying to stuff things in a bear cannister, the Raman gets crushed and then is just paste. Ramen noodles are soaked in fat- and the fat can turn rancid if they are too old. The fat is great for calories, but check the expiration dates. I also think Ramen has dubious nutritional value other than calories.
Any time you fully cook and then dehydrate, it will be more bulky. When I have to use a bear cannister, I do not even use commercial freeze-dried meals because they are bulky.
I once went out with a person who was gluten sensitive, so we did rice noodles- they never would get cooked at high altitude.
Cous-cus and instant brown rice are my staples. You have to cook the rice a little but not much. I also like regular linguini- it takes little space and does not break as much as angle hair pasta.
Loc: Central Texas
I love couscous and so do my kids so it's a natural for us. On the recent trip I took I measured out the couscous into a freezer bag and then dumped in a bunch of seasonings. I wrote how much water was supposed to go into it on the bag with a sharpie. I took a couple of foil packs of chicken and put them in the freezer bag when we got ready to eat and then dumped hot water in the bag and sealed it up for about ten minutes. It was great.
Edit: I put the chicken from the foil packs in with the couscous. We didn't cook the foil.
Loc: Eastern MA, USA
Your gluten-sensitive friend might do better with pre-cooked and dehydrated rice, whether brown or white. Spinning the rice through a processor to chop it up will make it quicker to rehydrate and give it a more cous-cous like texture to make it seem like (s)he has more of a variety in foods.
Loc: Maine/New Jersey
I second the notion for cous-cous. I love that stuff. Bring along a bullion cube to throw in the water when it boils. It enhances the flavor immensely. I like weird foods, so I throw dried cranberries on top when it is done cooking. Delicious.
"To me, hammocking is relaxing, laying, swaying. A steady slow morphine drip without the risk of renal failure." - Dale Gribbel