Yes, if you’ve trotted your bootie over to PF Chang’s, it’s almost certain you’ve bitten into one of their famous chicken lettuce wraps at one time or another.
I was feeling a little nostalgic for my suburban mall (silly I know – I haven’t been to one of those lovely joints since I left the states) and decided to cook these babies up last night. There are many variations to this dish but this one comes pretty stinking close to the real deal. Don’t be intimidated by the laundry list of ingredients or the numerous preparatory steps involved. There’s no qualification needed to assemble these bad boys. These are actually quite simple to drum up and your mouth with thank you.
P.F. Chang Style Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Serves 3-4 as an appetizer
* Package of dried shiitake mushrooms – roughly 8-12
* 2 teaspoons dry sherry
* 2 teaspoons water
* 2 teaspoons soy sauce
* 1 1/2 pounds ground chicken – can substitute ground turkey
* 5 tablespoons of cooking oil
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 green onions, thinly sliced
* 2 small dried chilies, (optional)
* 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger (optional)
* 8 oz can bamboo shoots, drained & diced
* 8 oz can water chestnuts, drained & diced
* salt and freshly ground pepper
* 1 package cellophane Chinese rice noodles, deep fried & prepared according to package
* Iceberg lettuce “cups” leaves – can easily substitute with romaine or bibb lettuce
* 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
* 1 tablespoon soy sauce
* 1 tablespoon dry sherry
* 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
* 2 tablespoons water
* 1 teaspoon sesame oil
* 1 teaspoon sugar
* 1/4 cup granulated sugar
* 1/2 cup water
* 2 tablespoons soy sauce
* 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
* 2 tablespoons ketchup
* 1 tablespoon lemon juice
* 1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
* 2 tablespoons chili sauce
* 1 tablespoon Chinese hot mustard powder plus 2 tsp water (to taste)
- Assemble the dipping sauce (for spooning over your lettuce wraps) by dissolving the 1⁄4 cup sugar in 1⁄2 cup water in a small bowl. Add soy sauce, rice vinegar, chili sauce, lemon juice and sesame oil. Mix well and refrigerate the sauce until you’re ready to serve. Combine the 2 teaspoons water with the Chinese hot mustard and set this aside as well. Upon serving, add your desired amount of Chinese mustard to the dipping sauce for additional spiciness.
- Cover mushrooms with boiling water, let soak for 30 minutes; then drain. Cut off stems and discard. Dice mushrooms. Set aside.
- Mix all ingredients for cooking sauce in bowl, and set aside.
- In medium size bowl, combine ground chicken with sherry, water, soy sauce, 1 tablespoon oil, and salt & pepper. Mix to coat chicken thoroughly. Let sit for 10-15 minutes to ‘marinate’.
- Heat wok or large skillet over medium high heat. Add 3 tablespoon of cooking oil, add chicken and quickly cook for about 3-4 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
- Add 2 tablespoons of cooking oil to pan. Add onion, garlic, chilies, and ginger (if desired) and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add mushrooms, bamboo shoots and water chestnuts and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Add the cooked chicken and mixed cooking sauce to pan. Cook until thickened and hot.
- Break cooked cellophane noodles into small pieces, and cover bottom of serving dish with them. Then pour chicken mixture on top of noodles.
- Make the lettuce cups by slicing the top off a head of lettuce right through the middle of the head. Pull your lettuce cups off the outside of this slice.
- Serve chicken over noodles aside the lettuce cups. Assemble lettuce wraps by spooning chicken filling into a lettuce cup, adding dipping sauce over the top, and rolling up.
Let me know if you like them……Enjoy!