How to make scrambled eggs, pad thai, beef or chicken satay, and gourmet s'mores at camp

Sunset  – September 8, 2004


Camp Scrambles

These easy, boil-in-a-bag scrambled eggs require almost no cleanup. Add whatever tasty extras you have on hand.

At home:

1. To make breakfast for four, pack 1 dozen eggs, whipping cream, salt, and pepper.

2. Prepare 1/2 cup additions per serving, such as cheeses, ham, roasted garlic, roasted red bell peppers, spinach, or smoked salmon.

3. Pack a sturdy zip-lock plastic bag (1 qt.) for each serving; tongs; a large spoon; and a big pan.

In camp:

1. Bring about 4 quarts water to a boil in the pan.

2. Crack 2 to 3 large eggs into each bag. Add 2 tablespoons whipping cream and 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Squeeze bag to blend. Drop in additions to taste and seal bag, expelling as much air as you can.

3. Lower bags into boiling water, cooking up to three at once. Using tongs and a large spoon, gently turn and squeeze bags until eggs are firm throughout, 5 to 7 minutes total. With tongs, lift bags from water.

4. When cool enough to handle, open bags and pour eggs onto plates.


Vietnamese Subs
(Bahn Mi)

These Vietnamese sandwiches take advantage of leftovers from dinner, but you can use different fixings to make Mexican tortas, Italian panini, or American deli sandwiches.

At home:

1. Pack split sandwich rolls or baguettes; Asian red chili paste; salad mix or shredded cabbage; sliced red onion; sliced cucumber; fresh cilantro; and deli meats such as ham or chicken.

2. Marinate 1 cup each matchstick-size pieces of peeled jicama and carrots in 1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar up to three days.

3. Pack fresh and pickled vegetables separately in zip-lock plastic bags.

In camp:

1. Save leftover beef or chicken satay (or make a double batch; see dinner menu below).

2. Layer rolls with leftover satay and/or deli meats, chili paste, cilantro, and vegetables.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.


Asian cuisine involves fast, fresh cooking techniques that can produce bold flavors ― perfect for camping. Our dinner menu includes an appetizer of easy grilled satay and a simple pad thai, both of which are largely made ahead of time.

Beef or Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

At home:

1. Rinse 1 pound flank steak or boned, skinned chicken breasts and pat dry. Slice diagonally across the grain into 1/4-inch-thick strips.

2. In a zip-lock plastic bag (1-gal. capacity), mix 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup soy sauce, 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 2 teaspoons Asian red chili paste; add meat. Cover and chill up to 1 day (if making satay on first day of camping), or seal and freeze up to 1 week ahead. Pack frozen and allow to thaw in ice chest if planning to make the satay on second or third day.

3. Buy 12-inch wooden skewers and peanut sauce.

In camp:

1. Lift meat from marinade (discard marinade) and thread each strip on a skewer.

2. Grill over high heat (you can hold your hand at grill level 2 to 3 seconds), turning once, until beef is browned on the outside and still slightly pink in center or chicken is no longer pink in center (cut to test), about 5 minutes.

3. Serve with peanut sauce on the side.

Camp Stove Pad Thai

At home:

1. Buy pad thai sauce, or make your own. Pour 3 tablespoons vegetable oil in an 8- to 10-inch frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add 1/3 cup minced shallots and 2 teaspoons minced garlic and stir until limp, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup tamarind concentrate (or substitute 1 tablespoon dark molasses and increase lime juice to 1/4 cup), 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce, 2 teaspoons chili powder, and 2 teaspoons lime juice; cook 1 minute. Let cool; chill airtight up to 1 week.

2. Seal 1 cup shredded carrots, 1 cup rinsed bean sprouts, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, 1/4 cup chopped green onions, and 1/2 cup chopped roasted peanuts in separate plastic bags; chill vegetables and cilantro.

3. Purchase 1 package (14 oz.) dried rice noodles, 1 lime, and 1 pound frozen cooked shelled shrimp (pack frozen) or 1 pound firm tofu (cut into 1-in. chunks; seal in a bag and chill).

4. Pack a large pan; a pasta insert or a strainer; a medium pan for sauce; and tongs for combining noodles and sauce.

In camp:

1. Halve and slice lime.

2. In a large pan over high heat, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil. Add noodles and cook until barely tender to bite, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain noodles and rinse well in cool water. Return noodles to pan.

3. In a medium pan over high heat, heat sauce and shrimp or tofu. Add to noodles with carrots, sprouts, cilantro, green onions, and peanuts; mix to coat. Accompany with lime slices.

Camp food basics

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