Combining quick-cooking instant rice, freeze-dried vegetables, powdered eggs, and soy sauce packets, this fried rice recipe is a great backpacking idea that relies entirely on store-bought ingredients. No dehydrating required!
As so many backpackers do, we often get food cravings while out on the trail. While pizza is always high on the list, close behind is a carb-loaded favorite: fried rice. And not authentic fried, rice either. We’re taking super Americanized, food-court-at-the-mall style fried rice. (You know the kind!) We don’t really know why we love it, but we keep coming back.
So we figured we’d come up with a backpacking version that would satisfy our desire for “fried rice,” while still being lightweight, calorie-dense, and quick cooking.
What’s great about this recipe is that it relies entirely on store-bought ingredients. So if you don’t have a dehydrator (or don’t have time to dehydrate), this is a great recipe to have in your back pocket. You can pick up the instant rice, veggie bouillon, dried spices from your local grocery store. And you can purchase the Just Veggies dehydrated veggie mix and OvaEasy egg from REI or Amazon.
We made this fried rice vegetarian. However, if you want to up the protein in this meal, you could cut up a jerky bar and add it to the mix. We recommend the Epic meat bars – particularly the sriracha chicken!
Why We Love It:
↠ Diverse textures and flavors
↠ All store-bought ingredients, no dehydrator required
↠ Up the protein by adding jerky, or make it vegan by taking out the eggs
How to make backpacking fried rice
At home, combine the veggies with the dried spices in a resealable container and place a cube of vegetable bouillon and two soy sauce packets inside. If you can track down individual soy sauce packets, you can also fill a small resealable container with soy sauce. You’ll need at least 2 tablespoons for this recipe (but why not bring a little more for extra flavor?)
In a separate container, store the instant rice. If this is the only meal that includes eggs, you will also need to store the OvaEasy in a separate container as well, but more often than not, we just bring the whole bag as we are using eggs for other meals too – like our Breakfast Scramble.
At camp, the first step is to cook the eggs. In the bottom of a pot (with the heat off), mix the appropriate amount of egg crystals with water until the mixture is smooth. Then turn the heat on low to scramble. Add a little cooking oil if you’re worried about them sticking. Once the eggs are done, transfer them out of the pot into a bowl or cup.
The next step is to rehydrate the veggies. Pour the veggies and spices into the pot, add the vegetable bouillon cube, soy sauce packets (2 tablespoons-worth), and water. Let this all simmer for a few minutes, until the veggies are rehydrated and the bouillon cube is fully dissolved.
Then pour in the rice, turn off the heat, and cover. The rice is usually ready in about 5 minutes. All that’s left to do it stir everything up, mix the eggs back in and enjoy. If you brought a little extra soy sauce, this is a perfect time to drizzle a little on top.
Equipment & ingredients
↠ Cook Pot: A good, nonstick cook pot helps prevent the eggs from sticking to the bottom. We like this one from MSR which has a ceramic coating.
↠ Minute Rice: Don’t try to bring along regular rice for this, it will take forever to cook. Stick with white or brown Minute Rice which you can find at most grocery stores.
Other DIY backpacking recipes
Backcountry Fried Rice
In one bag:
In a second bag:
- 1 cup instant rice
In a third bag:
- ¼ cup OvaEasy egg crystals
- At home, assemble all ingredients in bags as listed above.
- In camp, mix ¼ cup OvaEasy egg crystals with 3 oz. water in your cookpot and stir to blend. Place the cookpot on your stove over low heat and scramble, stirring frequently so the egg doesn’t stick to the bottom. Once cooked, remove and set aside.
- Add 1 ¼ cup water and the contents of the veggies + spices bag to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the veggies are soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add instant rice, stir, and remove the pot from the heat and cover. Let sit for 5 minutes.
- Return the egg to the pot and stir to combine and re-warm the eggs.
Nutrition (Per Serving)
This recipe was first published on 7/8/2016 and updated on 5/4/2020