Backcountry Asian Cooking
— Thai —
Salmon Choo–Chee
by Harvey Halpern

Dry Bag:

4 Sticks of Dried Tofu crumbled —
my favorite dried tofu comes in a colorful paper package, approx. 1”×2”×4” 7oz. for $1.20, Careful, there is some awful dried tofu out there!
8 Dried Black Mushrooms broken up —
These vary widely in price; I opt for the cheaper ones.
1 tsp. Dried Shiitake and Seaweed Powder
2 tbl. Dried Tree Fungus also called Woods Ear

Wet Bag:

2 tsp. Fried Red Onion — comes in a hard plastic tub
2 tsp. Fried Garlic — also comes in a hard plastic tub
2 tsp. Fried Shallots — comes in a cellophane package

Other Ingredients:

2 tbl. Brown Sugar
1 package (3.5 oz.) Dried Coconut Milk
1 can (3.5 oz) Choo-Chee Curry Sauce —
haven’t found this one yet in a cube or package, but keep looking. I repackage at the trailhead into a double ziplock bag.
2 tsp. Fish Sauce —
don’t be put off by its aroma, it’s essential and great tasting!
¾ cup Roasted Green Peas —
comes in a large 1 lb. bag, both spicy and regular flavored.
1 small head of Broccoli dehydrated (tops only)
2 packages (3–3.5 oz.) instant Ramen —
I always use the unusual flavor ones from Asia, rather than the standard supermarket brands, and will add their spice or oil packages but not usually the stock packages.
8 oz. Smoked Salmon —
vacuum packed, either carry the salmon in the light cardboard box it comes in or wrap the fiol pouch in bubble wrap. I once had some unhappy hiking partners in Little Valley Canyon on the Kaiparowits Plateau when I discovered a hole in the vacuum foil pouch — ouch!


As soon as you get into camp, start rehydrating the contents of your dry bag and the broccoli. The longer the mushrooms have to rehydrate, the tastier they will be. Shortly thereafter, throw in the contents of the wet bag.

After at least 20 minutes of rehydrating, start heating the contents of the bags in 1 quart of water (this includes the volume of water used for rehydrating). Once it comes to a boil, turn down the stove to a simmer and add the Salmon, Sugar, and Coconut Milk.

Keep pot uncovered and stir well while adding Ramen. Then add the Choo Chee Sauce and Fish Sauce. Let everyone add their portion of green peas to their steaming bowl of Salmon Choo Chee.

I never drain my meals, probably as a result of 25 years of canyon hiking, and I like my meals a little soupy for personal rehydration. Adjust water amounts to suit personal taste.


© 2008 Harvey Halpern