Camp dinner with the Toguchi family

There are so many ways to enjoy your time outside. This is one of many unique stories we share as part of our efforts to bring out the limitless sides.

Mark Toguchi grew up in Alaska. Every summer weekend, he and his extended family, including aunts, uncles, and cousins, went camping and fishing for salmon. They had spread out in several tents and mobile homes along the river. “We could just camp right on the river bank and set up our tents and fire pits, and so we would fish right from the campsite during the day,” he says.

His wife Rowena did her first hike in college. Her boss at the time invited her to hike Mount Index outside of Seattle. “I thought, ‘Hike? What’s this? ‘”Says Rowena. “She took us out. In fact, she invited my parents and my aunt. It was wonderful. She packed us lunch and snacks and everything. After that I fell in love with hiking. “

Now that they have a family, the couple have created their own camping traditions with their two daughters and Rowena’s parents, Henry and Peggy Wong. Many moments are about sharing meals outdoors and telling stories around the campfire. The menu varies depending on your mood. They dug up oysters on the beaches to the northwest, shelled them, and ate them raw or grilled clams that they had harvested. Another time they baked potatoes, grilled steaks or chicken skewers or fried marshmallows for S’Mores. Or Mark, who is Japanese, cooks a pot of chili and gives the western dish its own twist, adding beans and beef curry spices and serving it with steamed rice, just like the Japanese beef curry he ate as a kid.

On her outings, Rowena’s father, Henry Wong, is found taking care of charcoal and wood fires. Like his son-in-law, Henry is a keen cook, and the two often take turns preparing meals – Mark cooking Japanese dishes and Henry serving Cantonese favorites. Henry grew up in Hong Kong, participated in Boy Scouts for 10 years and developed a love for the outdoors, especially cooking and building fires. He prefers to cook a dish outside that he calls “the muddy chicken” – even though he hasn’t made it for decades.

Here’s how: First, cover a chicken with mud. Then fry it in an open fire. When the mud has hardened into a shell, break it open. The chicken’s feathers will fall off and you have a tender and juicy chicken. Apparently this dish has a rich history with different origins stories. (You can read more about it here and here.)

Henry’s wife, Peggy, is a huge fan of his kitchen. She says her connection with nature has grown stronger as she ages. “The older I get, the more I want to be with the younger generations,” she says. “So you feel a lot more motivated to move around, to do things, especially to go outside.”

On a recent camping trip in central Washington state, all family members had a part in dinner. The girls helped prepare lettuce and corn. Henry started the fire. Rowena and Mark did a little of everything, and Peggy set a nice table. And then they sat down and enjoyed the al fresco dining together.

Read on to find recipes from the Toguchi’s current camp dinner menu, or continue:

Tonkotsu ramen

Ramen should be eaten hot and quickly. A bowl of ramen should be ready within the first 10-13 minutes of serving. When cooked ramen noodles sit in broth they absorb liquid and begin to lose their tooth-like texture. Sipping ramen noodles is also highly recommended in Japanese culture. It helps cool each sip of the pasta, just enough to enjoy without burning yourself. Sipping also acts as an aerator for the pasta and broth, allowing the flavors to fully unfold in your mouth. Just like aerating a beautiful bottle of wine, one would aerate a delicious bowl of ramen by slurping your noodles!


  • 3 packs – Sun Noodle Tonkotsu Ramen (Pork Flavor)
  • Braised pork belly slices from Okinawa (Sanmai Niku) (see recipe below)
  • Spice (tare) for the pork belly:
    • 6 tablespoons of soy sauce
    • 4 tablespoons of sugar
    • 2 tablespoons of sake
    • 2 tablespoons mirin (Japanese rice wine)
  • 1 pack of Japanese fish cake (kamaboko)
  • 2 stalks of spring onions
  • 6 ramen eggs (Ajitsuke Tamago)
    • These are soft-boiled eggs marinated in a sweet and salty mixture. Any recipe works, but we like this one by J. Kenji López-Alt.

Directions at home

Prepare the Okinawan Steamed Pork Belly, Ramen Eggs, and Japanese Fish Cake at home.

Braised pork belly slices from Okinawa (Sanmai Niku)

To remove excess fat, place the pork belly in a saucepan with water. Bring water to a boil for 2-3 minutes. Drain pork and rinse. Put fresh water and pork in a clean saucepan. Let simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Drain the pork belly and rinse again. Allow to cool to room temperature, cover and store in the refrigerator until completely cooled. (This makes it easy to slice the pork without shredding the meat.)

In the meantime, mix all the spices together in a small saucepan and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and reduced by about half. Let cool down to room temperature. Put the spice in a bottle.

Take chilled pork out of the refrigerator and cut into 1/4-inch slices. Chill and chill the sliced ​​pork and spices.

Japanese fish cake (kamaboko)

Cut kamaboko into 1/4 “slices. Cool and chill.

Transfer pork belly, eggs, and fish cakes to an igloo cooler with ice before heading to camp.

Directions at warehouse

Boil water in two pots.

To garnish, cut the spring onions into thin slices. Reservations.

Place the pork belly slices in a medium skillet. Heat over the Eureka Ignite 2-Burner Camp Stove over medium heat until the pork begins to sizzle. Turn the pork over and pour in the seasoning. Occasionally flip the pork until the condiments turn translucent and the pork is browned and evenly coated.

In a saucepan, cook the pasta according to the instructions in the package. In the other pot, mix the soup base with water according to the instructions in the package. Let the heat simmer.

Use the strainer to heat the ramen eggs and kamaboko in the hot soup. Reservations.

Drain the pasta with a sieve and divide into bowls. Add prepared broth in bowls.

Garnish with pork belly, ramen egg, kamaboko and spring onions.

Serve and enjoy!

Massaged kale and quinoa salad

We could eat this salad every day. It’s also by far our most requested potluck recipe from family and friends.


  • 1 bunch of organic kale (washed, dried and very thinly sliced)
  • 1 bunch of fresh dill (washed, dried, stalked and roughly chopped)
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, cooked according to package instructions. (For more flavor, we’ll cook the quinoa in chicken bone broth and a pinch of kosher salt instead of water for more flavor.)
  • 1/3 cup pepitas (roasted golden brown on medium heat in a dry frying pan)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • Shaved Parmigiano Reggiano (as much as you want)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the orange, nutmeg and champagne vinaigrette:

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

Directions at home

For the vinaigrette:

In a bowl, mix the honey and the orange nutmeg champagne vinegar until you get a mixture.

Use a hand-held hand blender or whisk to slowly emulsify the oils into the honey-vinegar mixture. Pour the vinaigrette into a bottle.

Cool and cool.

Prepare all other salad ingredients in advance. Store each ingredient separately in a bowl like the Hydro Flask 3 Qt serving bowl. Cool and cool.

Transfer vinaigrette and salad ingredients with ice to the igloo cooler before heading to camp.

Directions in the camp

In the serving bowl, massage the kale with your hands and 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil until you can no longer hear the crunch. (Massaging kale makes its texture tender and makes it easier to chew.)

Season to taste with salt, pepper and vinaigrette and mix.

Add quinoa, dill, cranberries, cheese and mix.

Top the pepitas last to keep them crisp.

Serve and enjoy!

Niku Kushiyaki (beef skewers)


  • 1 1/2 pound boneless rib eye steak (trimmed from fat and cut into 1 1/4 inch cubes)
  • Marinade: We like this recipe from Alton Brown, but you can use your favorite marinade
  • Metal skewers

Directions at home

Put the marinade and steak cubes in a container. Cover with the lid, cool and marinate overnight.

Transfer to the igloo cooler with ice before heading to camp.

Directions in the camp

Prepare campfire with dry wood. Place the grill rack over the fire after the flames have gone out and there are glowing embers.

Thread 4 cubes of beef onto each metal skewer.

Place the beef skewers directly on the grill rack for 2 minutes. Turn and grill for 2 minutes more or until beef is medium rare.

Serve and enjoy!

Grilled corn


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

Directions in stock

Prepare campfire with dry wood. Place the grill rack over the fire as soon as the flames have gone out and there are glowing embers.

Add corn and grill for about 8 minutes, turning frequently, until nicely charred.

Spread butter on corn and sprinkle with Maldon salt.

Serve and enjoy!

Grilled shishito pepper skewers

Shishito peppers are mostly mild and sweet, but you can occasionally come across one that is very spicy. The unknown is all part of the fun.


  • 1 pound shishito peppers
  • Sea salt (preferably maldon)
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

Directions at home

Wash and dry the shishito peppers.

Put the peppers in a container. Cover with a lid, cool and store.

Transfer to the igloo cooler with ice before heading to camp.

Direction in the camp

Prepare the grill with charcoal and lighter fluid. Use a long match or lighter to light the charcoal. Place the grill rack on the grill as soon as the flames have gone out and the charcoal is covered with white ash.

Thread shishito peppers across metal skewers. Brush the peppers lightly with olive oil.

Place the shishito pepper skewers on the Smokey Joe Grill for 2 minutes. Turn and grill for another 2 minutes or until bell peppers have bubbles. Remove and season with salt.

Serve and enjoy!

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