Wok on the Wild Side

Wok on the Wild Side

Supper tonight for Kathy and me (and some of her family) was at a new Kenosha restaurant called HuHot. . . which is a place that specializes in Mongolian BBQ.  In case you’ve never had it,  Mongolian BBQ is sort of like a gigantic stir fry buffet. . . in which you go through the line and fill a bowl with whatever meat, vegetables and noodles you like- after which you proceed to the sauces table and ladle whatever mixture  you choose (they give you recommendations according to how spicy or sweet you want it to be)  –  and finally you take your bowl to a huge free-standing wok where a HuHot Mongolian Grille Warrior cooks your food for you while you wait.

One of the things I love about Mongolian BBQ is that it’s something rather exotic and exciting – and yet the building blocks are perfectly normal.  (It’s not like you’re forced to eat fried sea urchin or braised mongoose gizzard.)  It’s just the way they’re put together and prepared that is out of the ordinary.

I so vividly remember the first time Kathy and I ate Mongolian BBQ and we have my brother Steve to thank for it.    It was probably 15 years ago and we were up in the Twin Cities celebrating Thanksgiving with my family.  That Friday,  Steve planned for all of us to eat at a Mongolian BBQ place called Khan’s before we headed back to Racine.  Well,  Mother Nature had other plans and when it started snowing,  we were mightily tempted to head right back home and beat the storm.  But Steve persuaded us to stick around long enough to eat at Khan’s-  which was delicious – but unfortunately that meant we unable to outrun the blizzard and only made it to the edge of St. Paul before we had to pull off and find a motel room.  So for the years after that,  we associated Mongolian BBQ with that awful blizzard and the harrowing ordeal of trying to drive through it.    Fortunately,  our later encounters with it  have been much more positive and it’s come to be one of our very favorite culinary adventures.

So if you have a chance,  check out HuHot.  The buffet is first class,  with an array of meat that includes beef,  chicken, pork (my favorite), ham,  spicy sausage, shrimp, crab,  and tofu . . .  vegetables including broccoli, onions, carrots, peas, cabbage, pea pods,  sprouts . . .  several different kinds of noodles . . .  and 16 different sauces.  If you can’t concoct something delicious out of all that, there’s something wrong with you!