Travel Features

Easy meals to cook in a hostel kitchen

We recently took part in a campaign to promote good cooking in hostels. It made us realise that actually cooking in hostels isn’t as easy as you may think. There’s more to a good hostel meal than it’s ingredients and taste!

Hostel kitchens are always popular at lunch time and dinner time! Duuuh obviously but still this is probably the biggest factor in what you can cook and how quickly you should be cooking it! It’s the reason why you’ll often see a lot of backpackers opting for something quick like beans on toast or an omelet if they’re feeling adventurous. Or on the flip side you’ll always find one person hogging the hobs for way too long or using every utensil in the kitchen!

With this in mind we picked what has definitely been our favourite recipe when backpacking the world, trying to eat healthy and also trying not to annoy our fellow hostel friends.

The Hostel Friendly Stif-Fry!

Easy recipies for hostel kitchensSuper easy to cook even a backpacker could do it! Takes 10 minutes max, uses very few utensils and is guaranteed to impress your backpacker buddies. You can also source these ingredients pretty much everywhere in the world in one form or another


  • Chicken (or Tofu if you’re a vegetarian)
  • Noodles
  • Stir fry veg mixed packet (available all over the world with varied veg)
  • Bean sprouts
  • Oyster sauce or Soy sauce with a dash of sugar.


  1. Chop chicken (or Tofu) and have all ingredients ready for wok, key to a good stir fry is fast hot cooking!
  2. Put a table spoon of oil into wok or large frying pan if they don’t have one at your hostel and heat until very hot!
  3. Cook chicken (or Tofu) quickly as this seals in flavour.
  4. Add all of the other ingredients apart from noodles and fry for 5 minutes, keep stirring! (There’s a clue in the name)
  5. Add noodles and stir some more! Serve in a bowl with lashings of sweet chilli sauce drizzled on top.

That’s it! Very simple, tastes great, healthy too and if they have chop sticks in the cutlery drawer you’ll be the envy of all those backpackers who are eating cold baked beans out of the tin with a spoon! If you can’t find mixed veg a pepper and some mushrooms will do the job just as well. Fresh noodles are best but not essential, dried noodles or something like pak choi are a good alternative.

The best hostel meals are the simple ones, easy to cook, tasty to eat and easy to vary. Have fun!

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