Thai red curry with chicken.

Here is one recipe that I really like and have going in the dehydrator right now.


To prepare in your kitchen at home:

Saute red pepper strips, red onion slices and julienned carrots in 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet until crisp-tender.  Set aside and (if desired) saute small chunks of chicken in the same pan until cooked mostly through (can still be a little pink).  Return the vegies to the pan;  dump in a 15-oz can of coconut milk (for the trail, I recommend the full-fat kind), 1 can of sliced water chestnuts, 1C of fresh or frozen peas or edamame, 2T of red curry paste, 2T of Thai fish sauce, 2T of brown sugar, and some ginger or Chinese Five Spice.  Cook down the sauce for 45 minutes or so until reduced by about 1/3.    In a separate pan or microwave rice cooker, cook a cup of dry jasmine rice in a cup of water until the rice is tender.   Half of this recipe will serve 2, and the other half will provide a meal for 2 on the trail.

Here’s how the food looks before processing for the dehydrator.  First I pulsed it just a few times in the food processor or blender until the pieces were  small and uniform (< 1/2 inch).

Since this curry has a sauce component, I spread it onto the solid plastic (fruit leather) trays to dehydrate overnight.

Here’s how it looked in the morning.   I dumped it out onto a cutting board and crumbled it with my hands;   a few pieces were still damp so I put it back into the dehydrator for another hour or two, but on the mesh tray this time.

Here’s how it looked an hour later, fully dry.  

Put into the food processor for a couple of final pulses to get the material as powdery as possible (which makes for quicker rehydration and a thicker sauce):

And then ready to put into its freezer bag, labelled and stored until ready for the trail.  See how much that this serving shrinks when you remove the water?!

Final product, ready to store for the trail
At camp, bring water to a boil or near-boil and add it to the zip-loc (or put the food and the already-heated water into a pot or mug to rehydrate), in an amount that brings the serving back up to the original hydrated volume.  Wrap in a cozy or aluminum foil to keep it hot (that will speed the rehydration), and wait 10-15 minutes.  If it’s still a little crunchy, wait a bit longer.  If it’s a bit too dry, you can add a bit more hot water.  Then enjoy, right out of the bag, mug or pot!

Calorie Planning Stats:

Food Serving (gms) Serving (lbs) Calories Carbs (gms) Fiber (gms) Fat (gms) Protein (gms) Cals/Gm % Nutritive   Weight* % Carbs % Fats % Protein
Thai red chicken curry (2C serving), dried to 10% MC 160 0.4 562 22 4 32 51 3.5 63% 18% 31% 50%

2 comments on “Thai red curry with chicken.

    • Hi Michelle! The answer will vary based on how finely the food was chopped or processed and how soupy vs. thick that you like it; but in general I start by adding enough water to recreate the original serving volume. This usually means essentially enough water to cover the dry serving plus a little bit. Then stir and put it into an insulating cozy or aluminum foil. After about 5 minutes, check to see how much water has been absorbed and add more if the food has already absorbed all the liquid. I will sometimes add a bit more water two or three times to get to the desired consistency. If you don’t mind your food being on the soupy side you could double the amount of water you add in the first place. I know that this isn’t exact but it works!

      Another note: I always test each recipe before taking it on the trail by dehydrating a serving and then rehydrating it at home. Then you can note exactly how much water you need to use for the consistency you want, and whether you need to add other spices or spice it less the next time. This also allows you to find out if you really don’t like the taste or consistency. The last place you want to find this out is at the end of a long trail day!

      Hope this helps – you can also email me directly at with any other questions or with how this turns out for you.

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