Friday, January 7, 2011

Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I've been going to PFChang's for a few years now. I like it ok...but I LOVE their lettuce wraps. So after seeing the 'copycat' recipe online, I decided to try them. They were DELCIOUS! And I highly, highly recommend them. If you're like me, it will be the only time in your life that you will buy iceberg lettuce. But no matter what, read this carefully: BUY ICEBERG LETTUCE AND ONLY ICEBERG LETTUCE. No other greens can give you that crispy crunchy cold support. And you need it to make this dish successful.

One more thing to point out, I was in a horribly hurry and threw everything in the saute pan--and it STILL turned out amazing--but I can't imagine how much more awesome they would be if you were a better cook than myself and made it according to the recipe exactly (HA!). So, below, is the step by step instruction.

Having said that, I will let you know a couple things I learned so yours turn out better. 1) Chop your ingredients. Don't put them in the food processor. I had roasted chicken breast and wish I'd chopped it rather than pulverized it. I don't know what I was thinking.... Also, chop your mushrooms. 2) It's probably better not to use low-sodium soy sauce because you'll just end up having to use more of it to balance out the sweet ingredients and then you'll have more liquid to deal with.

Let me know if anyone tries them with veggie/mock chicken....I'd love to know how that worked out. I'm sure it'd be good too.


Serves 2-3

3 Tbsp. oil (We used half olive oil and half toasted sesame seed oil)
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup water chestnuts
2/3 cup mushroom (We used a bit more-baby portabellas)
3 Tbsp. chopped onions (I also added 2 green onions, chopped)
1 tsp. minced garlic
4 -5 leaves iceberg lettuce

Special Sauce:
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. ketchup (I used slightly less)
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/8 tsp. sesame oil
1 mustard
2 tsp. water
*1 -2 teaspoon garlic and red chile paste (I also added a couple minced garlic cloves)

Stir Fry Sauce:
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp.brown sugar
1/2 tsp. rice wine vinegar

Make the special sauce by 1) dissolving the sugar in water in a small bowl. Then add soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ketchup, lemon juice and sesame oil to the sugar/water mixture. Mix well and refrigerate this sauce until you're ready to serve. 2) Combine the hot water with the hot mustard and set this aside as well. (Eventually you will add your desired measurement of mustard and garlic chili sauce to the special sauce mixture to pour over the wraps.)

Bring oil to high heat in a wok or large frying pan.

Saute chicken breasts for 4 to 5 minutes per side or done. Remove chicken from the pan and cool.

Keep oil in the pan, keep hot. As chicken cools MINCE water chestnuts and mushrooms to about the size of small peas.

Prepare the stir fry sauce by mixing the soy sauce, brown sugar, and rice vinegar together in a small bowl.

When chicken is cool, mince it as the mushrooms and water chestnuts are.

With the pan still on high heat, add another tablespoon of oil. Then, add chicken, garlic, onions, water chestnuts and mushrooms to the pan.

Add the stir fry sauce to the pan and saute the mixture for a couple minutes then serve it in the lettuce"cups".

Top with special sauce.


*In case you're wondering what chili sauce was used, here it is. It deserves its own special space in this entry because many people regard it as a heavenly ingredient. All I know is that it is capable of powers beyond my capacity (for instance, picture your husband sweating and breathing heavily and sighing but going back for more and muttering things such as, 'whew', 'whoa', 'wow', 'so good'....) Almost felt like I should be wearing a cape and standing with my hands on my hips staring down at dinner.....

So maybe you should go buy a cape and make chicken lettuce wraps.

1 comment:

  1. Anca,

    We just tried these, but used extra firm tofu in place of the chicken....unbelievable!!!! So yummy! Will definitely be making these again. Thanks for the recipe!