Oh, oh. Mongolian barbecue! I want it vegan-friendly, please.
Despite its name, it’s not Mongolian but only related to a barbecue. And this is what HuHot Mongolian Grill specializes in, a build-your-own stir fry-style cuisine. While it serves meat, what’s great about this place is that you can choose what you want for your dish.
HuHot Mongolian Grill has several options for those following a vegan diet. Yes, rejoice, vegans! The restaurant even tries to avoid cross-contamination by cleaning the grill area and using new spatulas to ensure that there are no other animal-sourced and allergy-trigger ingredients.
I know you’re as excited as I am. Let’s check more about HuHot Mongolian Grill and what we can have as vegans!
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HuHot Mongolian Grill, Grilled To Perfection
Originally called Mongo’s, HuHot Mongolian Grill was first built in 1999 in Missoula, Montana, by the Vap family. When the family started franchising, thanks to their experience, they discovered that Mongo’s was already trademarked by someone else.
So, they chose the name HuHot Mongolian Grill, inspired by Hohhot, the capital of Inner Mongolia, an autonomous region of the People’s Republic of China.
HuHot Mongolian Grill grew by word of mouth, and its first franchise was in 2002 in Omaha, Nebraska. From there, the company now has over 70 locations.
Each location has a mural trademark on its walls, inspired by Mongolian folk tales. Artist Laura Blaker does the murals to ensure that all locations get the same art trademarked by HuHot Mongolian Grill.
What’s more interesting about HuHot Mongolian Grill is that you get to watch your dish cooked on a grill..right in front of you. But wait, there’s more.
Salads, soups, and all other vegan-friendly options are there too!
HuHot Mongolian Grill Vegan Alternatives
Now, here’s the exciting part. When you set foot at HuHot Mongolian Grill as a vegan, you won’t get lost. There are several vegan-friendly options that you can have despite the idea that the restaurant isn’t a vegan place.
For instance, its build-your-own dish is really a great option for vegans. HuHot Mongolian Grill’s fruits and vegetables are plain with no added dairy or anything. Another thing is the restaurant’s corporate policy about allergen information is also laid out as well as its sauce details.
And on request, the staff will use new spatulas and other utensils to avoid cross-contamination. Sweet!
HuHot Mongolian Grill is self-serve and all you can eat depending on your needs. Then, watch your food get grilled or cooked right in front of your eyes.
They also put marks on their vegetarian sauces and shellfish-free, as well as gluten-free ones. HuHot Mongolian Grill has a vast selection of vegan ingredients to choose from. I’m sure, as soon as you leave the restaurant, your vegan tummy is stuffed with the delicious dishes they have.
Let’s check their menu. These are vegan-friendly you can possibly ask on request.
- Signature Sauces. They have mild to extremely spicy sauces. HuHot Mongolian Grill will give you unused sauce to avoid possible cross-contamination.
- Not-So-Sweet & Sour. A combination of tomato sauce, sugar, vinegar, and spices.
- Khan’s Favorite. Here’s a blend of soy sauce, garlic, rice wine, and spices.
- Feed The Hordes Hoisin. It’s slightly sweet and made with soy sauce, vinegar, soybeans, and garlic.
- Black Thai Peanut. Here’s a rich, creamy blend of coconut milk with peanuts, chilies, and some notes of lime. It contains dairy, but you can ask to make one without it.
- Burn-Your-Village Barbeque. A subtle BBQ flavor with classic Asian ingredients such as chili garlic and soy sauce.
- Nomad’s Green Curry. A combination of creamy coconut milk, chili peppers, herbs and spices of green curry. This also contains dairy, but you can ask to prepare one without it.
- Meso Garlic. Here’s a robust with a hint of sweetness of savory garlic and umami flavors.
- Mongol Mustard. A blend of Asian spices, sesame, lemon, and mustard.
- Five Village Fire Szechuan. This is especially not for the faint of hearts. It’s a spicy chili sauce with a blend of tomato and soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, and plenty of chilies!
- Kung Pao Yow. Here’s another chili-based sauce mixed with sesame oil and more chilies!
- Khan’s Revenge. A robust BBQ flavor with spicy habanero peppers.
- All vegetables and fruits, including mangoes, potatoes, edamame, mushrooms, spinach, corn, and bean sprouts.
- Chopped Peanuts
- Crushed Red Pepper
- Sunflower Seeds
- Sesame Seeds
- Grains And Bases
- Brown Rice
- White Rice
- Tortilla Wrap
- Yakisoba Noodles
- Zucchini Noodles
- Salads. All HuHot Mongolian Grill’s salads are prepared with dairy, but on request, you can ask for the non-dairy option.
- Tofu. It’s the only protein you can have that’s vegan-friendly. All other protein selections are either meat or seafood.
- Bud Light
- Coors Light
- Blue Moon
- Fat Tire
- Hana Fuji Apple
- Hakutsuru Draft
HuHot Mongolian Grill Locations
Whether you’re living or visiting close to these HuHot Mongolian Grill locations, it pays a good deal to try dining in, even when you’re a vegan. You have several vegan ingredients to choose from, which is really a good thing to consider.
Check out these state locations near you.
- South Dakota
- North Dakota
Each restaurant location has different owners, mainly since they are franchised. Menus may also vary. So, you will have to check with the restaurant about your needs.
Is Mongolian Grill Healthy?
A good rule of thumb when it comes to eating out is consuming food according to your needs. Binge-eating isn’t good. Moderation is always a good way to keep unwanted calories and bad cholesterol at bay.
As per the USDA, you’ll have to limit yourself from going over 2,000 calories a day. This would help you maintain your energy and keep healthy, especially with health restrictions.
So, if you’re in a Mongolian grill restaurant, first things first, veggies..and more veggies. For non-vegan restaurants like HuHot Mongolian Grill, proteins can be scarce since they would only stock up on meat and seafood.
However, some restaurants would have tofu, tempeh, edamame, seitan, lentils, beans, and more. These would be an excellent selection for vegans at a non-vegan restaurant. For instance, HuHot Mongolian Grill has a meat and seafood selection for proteins, but they have tofu that you can opt for.
So how can you be healthier when dining at a Mongolian grill? It’s simple.
Get a good plate filled with veggies and protein selection. Lower the oil and carbs, and get a considerable amount of sodium and fat. Try not to eat food that’s rich in trans fat.
Trans fat is one of the most dangerous fats that a human can consume. Although these are primarily found in meat and milk, other veggies also have trans fat.
Carrots, cooked edamame, or cauliflower provide around 100 g of trans fat. So, if these are included in your food, try to tone down your consumption to balance it out.
Nonetheless, vegan food has way lesser trans fat and calories compared to non-vegan dishes. For instance, a serving of Mongolian barbecue provides a whopping 528 calories. Imagine eating more than one? How can you burn the calories and shun those trans fats away in a day?
In a nutshell, moderation is still the key to being healthy and vegan-friendly.
Make Your Own Vegan Mongolian Barbecue At Home
Nothing is healthier and more fun than home cooking. Why? Because you get to choose and control the ingredients, and you also get to share them with your family.
These days, there are plenty of vegan meats you can buy from your local supermarkets or even online. Brands like Beyond Meat have many meat substitutes that you can try. The ingredients are easy to find, especially when you’re a fan of home cooking.
And for that umami taste? We know it’s easy! To get that meaty flavor, you can have the natural smoke flavoring, also called liquid smoke. I’ve discussed it in this article if you want to know more.
So, if you’re into cooking, I highly recommend doing it at home if you’re missing out on Mongolian barbecue, especially since HuHot Mongolian Grill doesn’t offer vegan-friendly barbecue.
The Bottom Line
HuHot Mongolian Grill may not be a full-fledged vegan restaurant, but it’s friendly enough to vegans, especially since they make efforts to avoid cross-contamination. Those with allergies are also safe at the restaurant because they use new utensils and give you new sauces.
They have very little selection for proteins, but their veggie and fruit toppings are to die for. Asian spices and herbs taste heaven when it comes to food. These are safe for vegans and are great substitutes for any non-vegan flavorings.
You just have to ask HuHot Mongolian Grill what you need, especially when you’re following a vegan diet, or you have food allergies.