While dining at our local P.F. Chang’s my mother in law wanted to get the chicken lettuce wraps for an appetizer. We both dove into them and nearly licked the plate clean. She wondered how we could get the recipe so I immediately went home to start the research. The very next day I was at Super King Market and Albertson’s stocking up on some ingredients that I didn’t have in my cupboard. I found the majority at Albertson’s and found the oyster sauce at Super King Market. I couldn’t find the exact straw mushroom so I used shitake instead. This calls for a lot of vegetable oil. I had to modify this recipe and really lay it all out to make it make sense. I have it all laid out for you to make your own copy-cat P.F. Chang’s chicken lettuce wrap appetizers at home.
*Note: you can prepare the special sauce, stir-fry sauce, and lettuce cups the night before so it’s less work.
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/8 teaspoon chili oil
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Chinese hot mustard paste
1 to 3 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons mirin
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Chicken and Vegetable Ingredients:
1 large skinless chicken breast filet + 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
one 8-ounce can water chestnuts, drained and minced (about 1 cup)nearly 2 of the 4.9 oz. cans
one 6-ounce can diced straw mushrooms or shitake mushrooms, drained and minced (about
2/3 cup) nearly 2 of the 4.9oz. Cans
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons chopped green onion
1 to 1 1/2 cups fried maifun rice sticks + ½ cup vegetable oil
4 to 6 iceberg lettuce cups
3 tablespoons vegetable oil for frying the cooked chicken and vegetable filling
Directions for Special Sauce:
Make the special sauce (for spooning over your lettuce wraps) by dissolving the sugar in the water in a small bowl. Add the soy sauce, rice vinegar, and chili oil.
Add the chopped green onion and set the sauce aside until you’re ready to serve the lettuce wraps.
Eventually you will add Chinese mustard and garlic chili sauce to this special sauce mixture to pour over each of your lettuce wraps. Sometimes in the restaurant, waiters prepare the sauce at your table the same way, based on your desired heat level.
Directions for Stir-Fry Sauce:
Prepare the stir-fry sauce by mixing all of the ingredients together in a small bowl.
Preparing the Chicken & Vegetable Filling:
To prepare the filling for your lettuce wraps, heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a large sauté pan or wok over high heat.
Sauté the chicken breast for 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until cooked through.
Remove the chicken from the pan to cool. Wipe out the pan. As the chicken cools, chop your water chestnuts and mushrooms into pieces that are about the size of small peas.
Preparing the Maifun Rice Sticks:
If you haven’t fried the maifun rice sticks, this is a good time to do that. Every package is different.
Heat about ½ cup of vegetable oil in a pan to 400 degrees. It should be at least a couple of inches deep. Crush Maifun noodles in the package and drop in small amounts into the hot oil. Noodles should immediately expand and nearly float to the top. Remove them with a fork and drain on a paper towel. Note: If the oil isn’t hot enough, the noodles won’t expand. It really does need to be at 400 degrees.
When you can handle the chicken, hack it up with a sharp knife so that no piece is bigger than a dime.
With the pan or wok back on high heat, add 3 tablespoons of oil. When the oil is hot, add the chicken, water chestnuts, mushrooms, and garlic to the pan. Cook the mixture for 2 minutes, stirring often.
Add the stir-fry sauce to the pan and sauté the mixture for a couple more minutes, then stir in the green onions and spoon everything out onto a bed of fried maifun rice noodles on a serving dish.
Serve the chicken with a side of clean fresh iceberg lettuce. 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.
Prepare the special sauce at the table by adding your desired measurement of hot mustard and chili sauce to the special sauce blend: 1 teaspoon of chili garlic sauce for mild, ½ teaspoon of mustard paste plus 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce for medium, and 1 teaspoon of mustard paste and 3 teaspoons of chili garlic sauce for hot. Stir well.
Assemble each lettuce wrap by spooning the filling into a lettuce cup, adding special sauce over the top and eating it like a taco. I added some sesame seeds on top of mine because I love them so much. Serve with your favorite sake or JUSTIN Sauvignon Blanc.
Inspired by: A Top Secret Recipe – From the Kitchen of Todd Wilbur
Cook Time: 30 min
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