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How to Make 2 Dehydrated Chinese Food Backpacking Meal Recipes

How to Make 2 Dehydrated Chinese Food Backpacking Meal Recipes

Have you ever hiked a super long day only to sit at camp and not want to eat your boring, tasteless dehydrated food? I sure have.  One way to get to camp and be excited to cook is by bringing your own homemade dehydrated Chinese Food meals!

After over 19,000 miles of backpacking…I’ve tried every brand of dehydrated backpacking meals (that have plant-based options) and felt like they lacked that home-cooked meal flavor.  I started making my own homemade dehydrated backpacking meals and it made all the difference in the world!

After you’ve climbed mountains and crossed rivers, the ONLY thing you want at the end of the day is good, tasty food. 

Here are two of my favorite dehydrated Chinese food backpacking meal recipes!  I’ll not only give you the recipes but show you how to create your own versions of delicious dehydrated Chinese Food-inspired meals.

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Homemade & Plant-Based Dehydrated Chinese Food Backpacking Meals

Woman putting together dehydrated Chinese Food  backpacking meals.
Bulk Backpacking Meal Prep

Let’s be real…buying name-brand dehydrated food only gives you so many options and it’s expensive!

You’re going to LOVE the freedom of making your own dehydrated Chinese Food backpacking meals because you can pick what you like and don’t like.

Dehydrated Chinese food recipes are the perfect meals to start with because of their unique and bold flavors!

I’ll give you two of my favorite combinations below.  Both are plant-based recipes.  Recipe #1 is also gluten free.  However, if you are a meat eater, you can substitute plant-based protein for meat protein.

The possibilities of flavor options and combinations are endless.  After the recipes, I’ll give you my best advice for finding other unique flavors.

Recipe #1: Kung Pao Rice, “Chicken” Bits, Carrots, Mushrooms, & Leeks

Any time we see “Kung Pao” rice come up in our resupplies, we get excited.  Plant-based Kung Pao sauce has a bold, delicious flavor.  I think I’m eating take-out instead of dehydrated Chinese food-inspired backpacking food!

We repeat this recipe often because it’s that tasty.

To put this meal together, I’ve already done a lot of the “prep” work and the dehydration.

For example, I’ve already made and dehydrated Kung Pao Rice and have a full dehydrator full of it in a doubled-gallon Ziplock bag.

Lastly, I’ve found that for the time, effort, and money, it’s worth it to buy plain vegetables already dehydrated from Harmony House Foods.  I buy about 9 of the medium-sized containers of vegetables from them as well as some of their dehydrated flavored TVPs (textured vegetable proteins).


You’ll Need:

We used this plant-based Kung Pao sauce from Sprouts!


When I go to make a large number of dehydrated backpacking meals for a thru-hike, I gather all of the flavored rice, proteins, and vegetables and lay them out.

Then, I portion out different combinations. 

I highly recommend starting with my recommended portions for 1 and 2-person meals and then making one how you would on trail and eating it at your house for dinner.  If it was way to much food, decrease it.  If it wasn’t enough food, increase it.

When you go to portion out your dehydrated Chinese food recipe, try these portions:

For 1-person:

  • ½ cup Kung Pao Rice
  • 1/3 cup “Chicken” Bits
  • ¼ cup dehydrated carrots, mushrooms, and leeks combined.

For 2-people:

  • 1 1/3 cup Kung Pao Rice
  • ¾ cup “Chicken” Bits
  • ½ cup dehydrated carrots, mushrooms, and leeks combined

If you’d like to watch how much the meal weighs, you can do this with a gram/ounce scale.  First, grab your scale and tare a mixing bowl.   Then, add your Kung Pao rice up to about 5 ounces.  Next, add your “Chicken” bits up to about 7-7.2 ounces.  Lastly, add your dehydrated veggies to reach the 8-9 ounce mark. 

Recipe #2: Sesame Ginger Rice, Beyond Beef, Cabbage, & Leeks

Sesame ginger rice is an all-around great flavor for dehydrated Chinese food-inspired backpacking meals! 

It doesn’t pack quite the flavor punch that Kung Pao sauce does, but it has a solid feel-good flavor.  Basically, it won’t clear out your sinuses, but it tastes great!

Pair this with the dehydrated Beyond Beef and it’s chef’s kiss!!!

Any vegetables you add to this dynamic flavor will be amazing if you’d like to switch it up.  I like adding leeks because they give good onion flavors without the weight of dehydrated onions!


You’ll Need:

We used this sesame ginger sauce from Safeway.


To assemble this mouth-watering dehydrated Chinese food backpacking meal, you’ll do the same thing as above.

It’s really worth it to make meals in bulk when you need to pull out everything!  I try to make at least 20 dehydrated backpacking meal combinations every time I do this.

For 1-person:

For 2-people:

If you’re watching how much your backpacking meals weigh, grab a gram/ounce scale.  Then, add your Sesame Ginger rice up to about 5 ounces.  Next, add your dehydrated Beyond Beef up to about 7-7.2 ounces.  Lastly, add your dehydrated veggies to reach the 8-9 ounce mark. 

Vacuum Seal for Later Adventuring

A couple vacuum sealing dehydrated Chinese Food backpacking meals in a kitchen.
Vacuum Seal Time

After you’ve assembled your meal, put it into a pint or quart food savor bag for vacuum sealing!

We picked up a Food Savor vacuum sealer from Costco and a box of quart-sized vacuum seal bags.  We’ve found the pre-made bags work significantly better than the large rolls!

Before vacuum sealing your meal, I add a third of a paper towel inside.  On it, I write what I put in it (the recipe).  Then, on trail after a long day, I can see what I’m about to eat.  Best part? It doubles as what I use to clean the pot!

Lastly, I’ve found that our dehydrated Chinese food-inspired backpacking meals last the longest when we vacuum seal them.

Rehydrating Dehydrated Chinese Food Meals on Trail

When you’re out on trail later, the rehydration process is quite simple.

First, pour the meal into your pot and add water.  Make the water cover your food plus a little.

Second, soak your dehydrated Chinese food meal for 10 minutes.

Third, if you can’t see the water on top, add a bit, then boil for 1 minute.

Fourth, take it off the stove and place the pot in the pot cozy for 5 minutes.

Lastly, uncover, stir, and eat!

Extra Tips for Variations on Dehydrated Chinese Food Meals

Now that you have two different dehydrated Chinese Food recipes, you can create your own variations.

The best thing to vary is what sauce you cook into your rice.  Do you have a favorite Chinese Food sauce? Go find an Asian grocery store and find it. 

Once you have a sauce you’d like, head over to my post on how to cook and dehydrate flavored rice. 

After you’ve cooked and dehydrated your new saucy rice, add a protein and some veggies.  There you have it!

Final Thoughts

I absolutely love these two dehydrated Chinese food-inspired meals on trail!  They’re some of my go-to recipes when I want something that’s tasty every single time.

Let me know in the comments which variations you try and how you like them!