Monday, July 27, 2009

PF Chang's Lettuce Wrap copycat recipe

I love PF Chang's but we rarely go out to dinner because of the cost.  So here is a copycat recipe of PF Chang's lettuce wraps that is basically spot-on as far as taste.  The original link can be found here on Recipezaar but I have re-typed it below with a couple of modifications that I made.  It's a little bit complex and calls for some unique ingredients, but you should be able to find them in the asian section of most major grocery stores. Below is a photo of what you'll need: 

PF Chang's lettuce wraps

3 Tbsp peanut oil (or other high temperature frying oil - preferably not olive oil)
3/4 lb ground chicken (or 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced small)
1 8oz can water chesnuts, diced
3 Tbsp diced onion
2/3 c mushrooms, diced
1 clove garlic, minced (or 1 tsp jarred minced garlic - not garlic powder)
Optional - 1/2 c diced carrots

Stir Fry sauce
3 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
3 Tbsp brown sugar
3/4 tsp rice wine vinegar

"Special Sauce" 
1/4 c sugar
1/2 c water
2 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp Chinese-style hot mustard
2 tsp hot water
1-2 tsp garlic and red chile paste

1 head iceberg lettuce

Optional crisped noodles
Frying oil (such as peanut)
1 pkg cellophane (rice vermicelli) noodles

1) Heat oil in a wok or large skillet
2) While oil is heating, make stir fry sauce by combining soy sauce, brown sugar and rice wine vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside.
3) Add ground chicken. Stir and break up into small pieces.  When cooked through, add water chesnuts, onion, mushrooms, garlic and carrots (if using). Saute for 1-2 minutes, then add stir fry sauce and saute 2-3 minutes more until mushrooms are cooked and onion and carrot have softened somewhat.
4) For the "special sauce" dissolve the sugar in the water in a small bowl.  Add soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ketchup, lemon juice and sesame oil and stir to combine.
5) In a separate bowl, combine hot water and hot mustard and stir until smooth. 
6) Add mustard and garlic & red chili paste to special sauce slowly to desired taste. If the sauce is too runny, at 1 tsp cornstarch to sauce and bring to a boil to thicken.

7) If you'd like rice noodles, heat frying oil in large pan or deep fryer to approx 375. Break rice noodles into 2-3" pieces. Add in small batches to the hot oil, they will puff immediately. Remove them from the oil with a handheld strainer or large slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.  These will keep up to 1 week in a zip-top bag or longer in the freezer

To serve - place chicken mixture into a lettuce leaf. Top with puffed rice noodles and special sauce.  Roll and enjoy!

So there you go.  Some of the ingredients are uncommon, but once you have them you can make many batches of this with the bottles.  The chicken mixture is not as dark in color as PF Changs, but the taste is very very similar.

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