During a camping trip to Yosemite with my Dad our food supplies started getting low. We couldn’t stomach another round of beef or chicken ramen powder. So I came up with my first-ever truly dirtbag solution. From our camp spot, I walked over to the Tuolumne Meadows general store café and hit the condiments table. With a few packs of soy sauce, peanut butter, and a cup filled with sriracha, I transformed our ramen noodles into a scrappy yet sumptuous version of pad Thai.
The meal was delicious, the sunset views stellar, but best of all is the fun memory with my Dad this meal always brings me back to. We had a few other hiccups on the Yosemite trip, and my Dad had a very zen perspective deep in the valley which has stuck with me ever since,
“Down here, we are getting a massive hug from the granite walls. The bottom is an amazing place. We are as low as we can be around these parts; it is rare to be here. Sometimes breaking down is the point. Now the only place left to go is up.”
Makes 2 noodle bowls
When food supplies were getting low and Dad and I could not stomach another round of chicken or beef ramen powder, I came up with my first-ever truly dirtbag solution. From our camp spot, I walked over to the Tuolumne Meadows general store café and hit the condiments table. With a few packs of soy sauce, peanut butter, and a cup filled with sriracha, I transformed our ramen noodles into a scrappy yet sumptuous version of pad Thai. These days, I pack in a baggy filled with coconut milk, which is worth its weight in flavor and extra calories.
Backpacking stove (1 or 2)
Backpacking pot (1 or 2)
Bowl or ziplock bag
4 packs ramen noodles (or rice noodles)
1 spoonful coconut oil
2 cloves garlic, minced, or 1 tsp. garlic powder
½ cup peanut butter, crunchy or smooth
2–4 Tbsp. soy sauce
2–4 Tbsp. sriracha or other hot chili sauce, to tast
1 15-oz. can coconut milk
Protein (eggs, chicken, beef, canned salmon)
If you have two backpacking stoves, start the noodles and the sauce simultaneously.
Boil the ramen noodles in a pot on your stove. When cooked, strain most of the water into a bowl. (Use the leftover water for cleanup or drink it before a run to get extra carbs!) Keeping a small amount of moisture in the ramen helps the peanut sauce coat the noodles evenly.
If you have only one stove and pot, set aside the noodles in a bowl or a ziplock bag while you make the sauce.
To make peanut sauce
Heat the coconut oil. Add garlic and sauté until slightly golden. Adjust heat to medium and stir in peanut butter. Gradually drizzle in the soy sauce as the peanut butter melts, tasting to see how salty and flavorful it is getting. (Depending on how much salt you are craving from your last mission, your preference may vary.) Repeat with the sriracha. I use roughly the same amount as the soy sauce, but make it your way.
Add coconut milk if you have it. Continue to stir until sauce is fully blended—but not too long or it will dry out and become clumpy.
Add sauce to noodles and mix until evenly coated.
If you have veggies or protein along, toss them in the pot with another spoonful of oil and cook to your liking.
Add the veggies and protein in with the noodles and sauce and serve with a side of sunset.
To read more about the Yosemite adventure with my Dad check out Outlandish.