Chinese PLA ration review

Discussions about rations from other countries - IMPs, EPAs, RCIRs, etc.
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Norton
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Chinese PLA ration review

Post by Norton » Tue Dec 29, 2015 10:37 pm

Here is my review of the PLA 09 Ration that Steve1989 kindly sent me

I did not give you a field review as I was unfamiliar with the contents and wanted to make sure it would fill me up when camping . also I did not know what to expect whenthe contents were removed from the foil pouches. I took the pouches to our local Chinese Carry out to get a translation of each pouch The translators were alarmed as they said ''do you know this is for the Army''? Where did you get it? It was raining so I cooked it in my cabin like shed with the Russian mess kit and U.S. canteen cup stand for a windscreen
IMG_0510 (640x480).jpg
laid out
Cooking main entree on the Russian pot set with the U.S. canteen cup stand and Swedish Trangia alcohol stove
IMG_0515 (640x480).jpg
cooking main course components
while I was cooking I opened up the drink component and it smelled strongly like a jar of kid's vitamins,
IMG_0517 (640x480).jpg
opened pouch
Mixed it up and there was just a faint Orange yellow color. There was no determinable fruit flavor, just a vague hint of citrus and a super strong vitamin flavor. It was hard to drink, but I think it was meant to keep up strength during stressful activity
IMG_0518 (640x480).jpg
drink mixed up
After the water boiled I opened the Vegetable competent. My Chinese friend told me there was no word in English for this
So When I smelled it I knew what it was or think it is. It seemed like American Collard Greens with some Soy beans mixed in and a bit of Vinegar
IMG_0527 (480x640).jpg
vegetable pouch
Then I opened the Compressed ration block. My Chinese friend told me this is not to be eaten at one time will fill up your stomach. They are in two pacts of four. I thought they smelled like Scottish Shortbread biscuits sold here in the USA
IMG_0520 (640x480).jpg
close up of ration block
Main component, again my Chinese friends said there was not a correct word to describe, I asked Egg Roll and one said yes the other said it is more like dumpling.
I thought it looked like a Fig Newton or Pig in a blanket. It was a Sausage type piece of meat that tasted like a cross between a Vienna sausage and normal Hot Dog. This was wrapped in some sort of bread like cover,
IMG_0526 (640x480).jpg
Meat dumpling
This dumpling tasted as it smelled similar to an American Hot Dog like piece of meat covered in fairly good tasting bread. You got two of these and again they were about the size of a Jumbo Fig Newton or large biscuit
IMG_0530 (640x480).jpg
close up of dumpling
All laid out for dinner and as you can see visibly it does not look like a big meal
IMG_0528 (640x480).jpg
full meal spread out in U.S. 1945 dated meat can
So I ate the vegetables piping hot and thought they indeed were something close to Collard or Mustard greens. There was a little bit of vinegar and some other type of spicy seasoning. They had some sort of beans that tasted like soy beans in Japanese soups served at the Sushi house. I thought it tasted pretty good, better than it looked in the pan. I don't know if it was meant to be mixed in with rice of something else.

The Dumpling tasted like some type of party finger food, but you would have needed four total to make a full meal. There were no off flavors and it seemed as if the main spice was salt. The compressed block was very similar in texture to the compressed oatmeal block in US MREs. The taste was very close to a shortbread cookie, just very hard. This thing indeed filled me up. If you ate one this and the rest of the entrees you would have a full stomach.
It would be good with a hot drink such as Coffee Plus still have one more compressed ration pact for later.
The block could be mixed with boiling water and make a type of mush/porridge. I do not know if that is the intention, but it seemed this could be done to make a hot breakfast. As I said earlier the drink had a very poor taste, it must be issued to keep up the vitamin intake of troops in the field. I was surprised there was no tea, sugar or soup base. Do they issue this ration as a survival ration or is it like a K ration meant for limited use under certain situations?

Anyway it was enlightening to say the least. Thanks again Steve.
By the way I kept one Compressed ration block in my Canoe bag as a back up ration
Last edited by Norton on Tue Dec 29, 2015 11:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Paul Buikema
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Re: Chinese PLA ration review

Post by Paul Buikema » Tue Dec 29, 2015 10:59 pm

Doesnt look terribly appetizing. Thanks for taking that bullet for the team. :)

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Re: Chinese PLA ration review

Post by Ruleryak » Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:42 am

Thanks for the review Norton. I'd been assuming "mustard" was just an incorrect translation when I've seen it elsewhere so I've been guessing cabbage. Mustard greens makes much more sense, I'd just never had them pickled.

I had this same one a little while back, shared with a friend. She had me laughing when she called the drink Salty Milk Water.

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Re: Chinese PLA ration review

Post by parafireboy » Wed Dec 30, 2015 2:07 am

Great review and pics Norton! I've got one of these on the shelf, but I've never worked up the courage to try one yet since I had no way to interpret the writing on the packaging, and though I like to think of myself as adventurous when it comes to food. . . . yeah, still a bit apprehensive. Thanks for working up the gastronomical fortitude to take it on!

If they issue two of the compressed bars per ration, I wonder if there is a reason, or if it's just to ensure there is enough to quell hunger. It seems smart though, they're small enough that you could stick the leftover one in a pocket and eat on the move or save for a later snack that would still be filling and provide a decent calorie load.

Good work, thanks for sharing!

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Re: Chinese PLA ration review

Post by housil » Wed Dec 30, 2015 5:11 am

Nice pictrues and thx for sharing.

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rattattoo
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Re: Chinese PLA ration review

Post by rattattoo » Wed Dec 30, 2015 11:23 am

I believe I read somewhere that these smaller packs were intended as actual "combat" circumstance rations.
It would make complete sense that they provided only complete nutritional and caloric sustenance. That would be about right if they were simply intended to be lobbed to the guy in the next foxhole.

[on c-rations...] "Some of the fellers just left their's lyin' in the can for the Vietcong to find... DEAD-lier than a landmine!" ~~Tom Paxson -'The Talkin' ViETnam Pot-Luck Blues' (c.1968)

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Norton
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Re: Chinese PLA ration review

Post by Norton » Wed Dec 30, 2015 1:06 pm

rattattoo wrote:I believe I read somewhere that these smaller packs were intended as actual "combat" circumstance rations.
It would make complete sense that they provided only complete nutritional and caloric sustenance. That would be about right if they were simply intended to be lobbed to the guy in the next foxhole.
Agreed
It may be a purpose made combat ration. As you would think it would have a retort bag of either white rice or soft pre-cooked noddles.
If you had one of those and a accessory packet with tea. sugar, sauce packet. You would nearly a complete meal
Last edited by Norton on Wed Dec 30, 2015 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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rattattoo
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Re: Chinese PLA ration review

Post by rattattoo » Wed Dec 30, 2015 4:39 pm

The small size of both the package and the portions makes me wonder if it is pumped up with things to increase the nutritional/caloric values, like whatever the Chinese equivalent of Brewer's yeast or wheat germ might be... perhaps soy concentrates.
It is obviously not as varied in contents as our full-day FSR.

Aside: while I have tried most of the components individually, I am still looking to get my hand on a complete FSR or two if someone has a couple they could spare. I do believe that the SIL held out on me for those.

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Re: Chinese PLA ration review

Post by steve1989 » Wed Dec 30, 2015 11:49 pm

Awesome review, Norton! Thankyou for sharing those great pictures and detailed descriptions with all of us.

First off, the drink mix is a sort of vitamin drink, and I read something one Chinese fellow said abd it was under the lines of: it is mainly for keeping energy levels up and to combat scurvy. I think it has sodium and electrolytes.
Ruleryak's friend is friend is pretty much right: Salty Milk Water. We should just call it that.. haha! :lol:

The compressed food bars certainly are filling. Perfect to fit in a pocket and have when on the go. Not sure of the ingredients, but on my PC's photo archives, i have photos of the caloric content, protein carb & fat breakdown.

That meat entree is pretty much a snack. Some sodium and protein - something that breaks up the monotony of the food bars.

The mustard greens and soy beans look pretty decent! Another salty item that is filling, with some vitamin A and fiber.


I am getting 6 more of these and will send one to parafireboy and rabidwolf to do reviews on them. So i will give menu 2 to parafireboy, and 3 to rabidwolf.
Hope you guys don't mind me consripting you two on reviewing them. :)

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Re: Chinese PLA ration review

Post by kidd » Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:44 am

Hello, I've been following this site for 3+ years, it is very informative and I thought I'd contribute what little I know.

The top two characters after the big number read Individual Soldier. The next line reads something-something Food.

The drink is probably an electrolyte and vitamin C drink, very popular in China, sold in glass bottles with a polar bear logo - you have the equivalent of powdered Gatorade there.

The meat-pastry is unremarkable and probably pork, could be any of 100s such types in China. The compressed block is a fortified food bar, a dense concentrate of flour, protein and fat; I have seen it in Vietnamese rations as well. It should be very calorie dense, the Viet version I have warns one not to eat it like a candy or cookie as it could cause indigestion.

I can't identify the pickled vegetables,they could be anything - bok choy, kale, chinese cress or spinach. They can be eaten as is or serve the purpose of Korean kimchi or Japanese daikon - to be mixed with rice for flavour.

Because of these last 2 items and the difference between this ration and the other PLA rations on the site I suspect this is a combat or iron ration of some kind.

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