Bikepacking Cuisine: Thai Salmon Curry

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We all know the importance of a full belly at the end of the day to ride-weary bikepackers. And while pretty much everything tastes great after hours in the saddle, in this series of bikepacking recipes, we’ll be suggesting simple, nutritious and easy-to-cook camping cuisine that will help ‘up’ your culinary game.

Written and photographed by Cass Gilbert, using a recipe by Nancy Crowell.

The meals you’ll find on the menu are concocted to both replenish your energy and lift your spirits – either after a long day’s ride, or in readiness for one. Just as importantly, they’re healthy, affordable options that will make a change from convenient but expensive, ready-made package food – or worse, nutritiously disastrous gas station sustenance…

As the cold nights draw closer, our first bikepacking recipe is a hearty Thai curry, best enjoyed around the crackle of a camp fire, or from the comforts of your sleeping bag.


What you’ll need…

The following should feed 2 – throw in an extra pouch of salmon, or another sweet potato, to bulk it up further.

  • 1 pouch or can of (wild) salmon
  • Quarter cup of coconut milk powder
  • 1 Bouillon cube
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • 1 Shallot or small onion
  • 1 Sweet potato
  • 1 Carrot
  • Curry powder to taste
  • Sea salt
  • Coconut oil (easily stored in a small Nalgene container)

A caveat: we can’t claim that the ingredients in this dish will help lighten your load… but they’re easy to pack, and will survive a day or two rattling around a framebag.

The key component here is coconut powder. If you can’t find it in health food stores, order it online. A can of coconut milk is easier to track down, but the dehydrated version tastes fine, and obviously weighs very little. Easy-to-pack pouches of wild salmon are available in many supermarkets and natural grocers, otherwise get yourself the canned variety.

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What to do…

Sauté garlic, shallot and ginger in coconut oil on a medium heat for a minute or so. Add a generous tablespoon of curry powder to bring out the flavours. Then pour in water, and as it begins to heat up, stir in coconut powder and a cube of bouillon. Throw in diced vegetables (chopped small for speedier cooking) and then the salmon. Simmer gently until tender. Add salt to taste – and extra curry powder and coconut powder if needed.

Turn it up

  • Throw in a green vegetable – like a zucchini – to add some colour.
  • Sprinkle with red pepper flakes for extra spice.
  • Adding in glass noodles is also an option – but this is faster burning and less filling than sweet potato, which provides more beneficial slow burning carbs .
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You’ve earned it…

Nothing beats a liquidy dinner as a way of replenishing energy, and rehydrating too. The garlic and ginger in this curry are great for keeping colds at bay, while the salmon offers healthy omega fats and protein. Root vegetables are an excellent source of slow burning carbs.

Invite us to dinner! Have a tasty, nutritious recipe to share? Please send it in to us, so we can give it a whirl and feature it in a future post.


  • Nick Smolinske

    Try some Mae Ploy curry paste instead of the curry powder. It’s a very dry paste so it wouldn’t weigh much more, and it’s delicious! I get it on amazon but if you have a local Asian market it might be there.

  • (Logan)

    Sounds good, thanks Nick!

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