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.
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