Faux Pho for the Trail

pho made with instant ramen and beef jerky
652 calories
153 grams

4.26 cal/g

84g, 1 packetinstant ramen noodles380 cal
6g, 1 1/2 tspbeef bouillon15 cal
0.9g, 1/2 tspground coriander2.5 cal
1.2g, 1/2 tsponion powder4 cal
1.55g, 1/2 tspgarlic powder5 cal
0.53g, 1/4 tspground star anise1.75 cal
0.5g, 1/4 tspground cinnamon1.5 cal
0.26g, 1/8 tspground cloves0.75 cal
0.22g, 1/8 tspground ginger0.75 cal
0.2g, 1/8 tspTrue Lime0 cal
5gdehydrated onions22 cal
3gdehydrated mushrooms10 cal
35gbeef jerky90 cal
handfuldehydrated cilantro0 cal
handfuldehydrated green onion0 cal
14g, 1 tbspolive oil119 cal

Serving Size: 

ONE Adventurer


  • Everything can be packaged into a single bag.

I love instant ramen noodles. I love it when I'm on the trail, and I love it even when I'm at home. It easily makes the top-ten list of "best inventions from Japan" and has become a cultural and dietary staple of young fledging adults who can't or won't cook.

Its price point makes it an incredible choice for backpacking and its flavor is as decent as instant noodles can be. However, eat it enough and all the flavors end up tasting pretty much the same, salty. So throw the seasoning packet away and make your own! The magic of instant noodles is not in the little satchel of sodium, but in the noodles itself. Ramen noodles can be used for a variety of things from stir fry to ramen hamburger buns, so why not Vietnamese pho?

Pho purists are probably steaming from their ears at the thought of this, and everyone else is probably just confused. If you've had pho before you're wondering how this could possibly work, and I'll have to admit it's not exactly the same as a fresh bowl of rare brisket from the angry Vietnamese lady, but it definitely conjures up the same smells and distinct spices that make pho so delicious. For those still scratching your heads, find a Vietnamese restaurant near you and get a bowl of brisket, tripe, and assorted delicious cow parts. You can thank me later.

While I prefer using instant ramen you can certainly use authentic rice noodles, but you'll have to get the kind that doesn't require refrigeration and then package them into appropriate serving sizes. Instant ramen is just so much easier, and keep in mind we're not making a culinary masterpiece, we're sleeping on the ground later. So ready your forks and/or chopsticks and let's make the most aromatic meal any bear has ever smelled.

Note: this isn't going to be a crystal clear broth. If you drink the broth it'll pretty gritty since the ground spices do not dissolve, but it's deliciously flavorful and good to the last drop. Depending on your beef jerky, it may or may not become very tender when rehydrated. Stick to more neutral flavors of beef jerky like "traditional" and avoid teriyaki or other bold flavors.


  1. Add 1 1/2 cup of water to your pot and set on stove
  2. Immediately add all dry ingreidents and spices, except for noodles
  3. Bring to a simmer
  4. Once mushrooms, onions, and jerky are rehydrated and tender, add noodles
  5. Turn off stove, cover pot, and let sit until noodles are cooked to desired doneness