Cooking when you’re travelling and have access to limited tools doesn’t have to be all Mi Goreng noodles and instant soups! Here are some yummy DIY dishes that you can whip up anywhere, whether you have a kettle, microwave or a hostel stove.
1. Banh Mi/Loaded Sandwiches
These are great in any country, given that you’ll usually be able to find and an array of fresh veggies and meat in any store or local market. Mix and match flavours depending on where you are in the world… maybe parmesan and pesto with roquette in Italy or a crusty loaf stuffed with carrot, coriander and peanut paste in Thailand.
The possibilities are endless, and somehow everything tastes good when it’s crammed together in some tasty bread. This is transportable too, so make sure you make extra for your bus trip the next day.
Ok, this only works if you have access to a cooktop but it’s a great healthy and filling meal if you do. Fresh veggies are usually easy to find, and you can bulk the meal out a bit by adding some protein like tofu or chicken to the mix.
You can also add some rice (cooked in a microwave) or instant noodles for a more filling meal.
It’s possible to make this in a microwave, and just heat up a canned sauce for the top, but if you’re staying somewhere with a stove, get creative. Buy whatever veggies are cheap and in season and make a fresh sauce with stock, cream or passata… the options are endless.
4. Baked potatoes
These are super easy to whip up in a microwave, or an oven if you have access to one. They taste great with most toppings, so depending on your location, choose some of the freshest ingredients and go crazy!
Potatoes are cheap and filling too, so great for a healthy dinner or lunch that will keep you going while you’re off exploring.
You can jazz these up as much as you like, depending on what ingredients and access to stoves/toasters you have.
If you’re in a hostel or Air BnB with a kitchen try whipping up some mushrooms or crunchy toast or wilt some spinach to get that hit of greens. If you’re stuck in a room with just a microwave, try your hand at microwave scrambled eggs.
Don’t worry; we’re not talking boring lettuce and tomato here. Think fresh, filling ingredients with plenty of flavours. And don't forget – it’s healthy too.
Salads are great because they’re so versatile and can be customized to whatever country you’re in. If you’re backpacking South East Asia, whip up a noodle salad with fresh herbs, nuts and whatever veggies are at the market or if you’re island hopping in Greece, pack a container bursting with olives, chickpeas and some juicy tomatoes. Yum!
7. Rice bowl/Poke Bowl
Go Mexican with chicken, avo and beans, Asian with soy, peanuts and broccoli or Mediterranean with tomato, olives and a good dollop of hummus!