New Backcountry Meal: Cesar’s Pad Thai

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I was recently watching a food video by Cesar (from Cesar and the Woods), and one of his meals intrigued me… his version of Pad Thai! Some time back, I posted about Matthew Kirk‘s fast-pack version of Pad Thai, which I have since eaten numerous times, and have really enjoyed. This is a tasty (to me) meal, which is easy to find all the ingredients for, and inexpensive at that. It packs a good amount of calories, and is quite easy to clean up after (which is important to me). So, when I saw Cesar’s version, I figured I had to try it…

So, I asked Cesar for a more detailed ingredient list, and how exactly he cooks it, which he happily provided. I actually already had most of the ingredients, the rest of which I easily picked up at a local Wal-Mart for pretty cheap. Then today, I got everything sorted out, and put up the video camera.

Doing a quick calculation, my meal clocked in right around 600 calories, and including all the packaging, came in right at 7 oz on my scale. Subtracting the amount of packaging weight, I figure this meal is right at 100 calories per oz, so not too bad. I could add a little more oil to boost the calories a little, but I don’t like adding more than about 1/2 an oz or so.

One thing I realized quickly was that rice noodles will not break. And afterwards, I realized that cutting them was almost just as difficult. Because of this, I think a taller pot would be a little easier to cook them in, but as seen in my video, it can be done in a shorter, wide pot; although, I think anything smaller than a 0.9L pot may be… tough. Also, I will likely only use about 350 ml of water next time since I did have a bit of creamy juice left over after this meal. Other than this though, after my first try, I am happier with it than I thought I would be (I wasn’t sure about adding PB to the meal…)

Anyway, I will be eating this meal again next weekend on another hike and am looking forward to it! As long as the weather cooperates, I am sure it will make another appearance in one of the trip videos…

Until then, pick up the ingredients (if you don’t already have them), give it a try, and share below what you think about it… As well, if you have a slightly different way of making it, leave that in the comments below too…

Thanks for stopping by!

~Stick~

Disclaimer: There isn’t one…

About Stick

My blog is essentially a record of my hiking career. Through it, I, and others, can see how I have evolved from a heavy weight backpacker, to a smarter, more efficient, lightweight backpacker. Through the use of video, still photos, and of course writing, one can see my progression, as well as check out some of the places I hike, and not to mention some cool, lightweight gear options. For me, my blog is a journal, but for others, I hope that it is an interactive learning tool to aid them in their own progression towards lightweight backpacking.
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15 Responses to New Backcountry Meal: Cesar’s Pad Thai

  1. Dave says:

    Love this! I too am a fussy eater on the trail so I compensate by getting creative and varied with my meals. Just tried this, as I had everything in the kitchen already. I made some adjustments as well. I dehydrate some of my own food, so I created a small veggie packet with green onion, carrots and bell peppers, and to that I also added the salt and pepper and a handful of roasted peanuts. I’m going to try dehydrating buttons of sriracha/chili garlic sauce, so I can put everything into one packet and avoid the bottles. And maybe throw in some “true lime” powder at the end. That way it’s just 1) evoo, bullion, water to boil 2) add “extras” 3) sit, stir, eat.

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  2. pete says:

    Hate to ask a dumb question, but *where* did you get those little squeeze bottles? And, how did you fill them? Thanks!

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    • Stick says:

      Pete,

      I think that these came from LiteTrail, although, I can’t remember for sure now. I know that our Wal-Mart has some in the sporting good section with the other camping stuff. I think those were a little larger than these though, but not by much.

      As for filling them, the squirt tip comes out of the bottle. I fill the bottle, then snap the squirt tip back in place, and then the lid screws on top of it.

      ~Stick~

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  3. David says:

    Now that it’s cooling off down here in the deep south, I’m getting really anxious to get to the woods and try out some new recipes. I will give this a try … looks fairly easy. Did the peanut butter leave any residue in your pot? The “Just Veggies” that John C mentions above are really good in instant mashed potatoes, or add to any other recipe. I’ve been doing some PackIt Gourmet meals lately that are tasty. I’m going to try to get the section of the AT between Davenport Gap and Hot Springs on a long weekend this fall. How about you?

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    • Stick says:

      David,

      I agree, this weekend has been awesome so far! I slept outside last night and the temps got to 58 F… not real cold, but it was a nice night.

      As for the recipe, I did not find that the pb left any residue in the pot. It turned into a creamy sauce, and of course, how creamy vs how watery depends on how much water I added in the beginning. I have been using 350 ml, but I think I will try 300 ml next time. However, after I eat all the noodles, I just use the spoon to spoon up the remaining sauce. It is good I think, so it is no problem. Cleaning the pot is not problem either.

      And I am actually heading out in about 2 weeks to hike from 441 to Hot Springs. I am also taking a couple of PIG meals on this trip. We are staying on Max Patch one night, so I wanted something that required very little water, so I opted for the All American Burger Wrap, and while I was already paying for shipping, I added a Chili and their Ramen Rescue for 2 other nights. On the 4th night I will be easting this Pad Thai. So, hopefully some good meals, and hopefully some good weather, and a great trip! I should have the trip report up around the middle of October, so maybe that will help you some with your planning.

      Happy hiking!

      ~Stick~

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  4. John C says:

    This looks like a good recipe and I will have to try it. It occurred to me that you could add some veggies to the recipe to get some color, fiber, and perhaps added nutrition. REI sells a 4 oz. package of veggies consisting of freeze dried corn and peas, air dried carrots and bell peppers and dehydrated tomatoes for $5.50. It’s called “Just Veggies.” I have tried it and it’s not bad for backpacking food. If there is no REI in your area you can go directly to the company at http://www.justtomatoes.com. They have a large selection of backpacking fruits and vegetables.

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  5. Chris says:

    Hey Chad,
    Thanks a lot for your videos. I have been enjoying them a lot.
    One question: What is that lid you use on the Evernew 900ml pod?
    Did you make it yourself?
    Thansk a buch.

    Regards,
    Chris

    Like

    • Stick says:

      Chris,

      Thanks for watching! I appreciate your support.

      And yes, that is a DIY lid… I had some left over ti foil that I had ordered from Ti Goat. The piece left over was a square, just big enough for this… So, I traced it out with the original lid, carefully cut it out, and there it is. Much lighter, but also, much less durable. But, it works good enough for me. Much better than aluminum foil for sure. This is actually somewhat rigid.

      Thanks again,

      ~Stick~

      Like

  6. msfuzz says:

    Thanks for the video, Chad. Looks delicious! I can’t eat wheat noodles, and I love these rice noodles in a pinch. I think they’d make your pad thai easier to eat.

    http://www.lotusfoods.com/Rice-Ramen/c/LotusFoods@Ramen

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    • Stick says:

      Thanks, I will check them out. If I can get them locally I may give them a try sometime!

      ~Stick~

      Like

    • msfuzz says:

      I have found them at Whole Foods and Vitamin Cottage….Your local organic market should have them. Amazon also carries them in packages of ten for less than $20. 🙂

      Like

    • Stick says:

      Yeah, unfortunately, we don’t really have anything that even resembles a Whole Food, or much of a local organic market. We have a Farmers Market stand, but not much offered other than tomatoes and the such. Makes shopping for “fresh” foods fun…

      ~Stick~

      Like

    • msfuzz says:

      If you want to try them, I can mail you a couple. 🙂

      Like

  7. msfuzz says:

    Love the video-Looks delicious! Here’s a thought on the noodles-I love these when I want easy-cook rice noodles (I can’t eat wheat noodles).

    http://www.lotusfoods.com/Rice-Ramen/c/LotusFoods@Ramen

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  8. Cesar says:

    Wow, I’m flattered by your continued shout outs, and also very glad you liked my little recipe! Thanks so much for your kind words and all. I wish I would have given you a few little points in my instructions that I left out, like how rice noodles are harder to break, and that if you want them drier and creamier to add less water–but looks like you worked it out just fine anyhow. Buy yeah, this wanna-be pad Thai is one of my all time favorites. On my last hike I shared a shelter with a really nice German backpacker named Alex, and I gave him some of this meal, and he liked it a lot too. You have a good point about cost too, it’s pretty cheap. Anyhow, keep up the good work and looking forward to any reports and such you might have about your upcoming trip. 🙂

    Like

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