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Campfire Bibimbap

Whether assembling gooey s’mores or roasting hot dogs on a stick, many of us have fond memories of cooking in the great outdoors. And while there’s a time and place for that typical fireside fare, we believe that nourishing whole foods can be a fulfilling addition to the time we spend outside. All it takes is a little planning and preparation.

That’s why we’ve partnered with the Dirty Gourmet trio, chefs Aimee Trudeau, Mai-Yan Kwan, and Emily Nielson, who have mastered the art of bringing fresh ingredients and global flavors to their own camping expeditions. The following recipes are excerpted from their cookbook, Dirty Gourmet: Food for Your Outdoor Adventures.

These recipes are ideal for car camping or dining alfresco in your backyard, assuming you have access to a campfire grate and a cooler for perishables (see the “Car-Camper’s Kitchen Kit” below). Each one includes a few make-ahead elements, so you can focus on tending the flames once your fire is lit.

The meals are designed to be cooked over open flames, ideally surrounded by plenty of hungry friends and family. (For tips on building your own campfire, see “How to Build a Campfire.”)

The Dirty Gourmet Car-Camper’s Kitchen Kit

  • Matches
  • Heatproof gloves
  • 10-inch cast-iron skillet
  • 12-inch Dutch oven
  • 4 12-inch skewer sticks
  • Aluminum foil
  • Chef’s knife and cutting board
  • Bottle and can opener
  • Lid lifter
  • Spatula
  • Long tongs
  • Wooden mixing spoon
  • Whisk
  • Cooking oil
  • Cooler
  • 1-gallon food-storage bags
  • Medium and large canning jars
  • Measuring cups and spoons, or multiuse items such as a water bottle and stirring spoon with measurements notated
  • Medium mixing bowl
  • Paper towels
  • Reusable or recyclable plates, bowls, utensils, and drinkware
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sponge and biodegradable soap
  • Dishwashing tub and dish towel
  • Trash bags


Grilled Corn With Ancho-Lime Mayo and Cilantro

Makes six ears
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 to 20 minutes

Grilled corn with ancho lime maya and cilantroPhoto by: Dirty Gourmet
For the Spicy Mayo

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbs. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. ancho chili powder

For the Corn

  • 6 ears corn, shucked
  • 2 tbs. butter, cut into 6 pats
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup cilantro leaves, chopped

At Home
Make the spicy mayo: In a small bowl, thoroughly mix the mayonnaise, lime juice, and chili powder. Spoon into an airtight container and keep chilled until ready to use.

At Camp
Spread a pat of butter on each ear of corn and sprinkle with salt and pepper, then wrap them individually in aluminum foil.

Place a grate over the campfire and adjust the fire so there are medium flames licking the underside of the grate. Grill the corn on the grate for about 15 minutes, rotating several times.

Unwrap an ear and check for doneness: Corn is ready when the kernels have a little give to them; you may have to taste test the ear to be sure. It’s OK if you get a few charred spots.

Slather the corn with spicy mayo and sprinkle with cilantro. Add an extra dash of chili powder if desired. Serve.|

Campfire Bibimbap

Makes six to eight servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes

Campfire bibimbapPhoto by: Dirty Gourmet
For the Mushroom Sauce

  • 1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 tbs. rice vinegar
  • 4 tsp. brown sugar

For the Chili Sauce

  • 1/4 cup gochujang red-chili paste
  • 1 tbs. plus 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbs. sesame seeds
  • 1 tbs. rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 2 tsp. tamari or soy sauce

For the Bibimbap

  • 3 cups medium-grain rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 cup kimchi
  • 1 cup julienned carrots
  • 1 tsp. sesame seeds

At Home
Prepare the mushroom sauce: In a small canning jar, combine tamari, rice vinegar, and brown sugar. Secure the lid for safe transport.

Prepare the chili sauce: In another small canning jar, combine gochujang, brown sugar, sesame seeds, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and tamari. Secure the lid for safe transport.

At Camp
In a Dutch oven, mix rice and water. Place Dutch oven over a bed of about three dozen hot coals and cover. Use tongs to place 14 to 18 coals on top of the lid. Cook until rice has absorbed the water, about 15 to 20 minutes. Check on the rice after 10 minutes, and then every five minutes until cooked through. When it’s done, remove the lid. Place a grate over the campfire, then move the Dutch oven to the grate. Adjust the fire so there are medium flames licking the underside of the grate.

Add the mushrooms to a cast-iron skillet on the grate of the campfire. Pour in the prepared mushroom sauce, stirring occasionally until the mushrooms have absorbed all the liquid. Set aside.

In the Dutch oven, spoon the mushrooms, spinach, bean sprouts, kimchi, and carrots into piles around the top of the rice. Pour the prepared chili sauce in the center, then stir to combine.

Garnish with sesame seeds.

Serve straight from the Dutch oven, scraping the bottom each time to include some crispy rice in each serving. Keep the Dutch oven heating on the grate so that second servings will have even more crispy rice.|

Steak Skewers With Harissa

Makes four skewers
Prep time: 30 minutes at home, five minutes at camp
Cook time: eight to 10 minutes

Steak skewers with harissaPhoto by: Dirty Gourmet
For the Skewers

  • 1 lb. ribeye steak
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbs. fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tbs. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

For the Harissa

  • 1 tsp. red-chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. caraway seeds
  • 2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 11/2 tsp. tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup jarred roasted red bell peppers, finely chopped
  • 2 tbs. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt

At Home
Trim any fat off the steak and cut meat into 1-inch cubes. Place into a 1-gallon food-storage bag.

In a small bowl, whisk oil, garlic, parsley, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Pour over the cubed steak and seal the bag. Massage contents so the steak is evenly coated. Keep chilled.

For the harissa, combine the chili flakes, coriander, cumin, and caraway seeds. In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the spice mixture until fragrant, about two minutes. Add the oil and onion and cook until caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato paste, and cook for another minute. Add the chopped roasted peppers and mash the mixture with a fork until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and salt. Spoon into an airtight container and keep chilled until ready to use.

At Camp
Oil a grate and adjust the fire so there are medium flames licking the underside of the grate.

Thread steak onto skewers; leave a little space between the chunks so they cook completely.

Place skewers directly on the grate. Cook for two to three minutes, then rotate a quarter turn. Cook for another two minutes, then rotate again; repeat twice more.

Smother with harissa and serve.|

Skillet-Baked Brie

Makes six to eight servings
Prep time: five minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

Skillet baked briePhoto by: Dirty Gourmet
For the Brie

  • 1 8-oz. wheel of Brie
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tbs. brown sugar
  • Seed crackers for serving

At Camp
Set a grate over the campfire and adjust the fire so there are medium flames licking the underside of the grate. Place the wheel of cheese in a cast-iron skillet. Set the skillet on the grate. After about five minutes, when the cheese starts to sizzle on the bottom, use a spatula to flip the wheel. Add pecans next to the cheese and cook until toasted, about three minutes more.

Remove the skillet from the heat.

Leaving the Brie in the skillet to keep it warm, cut an X in the center and sprinkle the brown sugar inside. Use a small spoon to scoop the pecans into the center. Serve right out of the skillet with seed crackers.|

Tomato and Jalapeno Toast

Makes eight to 10 toasts
Prep time: 10 minutes at home, five minutes at camp
Cook time: five to 10 minutes

Tomato and Jalapeno ToastsDirty Gourment
For the Paste

  • 2 small lemons
  • 1 small lime
  • 3 jalapeños, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 tsp. sea salt

For the Toast

  • 1 baguette or bread of choice, halved lengthwise and cut into 4- to 6-inch pieces
  • 1 clove garlic, halved
  • 4 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, sliced

At Home
Prepare the jalapeño paste: With a vegetable peeler, peel sections of lemon and lime peel. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade attachment, place the peels, jalapeños, and salt. Process until a paste is formed. Spoon into an airtight container and keep chilled until ready to use.

At Camp
Place a grate over the campfire and adjust the fire so there are medium flames licking the underside of the grate. Toast the baguette pieces on the grate. Remove from the fire and rub the cut side of each toast with the cut side of a clove of garlic. Drizzle with oil, then spread a thin layer of the jalapeño paste. Top with sliced tomatoes.
Serve immediately.

Recipes excerpted from Dirty Gourmet: Food for Your Outdoor Adventures. Copyright April 2018 by Aimee Trudeau, Emily Nielson, and Mai-Yan Kwan. Published April 1, 2018, by Skipstone, an imprint of Mountaineers Books. Reprinted with permission.

Photography by: Dirty Gourmet

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