The complex flavors of this Thai curry come from powdered coconut milk and peanut butter, plus multiple kinds of dehydrated vegetables. For a faster option than boil-in-bag rice, you can bring instant. The recipe comes from the outdoor cooking experts behind the blog Dirty Gourmet, dirtygourmet.com.
GEAR Nalgene bottle (for measuring), 2-qt. backpacking saucepan, backpacking stove and fuel, small knife, spork, small cutting board, backpacking ladle
1 cup coconut milk powder*, such as Wilderness Family Naturals
6 tablespoons peanut butter powder*, such as PB2
2 teaspoons packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons mixed freeze-dried vegetables*, such as carrots, green and red bell peppers, and green beans or peas (Harmony House Foods)
2 tablespoons dried onion flakes*
1/4 cup chopped dried shiitake mushrooms
6 tablespoons red curry paste*
2 pouches boil-in-bag brown rice, such as Uncle Ben's
1/4 cup roasted salted peanuts
How to Make It
In a bowl, combine coconut milk and peanut butter powders, brown sugar, garlic powder, and salt; transfer to a 1-qt. resealable bag. Combine freeze-dried vegetables, onion flakes, and mushrooms in a second 1-qt. bag. Seal curry paste in a small plastic bag.
Pour 1 cup water into bag with dried vegetables; seal and set aside 15 to 20 minutes to rehydrate.
Meanwhile, in a 2-qt. saucepan, bring 4 to 5 cups water to simmering. Add rice, set lid slightly ajar on pan, and simmer rapidly, adjusting heat as needed, until grains look cooked, 10 to 15 minutes. Lift bags from water, draining water from them, and set on a plate. Cover with another plate and set aside. Drain all but 1 cup water from pan.
Cut a hole in bag with curry paste and squeeze into hot water. Pour in coconut powder mixture and stir until well blended. Stir in rehydrated vegetables. Cook curry over medium heat, stirring, until steaming, about 3 minutes.
Cut open rice bags and pour onto plates. Spoon curry next to rice and sprinkle with peanuts. Cut lime into wedges and add to plates.
*Wilderness Family Naturals organic coconut milk powder is perfect for curries ($20/1 lb.; wildernessfamilynaturals.com). Bell Plantation PB2 powdered peanut butter has roasted flavor ($4/6.5 oz.; natural-foods stores and walmart.com). Harmony House Foods freeze-dried and dehydrated vegetables (such as carrots, green beans, and corn) taste great as snacks and in stews (from $2.95/4 oz.; harmonyhousefoods.com). Find dried onion flakes with the spices at well-stocked grocery stores, and red curry paste in the international aisle.