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Eden Dried Tofu for Vegetarians and Ramen Lovers

Eden Dried Tofu

I really like eating Ramen noodles on backpacking trips. They're cheap, quick to cook and easy to resupply.

In fact, I think that Ramen noodles, powdered Miso, and a few ounces of Olive Oil make the perfect backpacking dinner. The only thing that's really missing is some protein, and while I've been known to slice up hot sausage and mix it in, I've always wanted to find a practical way to add Tofu to this meal.

My wife, the foodie of the family, found a good solution that I wanted to share with you. It's Dried Tofu from Eden, that you can buy at a volume discount on Amazon. Each 2 oz package contain 6 dried squares of tofu, each with a nutritional value of 50 calories and 5g of protein. I use 3 squares in each backpacking dinner, which is plenty.

To rehydrate, you need to soak the dried tofu squares in warm water for 10 minutes, prior to cutting them up and cooking with them. I do this with a plastic sandwich bag and then squeeze out the water (per the instructions) into the pot of water I use to cook my noodles. While rehydrating the dried tofu squares does expand them a bit, they do not get wobbly like fresh tofu, but have a spongy texture that's more firm, like pressed tofu or smoked gouda cheese. Taste-wise, they just absorb the flavors in the rest of your meal.

Historically, the Japanese started drying tofu over 750 years ago in order to preserve it. If you're interested, Eden has published a history of freeze dried tofu on their web that you might find interesting.

In addition to backpacking, we've been using Eden tofu in vegetarian chili and it adds an interesting texture to the meal. My wife likes it because has an almost infinite shelf life and we don't have to worry about how long we keep it before using it. If you've ever had backpacking meals expire before using them, you'll understand why this is a good thing.

Disclosure: The author owns this product and purchased it using their own funds.

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  1. I share the same love of Ramen for backacking, but I have used TVP texturized vegetable protein as my added protein for years. I really prefer the texture over tofu and with the strong-ish flavors from the Ramen, sometimes I can imagine it really does taste like chicken.

    The other thing I have found in recent years is Maggi noodles instead of Ramen. Maggi is an Indian brand that make Indian flavors and are easily available at Indian food stores. Instead of the "color" flavor of Ramen (they all taste alike – salt) they actually have flavors that you can easily tell apart from each other. Chinese noodles and Dal are my two favorites.

    The Dal flavor actually has bits of dal beans in them that makes you feel like you are eating something more substantial. The noodles are also not just plain wheat and egg noodles.

    The chinese noodles has dried vegetables in its salt packet (yes, these are high in salt, too) but also has a hot oil packet.

    The Maggis are harder to find for on the trail resupply, so I always start out with them and include them in mail drops.

  2. Good ideas. I always discard the salt/msg packs that come with the ramens and just use dehydrated miso mix. I'll have to try these different noodle types.

  3. I just tried some "organic somen, authentic japanese wheat noodles." I think I chose them because they had the shortest cook time of the thin noodles. Pouring on boiling water and leaving for 3 minutes was fine. 100 calories per ounce, and only 0.1 grams of sat fat (which I should watch) per ounce.

    I live near a whole range of asian markets (each ethnicity gets their own supermarket in the OC). I need to try the dry tofu. There is also a huge selection of dried mushrooms – and for us non-veg, little dried fishes.

  4. Thanks for this! Being vegetarian, I am always looking for more good trail protein. However, it's not available on Amazon! There are two really bad reviews, and a note saying that they're not currently stocking this item.

    You should make sure to post your review there as well :]

  5. I should have also mentioned I either make 2 Ramen with 1 packet or only use about half a packet if I use the packet at all.

    If these are hard to find now, Tofu does seem like something that you could dehydrate at home with a home dehydrator.

  6. Someone said whether there was freeze dried Tofu in the PCT-L last year, so I introduced the Japanese classical freeze dried Tofu ( Koya Dofu ). In Japan, Koya Dofu is very cheap, so I used this in JMT last summer. http://bit.ly/fhw1RL Cooking is very easy. Put into soup. I had used chicken soup. Miso is made from same beans with Tofu, so meat soup is more delicious.

    I cannot recommend somen, because it contains much salt and need much water. I ate Maruchan ramen at Vermilion Village, I was astonished it tasted very bad. Its taste is very different from Japanese product.

  7. Another vote for Textured Vegetable Protein. You can get it from the bulk bin in your local Whole Foods/Health Food Store. It, like tofu, comes from reconfigured soy beans so it doesn't have a flavor of its own. It also has the springy/chewy consistency, but you can just toss it in to your ramen as you are making it. Oh, and it is cheaper.

    I'm surprised that you've never encountered TVP before.

    One cup of the stuff lasts a ridiculously long time.

  8. I have jars of TVP in my backpacking food cabinet. Never really floated my boat's all.

  9. Love tofu. Thanks for sharing this. Will add to my hiking food staples.

  10. The rehydrating process seems a bit of a hassle but ramen does seem to have more flavoring mix than needed. I've taken to adding plain oatmeal to mine and stick to 'creamy chicken' which seems much less salty to me.

  11. adding oatmel to ramen. That never occurred to me. :-)

  12. I'm considering your olive oil idea, could do double duty lubing my pressure stove pump in winter.

  13. Worst case it will just turn to slush.

  14. Thanks for the note Hiro. It turns out that totally by accident I picked a "no salt added" somen from Hakubaku. I'll have to remember to watch for that next time I shop.

  15. omg! I wish I knew about this a few weeks ago I would have been able to order in time for my next trip. I did dehydrate Yves Veggie Ground Round. Also delicious!

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