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Restaurant Food at Home: PF Chang’s Lettuce Wraps

by laine on July 4, 2011

I’ve never made lettuce wraps before and actually I rarely even order them. I think they’re a great idea though. All that warm tasty filling wrapped in a cool crisp piece of iceberg lettuce. Yum! So, after deciding to make them for dinner tonight I asked a co-worker if she had ever tried making them at home. She said no and asked me if I had ever had them at PF Chang’s. I’ve never been to a PF Chang’s, but apparently their lettuce wraps are a big hit. My co-worker thinks “they’re ok” since she doesn’t really like chain restaurants and I agree with her, but I looked up the recipe up anyways. I made some adjustments to the measurements and added a few things and the whole dish turned out pretty delicious.

I found dicing all the filling ingredients into pea sized pieces was pretty tedious. It reminded me to ask my friend Adrienne where she took a recent knife skills class. After getting about half way through all that fine dicing while thinking I probably wouldn’t make lettuce wraps all that often, I got the bright idea to use my Cuisinart Mini Chopper. It came with my food processor and I hardly use it, but it worked like a charm. Several pulses on low were all it took and the pieces turned out the perfect size. I even chopped up the chicken that way. It was in little shreds more than little pea sized cubes, but I think that’s better, like pulled pork or shredded up brisket..Mmmm pulled meats!

I’m going to make this again, but would try to adjust the sauce a little more and maybe add a little cornstarch. In this recipe I cut the original water measurement in half and it was still pretty runny, so eating the wrap was kind of messy. If you don’t mind sticky hands, despite its consistency, it was really good. I ended up with a double batch because I was trying to get a thicker sauce, so I put it in a jar in the fridge and plan to use it in a stir fry or as a marinade within the next couple of days.  Or maybe make another batch of lettuce wraps using different fillings. I think spicy pork, pineapple and red pepper would be good and I’m inspired to make a Thai curry one as well. Pretty much anything you can wrap or sandwich, I’m going to lettuce wrap it!

Filling:

  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 227 mL can of  water chestnuts (approx. 1 cup), finely diced
  • 2/3 cup mushrooms, finely diced
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 head of iceberg lettuce, leaves separated and washed
  • ¼ sweet bell pepper (I used orange), diced

Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup  loosely packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice (or lemon juice)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon hot mustard
  • 1 tablespoon garlic and red chilli paste

Directions:

Heat 2 tbls. of oil in a skillet or wok over med, high heat. Add chicken breasts and cook for about 7 minutes on each side or until internal temp reaches 160º. Remove chicken from the pan and allow to cool. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside to be used again.

To make the sauce to pour over the wraps, mix the water and brown sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ketchup, lime juice, sesame oil, hot mustard and the chilli paste. Mix well and refrigerate until you are ready to serve the wraps.

Prepare the stir fry sauce by mixing the soy sauce, brown sugar, and rice vinegar together in a small bowl. Dice the water chestnuts, mushrooms, bell pepper to about the size of peas and slice the green onion, setting aside the green tops. Once chicken is cool enough to handle dice it just like the vegetables.

Heat one tablespoon of oil in the skillet over med. high heat. Add chicken, garlic, green onions (still reserving the green tops), water chestnuts, mushrooms and bell pepper to the pan and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add the stir fry sauce to the pan and saute the mixture for another 4 minutes, adding the sliced green onion tops at the end.

To serve, spoon the some of the stir-fry into the lettuce leaves and drizzle with the sauce. I added an extra squirt of sriracha before eating mine!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

laine July 6, 2011 at 11:56 pm

Look! Now you can leave a comment.

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Marnie July 11, 2011 at 2:57 pm

My friend Laine is the prettiest girl I know

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