The Great Big Plate of Rabbit at Uncle Zhou


The thick, doughy noodles get top billing at Elmhurst's Uncle Zhou, but on a recent visit I was most delighted by the rabbit.

The Spicy Crispy Rabbit In Big Tray ($16.95) rivals the restaurant's big tray of chicken in size—it's a massive platter of bone-in rabbit chunks that easily feeds four. Crisp nubs of meat are dry fried and tossed with smoky chilies and an impressive quantity of Sichuan peppercorns, which don't so much numb your mouth as leave a gentle tingle while you go to town on the meat. However it does pack some heat, enough to keep every bite of bunny (and marrow!) an interesting one.

Dry frying, cooking meat or vegetables in a pool of hot oil until the surface shrivels and the ingredients intensify in flavor, does run the risk of overcooking meat into nubby dryness. Some might call this rabbit too chewy, but it's still juicy and pulls away from the bone with a little tug from the teeth.

Oh, and don't bother being polite and eating this with chopsticks. It's bunny finger food, bar none.