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P.F. Chang's Chicken Lettuce Wraps Recipe (Copycat)

Serves 4     adjust servings

Have you tried the Chicken Lettuce Wraps at P.F. Chang's? I've got the best copycat recipe for you today! Finely diced chicken thighs are sautéed with shiitake mushrooms in a killer Asian-inspired sauce, then nestled into butter lettuce leaves and garnished with fried rice noodles. It is a super easy, fast, and TASTY weeknight meal. The perfect dish for when you are going low carb!

Ingredients

For the chicken filling

  • 2 and 1/2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil, divided
  • 1 pound chicken thighs, chopped into very small pieces
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, for seasoning chicken
  • black pepper, to season chicken
  • 2 ounces DRIED shiitake mushrooms*
  • hot water, for rehydrating mushrooms
  • 1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, smashed and minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 4 green onions, chopped and divided

For frying rice sticks

  • 2 inches frying oil (canola oil, vegetable, etc)
  • 1 (6.75 ounce) package maifun rice sticks

For the sauce to go in chicken filling

  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons aji mirin (rice wine)**
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

For the dipping sauce

  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce (I used Sambal Oelek)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Chinese-Style Hot Mustard
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

To assemble

  • 2 heads butter lettuce, or iceberg

Instructions

  1. Prep the chicken. First things first, if you are using thawed chicken, place it in the freezer so that it is easier to chop later. If you have completely frozen chicken, take it out of the freezer to start thawing. You want to chop partially-thawed chicken.
  2. Rehydrate the shiitake mushrooms.* Add 2 ounces DRIED mushrooms to a medium bowl and cover with very hot water. Let sit for 30 minutes. Once they are softened, squeeze out as much water as you can and place on a cutting board. Chop off the stems and discard (they are too tough). Chop the mushrooms into small pieces, see photos. You should end up with about 1 and 3/4 cup mushrooms, about 7-8 ounces. Set aside.
  3. Prepare the vegetables. Meanwhile, drain the 8 ounce can of water chestnuts and chop them into small pieces. Smash and mince 1 tablespoon garlic. Peel a knob of ginger with a spoon (it's easier than a peeler) and mince 1 tablespoon. Set aside.
  4. Assemble the filling sauce. In a small bowl add 1/4 cup cold water, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons oyster sauce, 2 tablespoons aji mirin**, 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1 teaspoon cornstarch. Stir together and set aside.
  5. Chop the chicken. Once your chicken is partially frozen (if it's still rock hard, you can put it in the microwave in 30-second increments until it is chop-able), use a chef's knife to chop the chicken into very small pieces. Smaller than you have ever chopped chicken before, probably. See photos. You want them to be about 1/4 to 1/2 inch dice. It doesn't need to be perfect, but the smaller your chicken pieces, the more homogenous your wrap filling will be. It's all about the texture in this recipe. Seal the still-partially frozen chicken pieces in a ziplock, place in a medium bowl, and cover with water. The chicken should be thawed out within 10-20 minutes. Do not cook the chicken until it's completely thaw.
  6. While the chicken thaws, fry the rice sticks. This step is optional but delicious. In a 3 quart pot, heat 2 inches frying oil to about 400 degrees (I set my burner to just above medium heat.) It will take several minutes for the oil to come to temperature. Use a thermometer to see the temperature.
  7. Break off a small handful of rice sticks and carefully drop it into the oil. Within 2-3 seconds, they will rise to the top of the oil. They will be puffy and huge compared to what you dropped in. It's so fun! Remove the puffed rice sticks to a paper towel lined plate and set aside. Continue the process until you have as much as you think you will want to eat on your wraps. Set the oil on a back burner to cool.***
  8. Cook the filling. Heat a wok (best), cast iron skillet (better), or large skillet (ok) over medium high heat. (You want to cook over very high heat; woks are best for this. I don't have one, so I used cast iron). Once the pan is very hot, add 1 and 1/2 tablespoons neutral oil and 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil.
  9. Add the diced chicken and stir constantly until thoroughly cooked. Season with 1 and 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, and black pepper to taste. It will only take 2-3 minutes to cook. Remove the chicken to a plate.
  10. Keep the heat on medium high. Add another 1 tablespoon neutral oil and 1 teaspoon sesame oil. When hot, add in the mushrooms and water chestnuts. Saute for 2-3 minutes. Add in 1 tablespoon garlic and 1 tablespoon ginger and saute for another 1 minute.
  11. Return the chicken and any juices to the pan. Add the prepared sauce to the chicken and mushrooms. Lower the heat to medium and cook for another 2 minutes.
  12. Chop 4 green onions. Set aside a small amount to add as a fresh garnish to each wrap. Add the remaining green onions to the pan and saute for another 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  13. Make the dipping sauce. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup warm water, 2 tablespoons sugar, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 4 teaspoons rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Chinese hot mustard, 1 to 2 teaspoons oyster sauce (taste it!) and 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil. Whisk it together.
  14. Assemble the wraps. Carefully remove the core of the butter lettuce from the head, and clean each butter lettuce leaf. There is a LOT of debris in butter lettuce, so take your time washing each leaf. Lay on paper towels to dry. (You can also try iceberg lettuce.)
  15. Place a handful of fried rice sticks in each lettuce leaf. Top with a spoonful of warm chicken and mushroom filling. Sprinkle with fresh green onions.  Devour!

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