Camp Dinner With the Toguchi Family

There are such a lot of methods to get pleasure from time outdoors. That is one among many distinctive tales we’re sharing as a part of our effort to focus on the Limitless Sides to Outdoors.

Mark Toguchi grew up in Alaska. Each weekend in the summertime, he and his prolonged household, together with aunts, uncles and cousins, would go tenting and fishing for salmon. They’d unfold out in a number of tents and RVs alongside the river. “We may simply camp out proper on the aspect of the river and arrange our tents and the fireplace pits and so through the day we’d be fishing good off the campsite,” he says.

His spouse, Rowena, didn’t go on her first hike till school. Her boss on the time invited her on a hike at Mount Index outdoors of Seattle. “I used to be like, ‘Mountain climbing? What’s that?’” Rowena says. “She took us out. In truth, she invited my dad and mom and my aunt. It was lovely. She packed us lunch and snacks and all the things. I fell in love with mountaineering after that.”

Now that they’ve a household, the couple has been creating their very own tenting traditions with their two daughters and Rowena’s dad and mom, Henry and Peggy Wong. Many moments revolve round sharing meals outside and telling tales across the campfire. The menu varies relying on their temper. They’d dig up oysters on Northwest seashores, shuck them and eat them uncooked, or grill up clams they harvested. Different occasions, they’d bake potatoes, grill steaks or skewers of hen, or roast marshmallows for s’mores. Or Mark, who’s Japanese, would cook dinner up a pot of chili and put his personal spin on the Western dish, including curry spices to beans and beef and serving it with steamed rice similar to the Japanese beef curry that he grew up consuming.

On their outings, yow will discover Rowena’s father, Henry Wong, tending to the charcoal and wooden fires. Like his son-in-law, Henry is an avid cook dinner, and the 2 would usually take turns making ready meals—Mark cooking Japanese dishes and Henry serving up Cantonese favorites. Rising up in Hong Kong, Henry took half within the Boys Scouts for 10 years and developed a love for the outside, particularly cooking and constructing fires. His favourite factor to cook dinner outdoors is a dish he calls “the muddy hen”—although he hasn’t ready it in many years.  

Right here’s easy methods to do it: First, cowl a hen with mud. Then roast it in an open fireplace. When the mud has hardened right into a shell, break it open. The feathers on the hen fall off and also you’re left with a young and juicy hen. Apparently, this dish has a wealthy historical past with numerous origin tales. (You’ll be able to learn extra about it right here and right here.)

Henry’s spouse Peggy is a giant fan of his cooking. She says her connection to the outside has grown stronger as she has gotten older. “The older I develop, the extra I would like, I like, to be with the youthful generations,” she says. “So, you’re feeling much more motivated to maneuver round, to do issues, particularly to go outside.”

On a current tenting journey to central Washington state, everybody within the household had a job at dinnertime. The ladies helped prep salad and corn. Henry stoked the fireplace. Rowena and Mark did a little bit of all the things, and Peggy set a wonderful desk. After which they sat down and loved the outside meal collectively.

Learn on to seek out recipes from the Toguchi’s current camp dinner menu, or skip forward:

Tonkotsu Ramen

Ramen is supposed to be eaten sizzling and rapidly. A bowl of ramen must be completed inside the first 10-13 minutes of it being served. As cooked ramen noodles sit in broth, they take up liquid and start to lose their toothsome texture. In Japanese tradition, slurping ramen noodles can also be extremely inspired. It helps cool off every mouthful of noodles simply sufficient to get pleasure from whereas not getting burned. Slurping additionally acts as an aerator for the noodles and broth permitting the flavors to completely develop in your mouth. Simply as one may aerate a pleasant bottle of wine, you’ll additionally aerate a scrumptious bowl of ramen by slurping your noodles!


  • 3 packages – Solar Noodle tonkotsu ramen (pork taste)
  • Stewed Okinawan pork stomach slices (sanmai niku) (see recipe beneath)
  • Seasoning (Tare) for the pork stomach:
    • 6 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 4 tablespoons sugar
    • 2 tablespoons sake
    • 2 tablespoons mirin (Japanese rice wine)
  • 1 package deal Japanese fish cake (kamaboko)
  • 2 stalks of inexperienced onions
  • 6 ramen eggs (ajitsuke tamago)
    • These are soft-boiled eggs marinated in a candy/salty combination. Any recipe works, however we like this recipe from J. Kenji López-Alt.

Instructions at dwelling

At dwelling, put together the stewed Okinawan pork stomach, ramen eggs and Japanese fish cake.

Stewed Okinawan pork stomach slices (sanmai niku)

To take away extra fats, place pork stomach in pot with water. Carry water to a boil for 2-3 minutes. Drain and rinse pork. Add recent water and pork to a clear pot; simmer for 1 hour and Quarter-hour. Drain and rinse pork stomach once more. Cool to room temperature, cowl and refrigerate till fully chilled. (This permits the pork to be simply sliced with out shredding the meat.)

In the meantime, mix all of the seasoning substances in a small saucepan and simmer for 12-Quarter-hour or till the sauce is thickened and decreased by about half. Cool to room temperature. Switch seasoning to a bottle.

Take away chilled pork from fridge and minimize into 1/4” slices. Chill and refrigerate the sliced pork and seasoning.

Japanese fish cake (kamaboko)

Reduce kamaboko into 1/4” slices. Chill and refrigerate.

Switch pork stomach, eggs and fish cake to an Igloo Cooler with ice earlier than departing to camp.

Instructions at camp

Boil water in two saucepans.

Thinly slice inexperienced onions for garnish. Reserve.

Place pork stomach slices in a medium sauté pan. Warmth on medium excessive warmth over the Eureka Ignite 2-Burner Camp Range till pork begins to sizzle. Flip pork and pour within the seasoning. Sometimes flip pork till the seasoning reduces to a glaze and the pork is browned and evenly coated.

In a single saucepan, boil noodles per package deal directions. Within the different saucepan, combine soup base with water per package deal directions. Cut back warmth to a simmer.

Warmth up ramen eggs and kamaboko within the sizzling soup utilizing the wire mesh strainer. Reserve.

Drain noodles utilizing a noodle strainer and divide into bowls. Add ready broth into bowls.

Garnish with pork stomach, ramen egg, kamaboko and inexperienced onion.

Serve and luxuriate in!

Massaged Kale Quinoa Salad

We may eat this salad daily. It’s also by far our most requested potluck recipe from household and buddies.


  • 1 bundle of natural inexperienced kale (washed, dried and sliced very skinny)
  • 1 bundle of recent dill (washed, dried, stemmed and roughly minced)
  • 1/2 cup of quinoa, cooked per package deal directions. (For extra taste, we cook dinner the quinoa in hen bone broth and a pinch of kosher salt as a substitute of water for extra taste.)
  • 1/3 cup pepitas (toasted on medium in a dry sauté pan till golden brown)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano (as a lot as you want)
  • Kosher salt and freshly floor black pepper

For the orange muscat champagne French dressing:

  • 1/3 cup Dealer Joe’s orange muscat champagne vinegar (or any champagne vinegar)
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (for the kale)

Instructions at dwelling

For the French dressing:

In a bowl, combine honey and the orange muscat champagne vinegar till blended.

Slowly emulsify the oils into the honey-vinegar combination utilizing a handheld immersion blender or whisk. Pour French dressing right into a bottle.

Chill and refrigerate.

Put together all different salad substances upfront. Retailer every ingredient individually inside a bowl just like the Hydro Flask 3 Qt Serving Bowl. Chill and refrigerate.

Switch French dressing and salad substances to Igloo Cooler with ice earlier than departing to camp.

Instructions at camp

Within the serving bowl, therapeutic massage the kale along with your fingers and 1 tablespoon further virgin olive oil till it stops making “crunching” sounds. (Massaging kale tenderizes its texture, making it simpler to chew.)

Season with salt, pepper and French dressing to style and blend.

Add the quinoa, dill, cranberries, cheese and blend.

Prime the pepitas final to protect their crunch.

Serve and luxuriate in!

Niku Kushiyaki (Beef skewers)


  • 1 1/2 kilos of boneless rib-eye steak (trimmed of fats and minimize into 1 1/4-inch cubes)
  • Marinade: We like this recipe from Alton Brown, however you should utilize your favourite marinade
  • Steel skewers

Instructions at dwelling

Place marinade and steak cubes into container. Cowl with lid, refrigerate and marinate in a single day.

Switch to Igloo Cooler with ice earlier than departing to camp.

Instructions at camp

Put together campfire with dry wooden. Place grill grate over fireplace after flames die down and glowing embers are current.

Thread 4 cubes of beef onto every metallic skewer.

Place beef skewers immediately on grill grate for two minutes. Flip and grill for two minutes extra or till beef is medium uncommon.

Serve and luxuriate in!

Grilled Corn


  • 4 ears of shucked corn
  • Maldon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Instructions at camp

Put together campfire with dry wooden. Place grill grate over fireplace as soon as flames die down and glowing embers are current.

Add corn and grill for about 8 minutes, turning often till properly charred.

Smear butter onto corn and sprinkle with Maldon salt.

Serve and luxuriate in!

Grilled Shishito Pepper Skewers

Shishito peppers are principally delicate and candy, however you might often encounter one which could be very spicy. That unknown is all a part of the enjoyable.


  • 1 pound shishito peppers
  • Sea salt (ideally Maldon)
  • 1 tablespoon further virgin olive oil

Instructions at dwelling

Wash shishito peppers and dry.

Place peppers into container. Cowl with lid, refrigerate and reserve.

Switch to Igloo Cooler with ice earlier than departing to camp.

Path at camp

Put together grill with charcoal and lighter fluid. Gentle the charcoal with an extended match or lighter. Place grill grate onto grill as soon as flames die down and charcoal is roofed in white ash.

Thread shishito peppers crosswise onto metallic skewers. Flippantly brush peppers with olive oil.

Place shishito pepper skewers on Smokey Joe Grill for two minutes. Flip and grill for two minutes extra or till peppers are blistered. Take away and season with salt.

Serve and luxuriate in!


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