Choosing a companion for a lengthy stint in the hills can be a bit tricky. You’re going to be stuck with them day and night, in sickness and health… for better or worse. So how exactly do you tell if your new tramping buddy is going to flake out on you on day-three?
Well, I think I may have found the answer. When it comes time to plan the food for the trip, simply suggest a meal or two based on textured vegetable protein (TVP). It’s not fine cuisine by a long shot, but it’s a super lightweight protein that’s tasty and lasts forever.
More importantly, it gives you an insight into the personality of your tent-mate – TVP tolerance shows open mindedness, pragmatism, adventurousness and, given the addition of a few extra chillies, tolerance to discomfort. Everything you need to know before you go!
Energy: 1450 calories
Preparation time: 20min
Fuel: 125ml white spirit, or 50g camping gas*
*Based on an MSR Whisperlite burning white spirit at sea level.
- ½ cup TVP (also known as textured soy protein)
- 125g rice vermicelli
- 5 tbsp oil
- 2 tsp five spice powder
- 1 tbsp powdered ginger
- l dried long red chilli
- 1 packet dried carrot (or 1 large carrot shopped into matchstick sized pieces)
- 3 tsp sugar
- 1 handful smashed cashews or peanuts
- 40g Thai herb and spice blend in tube
- Salt and pepper
- Finely chopped miners mint (if you find it out on the trail)
Remove seeds from chillies, cut into small pieces and soak in a splash of water, when water turns red, remove the chilli pieces and put the chilli-infused water to one side.
Soak TVP and dehydrated vegetables and cook the noodles, as per the packet instructions, drain and rinse.
In a hot wok or fry pan, fry the TVP and five spice in oil until brown and crisp, add garlic and sugar and fry for another few minutes and then add the carrot, chilli and ground ginger, cook for a further few minutes. Add the noodles, cashews, Thai herb blend and mint. Season to taste and serve immediately with chili water on the side.