These PF Chang’s Lettuce Wraps are a copycat recipe of their popular dish. Ground chicken is wrapped in cooling lettuce cups and topped with a special customizable dipping sauce.
I remember the first time that I went to a PF Chang’s. It was circa 2000 and I was in college, on Spring Break, in California. It seemed like such a novel idea to me – Modern Chinese food with a twist. My friend Alyssa mentioned that she had worked at PF Chang’s on the East Coast and wanted us all to experience it. The decor was dark and sleek, the cocktails were great, and there was this special sauce that they mix for you at the table based on your personal heat preference (I always like it HOT).
Now PF Chang’s seem to be a bit more mainstream and think the novelty has worn off a bit. There’s actually one about 5 minutes from my house that I have yet to go to. However, I still crave the food – ESPECIALLY the lettuce wraps! I’ve tried several copycat recipes for these lettuce wraps in the past, but they didn’t quite do it for me. They were either too sweet, bland or didn’t have the right texture. But guys, I’ve hit the nail on the head with this one!!! Seriously… DEAD RINGER! I even put together a recipe for the “special sauce” for you. The first night I made these, Rick told me that this was his FAVORITE recipe that I’ve ever made for him. That’s saying a lot – As I’ve been cooking him dinner (and making him wash the dishes) for over three years now! We’re a good pair that way.
Sooo… Have I convinced you yet? Make that shopping list right now and run to the store. If you need more convincing, these take under 30 minutes start to finish! PS – You *may* need to run to the Asian foods store. Some of the ingredients (i.e. mirin, oyster sauce, shitake mushrooms, rice sticks) can be a bit difficult to find. However, I’m willing to bet you can find most everything at your supermarket, minus the rice sticks. They can always be left off if you don’t want to make a special trip. PSS – The rice sticks were the scariest part of this recipe for me. I’d never made them before, and as I’ve mentioned before, I have a serious FOF (fear of frying). BUT hey it’s really not that scary. Really. Just pop these guys into a wok of hot oil and in a matter of seconds, they puff up and expand to twice their size. Look mom – I did it!!!
Oh, one more thing! After years of making lettuce wraps, I FINALLY learned how to cut the lettuce so that you get full cups, and not little broken pieces. All you do is slice the top off the head of iceberg lettuce, right through the middle of the head. Then, pull the lettuce cups off the outside of this slice. Mind blown!
PF Chang's Lettuce Wraps (Copycat)
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp mirin
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 lb . ground chicken breast
- 1 8-ounce can water chestnuts drained and minced (about 1 cup)
- 10 fresh or dried shitake mushrooms stems removed and chopped (about 2/3 cups). If dried, soak in warm water until soft, before chopping
- 4 cloves garlic chopped finely
- 1 stalk green onion chopped, for garnish
- 1 - 1 1/2 cups fried rice sticks
- 1 fresh and cold iceberg lettuce head
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1/8 tsp chili oil
- 1 green onion chopped
- 1/2 - 1 tsp Chinese hot mustard paste
- 1 - 3 tsp chili garlic sauce
Prepare the marinade by mixing all of the ingredients together in a small bowl.
Mix the ground chicken meat, chopped mushrooms and water chestnuts with all the Marinade ingredients. Set aside for 15 minutes.
Prepare the rice sticks by pouring 2 inches of vegetable oil into a wok and heating it on high to around 400 degrees. Add the rice sticks. They will instantly puff up and float to the top. Remove with a slotted spoon and let drain on paper towels.
Heat the cooking oil in a wok or saute pan over high heat.. Saute the garlic until light brown and then immediately add the chicken. Stir-fry the ground chicken, breaking it up with a spoon until cooked through. Dish out and set aside.
Serve the chicken with a side of lettuce cups. Make these lettuce cups by slicing the top off of a head of iceberg lettuce right through the middle of the head. Pull your lettuce cups off of the outside of this slice.
Dissolve the sugar in the water in a small bowl. Add the soy sauce, rice vinegar, chili oil and green onions. For a mild sauce add 1 teaspoon of chili garlic sauce. For a medium sauce add 1/2 teaspoon of hot mustard plus 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce. For a hot sauce and 1 teaspoon of hot mustard plus 3 teaspoons of chili garlic sauce.. Stir well.
Wine Pairings for PF Chang’s Lettuce Wraps:
- Sauvignon Blanc or Dry Riesling make excellent companions to this spicy dish.
- A Dry Rosé is another great option. Here are some great budget friendly rosé wines.
Looking for more copycat recipes? Try these:
- Cranberry Bliss Bars (Starbucks Copycat Recipe)
- Boston Market Meatloaf (Copycat Recipe)
- Homemade Shake N Bake Pork Chops
- Clementine Smoothie Orange Julius Copycat Recipe