Asian Chow Mein Salad

The word “gourmet” is relative. Especially when it comes to long distance backpacking. As a foodie and a long distance backpacker, I struggle to find a compromise. Here is a sampling of one of my recipes that takes a little extra time to make, but the reward is worth it!


  • 1/2 c. crunchy chow mein noodles
  • 2 c. broccoli slaw with carrots
  • 1/2 c. freeze dried chicken
  • 1/4 c. almond slivers
  • 2 T. dried peas
  • 3 T. sliced celery
  • 3 T. sliced green onion
  • 1.5 oz. packet of Asian dressing of choice, I used ginger sesame

Chow Mein Noodles

Broccoli Slaw

Sliced Almonds


Sesame Ginger Dressing

At Home Preparation

Dry broccoli slaw, celery, and green onions in a food dehydrator. Place  slaw, chicken, peas, celery, onion, and almonds into a quart-sized freezer ziplock bag. Put chow mein noodles into a separate sandwich-sized ziplock.


On-Trail Preparation

Add cold water to the bag of meat and veggie ingredients so that the ingredients are about 2/3 submerged. Try and smash all the air out of the bag and re-seal it. Periodically shake or upturn the bag. Let soak 30-60 minutes (or until chicken and peas are rehydrated). You may need to add more water if it disappears partway through rehydrating. Stir in salad dressing and noodles to rehydrated mixture. Eat!


For a soft noodle salad, you could use a brick of ramen (instead of chow mein) and rehydrate everything all at once. Once softened, add dressing.

You could add mandarins, but I didn’t find this added as much as I would have liked.

TJ Mandarins

Cilantro may be a good addition, but I didn’t try it.

Calories: 670-820

If you liked this idea, watch for other “Gourmet Trail Recipes” coming soon. No way you would put this much work into trail food? Watch for upcoming articles entitled “Favorite Easy Trail Recipes”.