Going ultralight with your camping meals? Go Japanese

Setting off on the trail again – can’t wait!

The coming weeks will see me do a solo trek with my packraft around New Zealand’s central North Island for 20 days, then two long treks in the South Island. Keeping the food weight down is critical, and I’ve found a treasure trove of ingredients in my local Japanese supermarket today.

Clockwise from left…

Wasabi peas

These are the perfect salty addition to my trail mix. A trail essential for me.

Seaweed flakes

I’ve often used seaweed in my trail cooking for the great flavor it adds, as well as its resilience to living in a backpack. But this is the first time I’ve tried it as flakes. This will be a great addition to stews and soups.

Dried octopus

I add this to a stew I make with barley, dried vegetables and mung beans. It has a fantastic flavor! You can also eat them directly.

Miso soup sachets with tofu

For a quick trail lunch, I cook plain Chinese egg noodles in this soup. (You may need to add a little extra salt after the noodles are added.)

Ground black sesame

This has great stats! Sesame, like many nuts and seeds, packs lots of energy for its weight. If you’re lucky enough to be hiking along the sea, you can add this ground black sesame into a shellfish risotto to create a really special trail dinner! I’m trying it for the first time on this hike and will come back with my new recipes.

Have you come across the perfect ultralight ingredient when looking at different countries’ foods? Share in the comments.

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