For traveling Australia
What do backpackers eat?
I know, I know, it’s the question which keeps you up at night.
Oh, it’s not?
I wish you told me that earlier.
To those who have never experienced the van life, they may imagine a scraggly type, in boho genie pants, ornate with Thai motif, sharing spoonfuls of cold baked beans, between themselves and a windswept mutt, which shares its owners features. Now, whilst that may be true often, there is an alternate universe where a venturesome few reside.
A lot of backpackers kit their van out with a gas stove and refillable cylinder – portable, practical and relatively cheap – but in my opinion, messy, greasy and often smelly, when fitted in as a permanent fixture (especially at the head of your bed!).
However, those without the space for this set up, like myself, who opt for a smaller, more under-the-radar vehicle, might be left wondering of alternatives. 220g canister compatible portable butane cookers, let me tell you for nothing, suck! The canisters are expensive, short lasting, and foiled ingloriously by a light breeze.
If you’re lucky enough to tour the popular backpacker destination of Australia (fuck yea, Straya, cunt! – get used to it), then there is an alternative.
Two years in this larger than life country, and I’ve managed to get around… a bit – it’s big place, if you didn’t know.
The hot plate ‘barbecues’ are all over mainland Australia, and the quaint (and mighty) Tasmania. These barbecues, are provided free, and kept well maintained (often) in the majority of parks around the country.
It’s quite exceptional, actually.
I don’t think we’re trusted to have nice things in the U.K – that’s understandable.
After realising it’s just a glorified frying pan, I became quite experimental.
Far from just the humble burger, I managed to knock up Spag Bols, all manner of omelettes, crispy potato’s, sweet-sticky Chinese dishes, complete with fried rice, and so on – you name it, I tried it – often met by raised eyebrows from the locals, behind their sausage sizzle (sausage and a single slice of white bread, an Aussie staple).
Here’s an idea for all those interested, with more to come!
I use ‘sea to summit 360 furno’ camping burner for boiling. They are cheap to buy at around AUD$30, and as good as the pricey stuff. Gas canisters are $14-17. I love my gas burner, it’s perfect for a quick tea, rice, pasta, or, anything else!
Teriyaki Turkey Mince and Rice
• Turkey mince • Red onion • Red or green capsicum • Spring onion • Rice • Teriyaki Sauce • + Add peanuts for extra crunch
Super easy this one; just chop the capsicum and onion, and fry with a little oil. Whilst the veggies soften, start the rice – boiled or fried. Top time saving tip, get the microwaveable packet rice, for quick and simple fried riced. Add the Turkey mince to the veggies and break it down with the spatula, frying it off until cooked, keeping the rice separate from the other ingredients. Add the teriyaki sauce and heat through for a minute or so, making sure not to burn. Garnish with chopped spring onion and optional peanuts.
© Darius the Mate
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