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sunset on mount hough

On the Mountain Pho

After taking on the Classic Downieville Downhill on our Mountain Bikes, we continued not far north up to Quincy. Just as it did for the Maidu tribe in the 1800’s, the hills in and around Quincy provide abundant views of the valley below, lots of sunshine, and great soil for growing countless trees.  Quincy is a small town that was once know for its logging, but more recently known for being in the center of one of the largest fires to burn in California. 

 View from mount hough grilling

We made our way up to camp along a 10 mile fire road that leads right to the top of Mount Hough. The views were incredible, with a lake in the foreground of your view just below the summit. We didn’t have a ride planned, but instead wanted to take in the views from above while grilling up some more delicious meat. Regardless of how good your meat is, and Certified Piedmontese is definitely some of the best, when you spend a week on the road with a lot of red meat, it’s always good to mix up your assortment of meals to bring variety to your grilling. We decided to mix things up a bit and make something a bit different than what we’re used to. Zach dug around the camping equipment packed away in the truck and found some pho packets. 

 stirring pot on ultimate grill station burner

With the noodles and the spice packet already included, all we needed to make this a more decadent meal was to add some fresh bean sprouts, mint, grilled carrots, and of course a certified Piedmontese strip steak. It made for a simple meal, but was even more delicious with the view we stood looking out at as we slurped up every last noodle. 

 Mountain Pho on Cutting board


For the pho:

  • 1 pho seasoning packet (read the instructions on the packet for the specific amounts)
  • 10 cups water
  • 12-16 oz rice noodles (dried or fresh)
  • 1 lb Certified Piedmontese strip steak, thinly sliced
  • Fresh mint
  • 2-3 red chilies, thinly sliced (optional)
  • Bean sprouts (optional)
  • Lime wedges
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Sriracha or chili sauce (optional)



  • In a large pot, bring 10 cups of water to a boil. Add the pho seasoning packet as per the instructions on the packet. Usually, it will involve adding the seasoning mix to the boiling water and simmering for a specified time.
  • While the broth is simmering, prepare the rice noodles according to the package instructions. If using dried noodles, soak them in hot water until they are pliable, and then boil them for 1-2 minutes until they are cooked. If using fresh noodles, they may only need a quick rinse in hot water.
  • Prepare the toppings by slicing the beef sirloin thinly, washing and plucking the herbs, and slicing the green onions and red chilies.
  • Once the broth is ready, taste it and adjust the seasoning if needed. Keep in mind that pre-made seasoning packets might already contain salt, so additional salt might not be required.
  • To serve, divide the cooked rice noodles among the serving bowls. Top with the sliced beef. Pour the hot broth over the noodles and beef, which should cook the beef in the process.
  • Serve the pho bowls with a plate of fresh herbs, bean sprouts, sliced green onions, and red chilies on the side. Provide lime wedges, hoisin sauce, and sriracha for each person to season their pho according to their taste.

Using a pre-made pho seasoning packet can save you time, but keep in mind that the flavor might differ slightly from making the broth from scratch. Nonetheless, it should still be a delicious and satisfying bowl of beef pho! Enjoy!



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