Chicken Lettuce Wraps (PF Chang’s copycat recipe)
My garden is exploding with greens right now. We have been drinking more green juices and eating more salads than I can count. Sometimes when we’re out in the backyard, my ever-hungry kids will even climb into the raised bed and start munching on kale leaves like overgrown rabbits! I don’t say anything, for fear of startling them off and losing the magical moment.
I had two beautiful heads of butter lettuce last week, so I used them to create one of my favorite copycat recipes for PF Chang’s Lettuce Wraps. There are several versions of this recipe floating around the Internet, but in this one I combined the parts I liked from three different ones: ground chicken instead of chopped chicken breasts, teriyaki sauce for a sweet kick and hot sauce for a spicy kick, mushrooms instead of water chestnuts, and a small handful of basil leaves.
I’m kind of a sucker for quality ground chicken. It is lean, cooks quickly, and has a great texture in recipes like this. I stock my freezer anytime it goes on sale for $4-4.49/lb. I often make my own ground chicken meat from chicken breasts, if they are on a better sale. I feel like GIY (Grind It Yourself) will be the next big thing; watch for it.
Scoop the chicken mixture into lettuce leaves for a crunchy appetizer or light lunch.
If you want to skip the lettuce for a heartier/carb-ier main course, this chicken mixture is also delicious served over a bed of rice (How to Cook Perfect Brown Rice). Double the sauce ingredients and sprinkle cashews or sesame seeds over the top for a nice crunch.
Forget PF Chang’s. If you have more lettuce than you know what to do with right now, these Lettuce Wraps are calling your name. Putting a huge horse statue in front of your house: optional but highly recommended.
Chicken Lettuce Wraps
2 T. sesame oil, divided
1 c. mushrooms, chopped
1 lb. ground chicken
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 basil leaves, finely chopped
2 T. hoisin sauce (also available in gluten-free)
2 T. teriyaki sauce (also available in gluten-free)
1 T. soy sauce (also available in gluten-free)
1 t. rice wine vinegar
1 t. ground ginger
1 t. cornstarch (tapioca starch or arrowroot can work for a true gluten-free)
1 T. Sriracha sauce or chili garlic sauce (to taste, optional)
1 head bibb or butter lettuce, separated into leaves
2 small green onions, sliced
- In a medium wok or skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil. Add the mushrooms, and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and softened (about 5 minutes); transfer to a plate and set aside. Add 1 more tablespoon of sesame oil to the skillet and bring the heat back up. Add the chicken and cook until done, about 4-5 minutes, crumbling the meat as it cooks. Drain fat, if needed. Add the minced garlic, stir for 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms back into the skillet and sprinkle in the basil leaves; stir to combine.
- Meanwhile, in a small mason jar or mixing bowl, combine the hoisin sauce, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ground ginger, cornstarch, and sriracha; shake or whisk to combine.
- Pour sauce over the chicken mixture and stir to coat evenly; cook until heated through and slightly thickened, about 1 minute.
- Spoon into the leaves of butter lettuce (or scoop over bowls of rice). Top with sliced green onions.
If you do not have a wok in your life, now is the time! This T-fal Nonstick 14″ Wok is oven and dishwasher safe and gets fantastic reviews on Amazon! Price hovers between $25 and $30, which makes it a super affordable addition to your kitchen arsenal.
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