Thursday, January 6, 2011

P.F. Changs Lettuce Wraps

It is an understatement to say I LOVE PF Chang’s Lettuce Wraps, and after a brief facebook survey, I am not the only one.  They are spicy, crunchy, and cool all at once. They are by far one of the best appetizers out there. I received an email from my Lettuce Wrap loving friend, Derek, about 2 months ago with this recipe attached. His hairdresser, Kim, came up with this re-creation on her own. Now that the holidays are over and I have a little time on my hands, I will now attempt to re-create it and only hope it’s half as good as the original.
When glancing at the recipe, I realize that there are a lot of ingredients listed (15 to be exact).  I usually try to keep most of my recipes down to a few ingredients, but I have been assured that the cooking is easy. I did have to step outside my comfort zone and purchase a few ingredients I don’t normally work with, like fresh ginger and rice noodles. Don’t think using powdered ginger didn’t cross my mind, but I want this to be as authentic as possible.

Here we go…
When starting a recipe with lots of ingredients, I think it is best to prep all your ingredients first. Otherwise you can fall behind and things can burn while you finish prepping your next ingredient (not that I know any of this firsthandJ).
Upon realizing all the chopping that had to go into this, I decided this would be a prime time for me to knock the dust off my mini-chopper and try to save myself a little work. I then realized that I wanted to take my new knives for a test drive. The knife was awesome, but I would definitely attempt to chop in the machine next time. It might save a little time.

All ingredients: prepped. Whew!

After chopping/measuring all the ingredients, the only thing left to do was to cook the rice noodles. The noodles don’t add a lot of flavor to the wraps, but they do add some crunch. If you didn’t want to deal with them, just leave them out. Although, I like the added texture.
ATTENTION: There are specific directions on the back on the package for a reason!! I was sure the oil was hot enough the first time, but boy was I wrong. The first batch of noodles I put in just absorbed the oil and sank to the bottom. I just assumed they were cooking. Then suddenly, I glance in the pot and see what you see on the left of the picture. Not what they are supposed to look like. Once I removed the burned up mess of noodles, I dropped in just a few to see what would happen. They puffed up as soon as they hit the oil and were ready to come out immediately. Only cook a few at the time, or your kitchen will be overflowing with noodles. Whew!

Incorrect / Correct...Any questions?

Exact Recipe:

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, minced
3/4 cup shredded mushrooms
1 can water chestnuts drained, chopped
1 1/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into bite size pieces
4 tablespoons rice vinegar
4 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Red pepper flakes, to taste (I used ½ teaspoon)
1 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1/3 cup toasted and sliced almonds
12 leaves of lettuce
1 Bag rice noodles, prepared according to bag (I cooked about 1/3 of the bag and it was plenty)

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add ginger, mushrooms, carrots, water chestnuts and chicken. Sauté until cooked through, about 7 to 10 min. Set aside.

2. In large bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon oil, vinegar, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, garlic powder and red pepper flakes until mixed well. Add chicken mixture, green onion and almonds; toss together.

3. Serve over rice noodles. Enjoy!!!

Lookin' good!

Well, I’d say they were a hit!

Going, going...

My husband loved them. He wants me to make them again next week. Not for an appetizer, but for dinner. I think they were extremely close to P.F. Changs. Now that I’ve been schooled on how to make rice noodles and already have the staple ingredients for this recipe, I would definitely make it again. I just may do some of the chopping the night before. Thanks for the recipe, Derek!
If you don’t want to make you own, find a P.F. Changs near you and try them out!



  1. Man those look yum! Next time you make them I know a photographer that could take great pictures for your blog for only the price of a sample! :)

  2. I was on the fence about these. I had never had them before, so a lettuce wrap did not sound very appetizing. Boy, was I wrong! These were so good! I cannot wait to make these!! YUMMY!

  3. I know first hand how good P.F. Chang's lettuce wraps are, so I will definitely try these at home!

  4. Wives and girlfriends, you really need to make these for your significant other! Out-freakin-standing!