Depending on your camping trip, everyone loves to have a hot food but how do we take fresh food to camping and it doesn't spoil. Here are some of my tips .
1. Prepare you menu
Always prepare your menu before you leave the house. Know what you going to eat during each meal. If possible break them down into each bag for each meal.
2. Cooking Rice
|sweet soya chicken|
Rice takes a long time to cook and the waste alot of fuel especially you are using butane fuel, your rice could cost half of that fuel. We prepare atleast 2 days of rice before we leave the house. Rice do not spoil so easily but just make sure it cool down before your pack them in aluminium foil or container. If you have to take along uncook rice, measure in a rice cup for the number of people you going to cook in a meal and place in a ziploc bag. If you need 3 meals of rice, separate them in 3 ziploc bags. Reason is at camp area you do not have a rice measuring cup unless you take one along. It does make your cooking faster by simply pouring the bag of rice in a pot.
If you intend to bring cooked food, have them freeze after you finish cooking but make sure it cools down. Try not to cook you food till it is fully cook, you will need to preheat at the campsite. Do the same if you are taking along raw food and place them in a ice box. This will help to keep the ice box cool. At campsite, take out the food atleast 2hour before cooking and let it thaw. Just remember, seafood thaw faster than meat.
4. Fresh Vegetables
We will try to bring vegetables without leaves, too many time vegetable with leaves doesn't last more than 2 days. But if you have to bring them, cook them on the very first day. Ideal vegetables for camping are carrot, potatoes, cabbage, green bean, long bean, onion etc. A must have item is garlic.
The night before camping, we would marinate our food and especially BBQ dishes. We would use a ziploc and marinate the raw food, place all seasoning in the bag with the food, zip lock the bag and give a good shake. Place them in the chiller for 2hours before transferring to the freezer. If you do not plan to marinate, another trick is to add salt and season them, place in the chiller for 2 hour before freezing it. This creates a sweetness in most of our meat dishes.
6. Deep Fried
I learn this trick many years from a Malay old lady. You can take a long this dish for overnight camping and still eat it without cooking. Malay likes to deep fried their meat till it is dry and it is real chewy. I am not a fan for such chewy food but after her explanation, I thought I could use it for camping, hiking trip. Simply cut the meat around an inch size, season it with salt, soya sauce and pepper. For me I would add ginger juice, turmeric powder and a little of lime juice. Deep fried with low heat till you see the oil less bubble. That is to tell you that most of the water in the meat has dried off. What we want to do is to remove the fluid in the meat. Let it cool before you packed. You use them when cooking instant noodles or just go with plain rice. Ideal meat chicken, fish, prawns.
7. Salt, Pepper and Oil
Just bring a salt n pepper shaker just it case you food is tasteless. Most people forget the most important item in cooking, oil. I prefer peanut oil as it creates a nice fragrance in most cooking.
8. Instant Noodles
Just bring one or 2 packs as emergency food. You might need it for late night supper.