At the end of March, P.F. Chang in Richmond Heights closed their doors for good. But all is not lost. If you’ve had a yen for Lettuce Wraps, you can get a carryout in Chesterfield or St. Charles. Or if you’re wanting to get out of the house for a drive, you can find the Asian-inspired restaurant in Springfield as well.
But you can also make these meaty little bundles in your stay-at-home, Covid kitchen. Below is a copycat recipe.
The popular dish is basically minced chicken or pork served on a bed of rice sticks. (As you can see, I didn’t have any rice sticks, but cooked rice also works.) You wrap the mixture in lettuce leaves and drag them through a hoisin or sweet chili dipping sauce, if you like. Then you lick the remains from your fingers.
I’ve cooked several of the P.F. Chang copy cat recipes and finally settled on this one from the Delish website. The recipe has lots of ingredients, but if you get them all assembled on your counter ahead of time (what French chefs call mise en place), the dish comes together quickly.
Using Turkey or Chicken
Warning: These little nests of meaty goodness are addictive. It’s also a challenge to get the meat mixture to come out even with the number of lettuce leaves you have. Plan ahead.
- 3 Tbs. hoisin sauce
- 2 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 Tbs. rice wine vinegar
- 1 Tbs. Siracha (optional)
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbs. freshly grated ginger
- 1 lb. ground chicken or pork
- 1/2 cup canned water chestnuts, drained and sliced
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Large, leafy lettuce (like Boston) for serving
- Cooked white rice, for serving (optional) or cooked rice sticks
Make the sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, Sriracha (if using) and sesame oil.
In large skillet over medium high heat, warm olive oil. Add onions and cook until soft, 5 minutes.
Stir in garlic and ginger and cook one minute more. Add ground chicken and cook until opaque, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon.
Pour in sauce and cook 1-2 minutes more, until sauce reduces slightly and chicken is cooked through completely. Turn off heat and stir in water chestnuts and green onions. Season with salt and pepper.
Spoon rice, if using, and a large scoop (1/4 cup) of chicken mixture into center of each lettuce. Serve immediately.
Note: You can substitute cooked rice sticks for plain cooked rice, if desired.