Not Your Average Ramen

There are more and more people in our lives that are becoming vegetarian, vegan, or some combination lately. It seems that most meat eaters I know are having to learn to cook for more restricted diets often now. I just learned that the most carnivorous person I’ve ever met is now dating a vegan. I don’t think the thought of even what “vegan” means has ever crossed his mind. Another thing I’m starting to realize is that a lot of people are quite intimidated to cook for people with any food restrictions at all. Many are even afraid to ask about it. There seems to be a belief that vegetarian or vegan cooking is very different to cooking with meat. You have to use all different ingredients, most of which (must) taste terrible.

We cook a lot of vegetarian dishes for Dirty Gourmet, in part because we believe in that way of eating, but also because its just too difficult to deal with meat in many camping situations, due to refrigeration and handling issues. We believe that food should be easy, wonderful, and sharable. There are plenty of meat and dairy free meals that fit within this category, and would satisfy anyone regardless of diet.

A few things to keep in mind:

  1. Vegetarian usually means not eating meat (or anything with a mom), but vegetarians are usually ok with dairy and eggs.
  2. Pescatarians include fish in their diets, but not other types of meat. They usually eat dairy as well.
  3. Vegans do not eat or use any animal products whatsoever. There are, of course, different levels of strictness for each individual, but generally no meat, dairy, eggs, leather, down, etc. Some go as far as including things like honey or wine (which is often clarified using animal products), but
    some don’t.

It’s best to just ask which rules the individual adheres to. Many people who take a stance with a strict diet are very willing to discuss it, especially if there aren’t a bunch of cheesy (or meaty) jokes involved in the conversation.

There are a growing number of options available to make restrictive diets easier for people to handle, such as soy cheeses and meat substitutes, but you can create a balanced and satisfying meal without these things as well. Here is one option that we ate on our backpacking trip last weekend that is as easy as it gets, and totally satisfying. If you have any questions or concerns that you haven’t been able to resolve regarding anything food related, let us know. We want to cover topics like these in more detail to dispel, any stereotypes and encourage people to try new things. We’ll cover these topics in the next few weeks along with delicious vegan recipes.

Not Your Average Ramen


1 large serving

Prep Time / Cook Time


Activity Guide



  • 2 cups water
  • 1 boullion cube (or enough for one cup broth)
  • 3 ounces ramen
  • Small handful of crumbled toasted nori
  • 1/4 cup dehydrated corn
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon butter (optional, but really good)
  • A pinch of chile flakes


  • Small pot
  • Stove


  1. Boil 2 cups of water. Add boullion, ramen, nori, corn, and soy sauce and simmer until noodles are cooked.
  2. Garnish with green onions, chile flakes and butter. Enjoy!

11 thoughts on “Not Your Average Ramen

  1. “What we don’t know, scares us.”

    One things for sure, the consuming public needs to be officially informed of the classifications of each type of select eater. When I talk to someone regarding their preferences and its not like myself(eat pretty much anything) it seems like a really drawn out conversation. We need a name for each group of picky eaters where we know right away what level their on. I feel like they could cover the bases in about 5-6 classifying names.

    One quick note:
    After recently watching only part of the movie “Food, inc” a few weeks ago, I find myself strictly eating organic, especially with my carne / pollo purchases. Couple things I have immediately come to realize;

    1. Damn, this is expensive

    2. Is buying/consuming all this meat really necessary?

    you guessed it… answers NO.

    Great post team DG, keep em rolling in!

  2. Thanks for the great comments Sean! This exactly the kind of discussions we want to be having 😀 Aimee and I have been reading the book “What to Eat” by Marion Nestle which is also a very informative book (and non-preachy) that talks about making food choices in the grocery store. I’ll share more about it in a post but I encourage all of you to check it out if you want to become more informed about the food choices you make.

  3. I’ve been doing ramen for breakfast (yeah, breakfast) on packing trips for 20 years. I crack an egg and put it in a small 2 oz. Nalgene bottle with a squirt of soy and a pinch of crushed red pepper. That goes in just as the noodles are starting to separate. I invariably find leftovers from camping buddies dinner the night before (veggies, meats, pasta, whatever) and dump that in there, too.

    Nothing like a hot soup to warm you up on a cold camp.

    1. Oh, that does sound delicious, Charlie! Miso soup is a common breakfast item, so it makes sense. We’ll have to try something like it. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Powdered eggs would probably be a great addition to ramen. I could see adding a black bean garlic sauce to that (make it like Thai Pad See Ew). I’d probably also make it less brothy. Definitely worth experimenting with. Let us know if you make it and what you thought!

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