Not every traveler can afford to eat out while traveling OR having a sensitive stomach like me. So, when I travel, I usually have my packed food with me. It’s not that I don’t eat local food at all when traveling but I pick the kind of food that I’m comfortable with.
Choosing the right food to pack can be a headache. Sometimes, you would like to have some spices, a taste of home or even scared to not able to find halal food around if you are a Muslim so, you want to bring everything with you. Let me give you some ideas about what type of packed food that you can bring.
1) Sardine in a can
This one might be heavy for you to bring but if you have some extra room to squeeze in, I would suggest you bring at least ONE can with you. The thing about sardine is that you can share it up to 4 people for the big can. Here are some ideas for sardine (preferable serving for lunch or dinner) :
i) Eat as it is with rice
ii) Make it as a sandwich spread
iii) Fried spaghetti sardine
iv) Sardine omelet
v) Sardine fried rice
2) Sandwich spread
There are lots and lots of sandwich spread that are currently available out there. You can buy chicken ham spread, tuna spread, salmon spread, egg spread and MORE. They are available not only in a jar but in a tin and small packs as well if you can find them. My favorite brand is AYAM BRAND. With 5 minutes of preparation with bread or biscuits, you can serve this for snacks or breakfast.
3) Instant Noodles
Instant noodles are the most famous packed food for ASEAN travelers as far as I know. There are so many brands available in the market such as Samyang (known for their spicy noodles), Maggie (Malaysian favorite), Indo Mie (Indonesian favorite), Cintan, Mi Sedap and lots more. My most favorite is Samyang and Maggie as I will always crave spicy food when I travel. If my accommodations have a kitchen, I will add chicken and some veggies that can stomach me for lunch or even dinner.
4) Instant paste
Now, this is only durable if you are staying longer in accommodation that has a kitchen because you would need to buy chicken/fish/mutton or anything suitable for the paste. The famous instant paste in Malaysia is Brahim. They have a wide choice of paste from curry to rendang to honey chicken to satay sauce. Yes, mostly the Malaysian flavors. If you are looking for salted egg paste, I would suggest for you to search for Nurell brand as it is the best! It can cater for a portion of up to 8 people. I usually will have this for dinner as this will need more time to cook.
5) Ready to eat
Ready to eat food has got a wide range of products in the market from rice to pasta to soup to mac and cheese to pizza, you name it. This will usually be my favorite packed food to bring as I would only need to heat it in the microwave or put it in hot water and I’m good to go. Brahim is a MUST try brand for this category as the biryani lamb and the nasi lemak will take you home to where your heart is when traveling (I mean, at least for me). Sharifah has the best sambal but the brand is hardly available in the supermarket. You can try to check their website at www.sharifahfood.com for their available products.
6) Energy bars
Ahhh energy bar is a MUST for me. I will usually have a very bad gastric if I don’t eat on-time and its no joke. The dizziness, the vomiting is not even cool. So, I will always carry with me some snickers or oat crunch in my bag (all the time). So, for those who have the same type of gastric as me, this is a must for you but not necessarily for you to buy it from your hometown as it is available at any shops in the airports or supermarket in the country that you will visit. But if you reckon to have local delights (from your hometown) that are unavailable outside your country, you can just bring them along with you. Either way, keep your stomach healthy no matter what. Some energy bars idea as per in the picture:
7) Instant bites
Afraid that the long-haul flights or drive will bore you? Why not bring some hometown snacks with you. My type of instant bites is the Malaysian Madeleine (kuih bahulu) and rice crackers. Others can be:
ii) Spicy traditional chips
ii) Banana chips
iii) Layered cakes
8) Appetite food
Some of the countries when you visited for too long, you will end up not able to chew any of the local food anymore. That’s why it is necessary to bring some food that can increase my appetites such as serunding (beef floss) and packed chili sauce (well, this is my preference). Most of the countries that I visited will have ketchup rather than chili and even if they had it, it was not spicy and dull. So, these two things are my essentials whenever I go. Others can be as per below picture:
So, to wrap it up, if I’m traveling for 10 days with a packed itinerary, this will be my list:
1) 1 can of tuna spread
2) 5 packs of Brahim with different flavors
3) 1 packet of instant noodles
4) 5 energy bars
5) 1 packet of instant bites
6) A bag of chili sauce and serunding
Another tip is if you could not find all of the above in small packages, you can just DIY (Do-It-Yourself) by putting it into small packs. Bear in mind that the recommendations are based on my experience and products that are available in Malaysia. If you have any other ideas on what to bring for your packed food, let me know! I hope this post will give you an idea of what to bring for your trips. See you in my next post!