Mountain House Pad Thai with Chicken Review

by | Aug 4, 2023

Good To-Go Pad Thai dehydrated packpacking meal leaning against camp stove

Hikefull is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Mountain House Pad Thai with Chicken Key Features

Serving Size: 55 grams (dry)

Calories Per Serving: 240

Servings Per Container: 2

Macros Per Container: Carbs: 70g | Fat: 14g | Protein: 20g

Recommended Soak Time: 9 minutes

Retail Price: $11.50 at time of publishing


What We Liked

  • Absolutely delish!
  • Peppers remained snappy, chicken rehydrated well
  • Ready to eat in under 10 minutes

What We Didn't Like

– Lower calorie count compared to some other offerings

HIKEFULL Mountain House Pad Thai with Chicken Review

First impressions/Flavor

Mike:  I enjoyed this meal for dinner in the Cranberry Wilderness on a bikepacking trip.  While sitting down for dinner, I also dolled out a portion of it to my campmate for the weekend.  I watched with anticipation as she gave it a taste, her eyes widening after the first bite..  After a short silence she spoke the words words “wow” and “yeah”. That simple reaction, perfectly sums up my first impressions as well. Wow! Yeah!

Chad: My crew and I sampled this dish at 10,200 feet in the Pecos wilderness.  In the crisp air of the wilderness, the first bite was magical. I actually closed my eyes to savor the complex bouquet of flavors.  I nodded my head slowly and proclaimed. “ I think we have a winner!”  An authentic and slightly sweet Pad Thai flavor gives way to a moderate spice level.  This is very easy to eat and absolutely delicious!   

MIke: This is a complexly flavored dish – in the best way possible.  It hits all the notes I would expect from Pad Thai – a little sweat, a little sour, a little spicy.  While some reviewers note the fish sauce, I tasted a distinct oyster flavor from the oyster sauce. Beyond that, the listed ingredients include Tamari sauce, toasted sesame oil, tamarind extract, and sambal oelek sauce. Unlike the Alpine Aire Pad Thai which we reviewed, I feel like the long list of ingredients melds together, achieving some kind of alchemy, where the sum is greater than the parts.


MIke:  Amongst the Pad Thais I have tried, the texture here was a standout.  Everything rehydrated in a really pleasing manner.  The noodles were soft but retained some integrity.  The vegetables had some snap, as if  they were recently chopped and sauteed. Best of all are the substantial chunks of freeze dried chicken.  Of any dish in recent memory, the chicken here was of the highest caliber.  

Chad: Let’s talk about the noodles.

Mike: Right. The thin noodles present in many backpacking meals are a wild card. It’s kind of a roulette as to whether or not they will hydrate properly based on water temp, water level, altitude, and soak time.  Sometimes you’re the winner, and sometimes not.  During my testing, the noodles were spot on!

Chad:  You must have been lucky that day.  During my tasting, the noodles were a little softer than I’d like, but not enough to diminish the rest of the experience.   I will chalk it up to user error, as I soaked a little longer than the listed 9 minute soak time.  I think the noodles would have held up better had we soaked for less time.  I definitely recommend checking a few minutes before recommended cook time regardless of elevation. All of that said, I love the shorter cook time, especially after a high effort day and you don’t want “forever” to eat your meal.   The chicken and especially the veggies were excellent. The peppers were a real treat!  Overall, this is one of those happiness-inducing trail meals, the kind of meal you savor until the last bite.

Final Verdict: Recommended

Chad: Right away, I’m going to recommend this meal. If I had to critique, I am a bit disappointed with the dollar to calorie ratio as compared to some of the other Pad Thai we reviewed..  At 480 calories this is not really a shareable dinner unless you have some other food prepared as well.  Selfishly I would want to keep this all to myself, but it’s so good you can’t help but share with those around you – a real conundrum.

Mike: Yeah, when I dolled out this meal it was devoured quickly.  We were sitting around licking our sporks clean.

Chad:  So I guess that leaves the big question –  does this pass for Pad Thai?

Mike: As my hiking companion mentioned enthusiastically at camp, “it feels like we ordered takeout!”  I would have to agree.

Chad: Absolutely.  If you are feeling like you want borderline take-out-quality in the backcountry, you have a clear and reliable choice here.  

Mike:  The Mountain House Pad Thai achieves what amounts to magic – an unsuspecting bag of freeze-dried ingredients that transforms into what could pass as restaurant quality Pad Thai. Tada!  After scraping every last delicious bite out of the bag, my thoughts remained the same, and succinctly described this dish -. wow and yeah!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *