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Camp Stove Pad Thai

Asian cuisine involves fast, fresh cooking techniques that can produce bold flavors—perfect for camping. Our dinner menu includes an appetizer of easy grilled satay and a simple pad thai, both of which are largely made ahead of time.


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup minced shallots
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup tamarind concentrate
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup rinsed bean sprouts
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted peanuts
  • 1 package (14 oz.) dried rice noodles
  • 1 lime
  • 1 pound frozen cooked shelled shrimp or 1 pound firm tofu

How to Make It

  1. AT HOME:

  2. Buy pad thai sauce, or make your own. Pour vegetable oil in an 8- to 10-inch frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add shallots and garlic and stir until limp, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in tamarind concentrate (or substitute 1 tablespoon dark molasses and increase lime juice to 1/4 cup), brown sugar, Asian fish sauce, chili powder, and lime juice; cook 1 minute. Let cool; chill airtight up to 1 week.

  3. Seal carrots, bean sprouts, cilantro, green onions, and peanuts in separate plastic bags; chill vegetables and cilantro.

  4. Purchase rice noodles, lime, and shrimp (pack frozen) or tofu (cut into 1-in. chunks; seal in a bag and chill).

  5. Pack a large pan; a pasta insert or a strainer; a medium pan for sauce; and tongs for combining noodles and sauce.

  6. IN CAMP:

  7. Halve and slice lime.

  8. In a large pan over high heat, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil. Add noodles and cook until barely tender to bite, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain noodles and rinse well in cool water. Return noodles to pan.

  9. In a medium pan over high heat, heat sauce and shrimp or tofu. Add to noodles with carrots, sprouts, cilantro, green onions, and peanuts; mix to coat. Accompany with lime slices.