I’ve been researching cold soak recipes for over a year, but with very little success outside of the basics of couscous and ramen bombs. Spain just doesn’t have the variety in ready-to-eat meals that the USA does, and it’s held back my cold-soaking mission significantly.

A revelation came recently when I stumbled upon rice flakes!

This is flat, pre-dehydrated rice that I found in an Indian food store just a block from my house, and it’s enabled me to make any cold soak dish that Americans would usually use freeze-dried rice for!

This is a recipe that was inspired by Iron Tazz, a fellow lightweight thru-hiker. For me, it ticks all the boxes on what I look for in a thru-hiking meal. This risotto recipe is delicious, affordable, fairly calorie-dense and most importantly, super delicious!

Just like any risotto, this recipe hat can be adapted in many ways. Got some dehydrated vegetables? throw them in! Got some fresh chives or wild mushrooms? Why not! It’s only limited by your imagination.

In the future, I think some semi sun-dried tomatoes will make this one a real treat!

At 463 calories it’s not incredibly high in calories, but that can always be boosted by adding more volume of rice and especially the cheese powder which has a high caloric density.

Rice flakes are the key ingredient here, a great replacement for freeze-dried rice.

Serves one person.
Contains at least 463 calories if these quantities are used. Feel free to add more or less depending on what you need.

Total Macros (see breakdown below for more info)
Calories: 463 •Carbs: 65g •Fat: 105g •Protein: 37g

I keep all my spices in zip lock bags: I recommend collecting these before you start your hike.

Cold Soak Mushroom Risotto Recipe


250-300 ml of water
Small handful of dried mushrooms
2 tbs cup of rice flakes (or a pack of freeze-dried rice)
2-3 tbsp of texture vegetable protein
2-3 tbsp cheese powder
1/4 cube vegetable stock
1/2 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp of dried rosemary
1 tbsp of olive oil
Sea Salt/Himalayan salt to taste (avoid iodised salt if possible)


The beauty of soak soaking is that it’s incredibly simple.

Step 1. Measure out all the ingredients at home in a bowl and stir them all up. I recommend doing a taste test at home first to ensure the mix is right for your desired taste. I like things salty, especially when hiking in the summer and sweating a lot.

Step 2. Place all the mixture in a small zip lock bag for your next hike.

Step 3. You’ll need a small plastic jar for soaking. I usually opt for plastic peanut butter jars like the one below.

Step 4. Cover the mixture in water with an extra amount of water that covers the first knuckle on your finger.

Step 5. Add a drizzle or two of olive oil (extra calorie points here) and shake it all up.

Step 6. Let it sit for 30 mins or so and it should be good to serve! Taste it every 10 mins or so to get the consistency you like.


Macros Per Serve:

Rice Flakes , 50 g
Calories: 65 •Carbs: 56g •Fat: 0g •Protein: 25g

Cheese Powder, 25 g
Calories: 147 •Carbs: 1.25g •Fat: 11.5g •Protein: 10g

Olive oil, 1 tbsp
Calories: 126 •Carbs: 0g •Fat: 13g •Protein: 0g

TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein), 0.25 cup
Calories: 120 •Carbs: 9g •Fat: 5g •Protein: 12g

Dried Mushrooms
Calories: 5 •Carbs: 5g •Fat: 0g •Protein: 0g

I haven’t included the macros for the spices, stock or mushrooms because it’s negligible.

Calories: 463 •Carbs: 65g •Fat: 105g •Protein: 37g

The rice flakes will be difficult to find in the Pyrenees so I’ll be bringing a few weeks supply. TPV is available on trail in Parzan and a few other stores in the Pyrenees but its still quite rare to find it. If you wanted to use this recipe on a long trip I recommend starting the trail with 8-10 individual meal, or as many as you can be bothered carrying.