As far as my backcountry recipe repertoire goes, this one’s an old standby. On the trips I guided throughout this summer and fall, I’ve had fun playing around with some new recipe ideas, but I’ve also been coming back to this one quite a bit. It’s just so good, so easy, and so filling, it’s hard to go wrong!
Last time I made this was just a few days ago, on Tuesday night while I was out at Donoho basin again with Joe, Pat & Laura (Joe’s brother & his girlfriend). We had an awesome three day trip out there enjoying fall in Alaska. It was Pat & Laura’s first time up in Alaska, as well as their first time backpacking and being on a glacier, so it was pretty cool to share such an amazing place with them. We didn’t get any sunny days, but none of us were complaining since we also only got rain during the night, and stayed nice and dry!
One of the highlights of hiking around Donoho Basin this time of year is the berries. It’s such a treat to be able to stop and pick handfuls of sweet, juicy berries in the middle of your hike, and we did plenty of just that! The lowbush cranberries, crowberries, and blueberries were all ripe, and we thoroughly enjoyed lots of them.
Anyways, back to the peanut sauce. This recipe is pretty flexible, depending on what you’ve got on hand. I really like using soba noodles, but you could also use any other pasta. I also like to use fresh garlic and ginger, but if you wanted to save time and a lil’ effort, you could use the powdered forms. Lime is also an amazing addition, but I often have to leave it out because I can’t get limes out here. I also never measure the amount of peanut butter and water that I use while I’m in the backcountry, so this is just an estimate. I’ll give you the basic version here, which is then totally adaptable!
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce (I use Braggs)
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
about 2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
1/4 cup peanut butter (I like to use crunchy)
1/4 cup water
peanuts for garnish
4 bundles of soba noodles (or the equivalent – I don’t know the weight…)
In a small, seal-able container, combine the vinegar, soy, brown sugar and cayenne. Bring along the rest of the ingredients separately (I usually keep my peanut butter in a ziploc bag).
When ready to eat:
Cook soba noodles according to directions. I like to boil them until just before they’re done, then set them aside in the hot water while I make the sauce. Once the sauce is done, I drain the noodles, and that way they stay nice and warm!
Saute the garlic and ginger until fragrant & tender (this will smell so amazing when you’re out camping!!!). Add the soy-vinegar mixture that you already prepared, as well as the water (I usually pour the water into the soy-vinegar container first to rinse it out). While that’s coming to a boil, whisk (I have a small camping whisk I use, but you can also just use a spoon) in the peanut butter. The consistency should be about like thick whipping cream, add a little more water or peanut butter if needed. Bring it just to a boil, stirring constantly – you don’t want it to burn! Once the sauce is ready, remove from heat and squeeze in the lime juice.
Serve over the soba noodles with some peanuts sprinkled on top.