Dan Dan Noodles

Hi everyone, my name is Colin! I'm an outdoor content creator based out of Vancouver, BC.

I recently came back from my first time travelling since the beginning of the pandemic. I flew out to Peru to see the majestic Machu Picchu and to witness firsthand the beauty that lies in the Andes Mountain range. The experience itself was incredible and I couldn't have asked for a better adventure to begin my slow entry into international travel again. There’s something special about being away from what is familiar and immersing yourself in a new environment. Learning about new ways of living and exploring is a privilege that I’ll never take for granted.

But there is something special about home. The moment I stepped back onto the rugged dirt of our coastal forests of British Columbia's North Shore, I experienced a feeling that's hard to explain. As I stared in wonder at the cedar giants and smelled the dry crisp air, I believed the familiar saying, “there's truly no place like home.”

Often when we go to the backcountry to camp or explore, we’re crossing into terrain and environments that aren't necessarily familiar to us. Despite what many might say, being in the outdoors isn't always the most comfortable activity we can do. There are days where mud smothers the trail, downpours don't let you leave your tent or you've pushed yourself beyond your physical limit. It's in these moments of discomfort where I’ve learned a little secret that I want to share with you. One of the things I've learnt is that the most comforting feeling in uncomfortable situations is to have a little piece of home with you. For me, that looks like having some of my favourite comfort foods to eat in the wild.

Being a Chinese-Canadian, I grew up on different types of Asian dishes that my mom would cook at home. Over the years, these foods transformed from being the dishes I loathed when I was a child, to the dishes I crave as an adult. As I’ve spent time exploring my local mountains, I’ve begun cooking some of my favourite comfort dishes in the wild, and it's changed the way I interact with the outdoors.

Today I want to share with you one of my comfort dishes so that you can try it for yourselves in the wild. The dish I am going to share with you is Dan Dan Noodles. This umami-rich dish is something that brings me deep comfort and warmth in the backcountry and I hope it can do the same for you. The Jetboil Minimo was my stove of choice for this recipe. Being able to boil water fast helps speed up the cooking time of the recipe, as well as the using simmer control allowed me to keep my noodles hot without burning the food. In addition, It was the perfect pot to eat out of as well, which meant less dishes to wash!




Pre Trip Prep:

1. In advance, add the soy sauce, sugar, chili oil and black vinegar into a container and mix it well

2. Pre Mince your garlic

On Trail:

1. Boil your water and add your noodles. Cool till al dente.

2. Strain noodles but leave a bit of the starchy water for the sauce, turn off the stove and add garlic as soon as possible to start cooking it with residual heat

3. Add your sesame paste and chilli oil mixture and mix thoroughly until every noodle is incorporated with the sauce.

4. Add your garnishes and enjoy

(You can also add dehydrated ground beef/pork to add protein)