One of my favorite dishes are lettuce wraps at P.F. Changs. If I could, I think I would eat them every night, but the restaurant itself is not close to my house or work. So I set out to make my own and what really surprised me is that is a 15 to 20 minute weeknight dinner. It is fairly light, highly customizable, low-carb and most importantly delicious!!! It is really easy to double or triple the filling and make ahead allowing for a weeknight dinner to be ready in a pinch.
I typically use Boston Lettuce because it happens to be my favorite lettuce because of its tenderness yet sufficient crunch. However, romaine or iceberg will work perfectly.
In my recipe, I use ground chicken and a combination of vegetables such as mushrooms, onions, garlic and minced ginger. There are really three steps to this. Brown the meat, cook the vegetables, prep the sauce and add to meat vegetable mixture. The sauce is a combination of hoisin sauce, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce and sesame oil. Next part is really about how quickly it takes you to eat them. I think whenever we have this for dinner the entire dinner including cooking time and eating takes about thirty minutes. We seem to just devour these.
What I love about this dish is you really can customize it to your liking. If I were making this for Meatless Monday, I would do either a filling with a mix of variety of mushrooms and perhaps tofu crumbles. It also works great to add a variety of vegetables like peppers, carrots and zucchini. To make it gluten free, use gluten free hoisin sauce and gluten free soy sauce! It really is very easy to make it your own.
I love serving this family style. We serve lettuce leaves piled up on each plate and the filling either straight out of the pan it was cooked in (you know, if it is just us) or a fancy serving bowl if we have company. Everyone serves themselves. I like topping this with green onions and cucumbers but peanuts or crunchy rice noodles are great options too.
- 1 pound ground chicken (recommended ground thighs)
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
- 8 oz chopped white button mushrooms
- 1 8-ounce can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 T minced ginger, roughly about an inch of fresh ginger root
- 1 /2 cup of minced yellow onion
- 4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 3 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon chili paste
- 2 small heads Bibb or butter lettuce
- Chili paste to serve (optional)
- In a small bowl, mix Hoisin sauce, 1 T sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, chili paste (if using), corn starch and set aside
- Heat a large pan on medium high heat with 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil. Add the chicken and cook until chicken is lightly browned and coked through about, stirring frequently 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and place in a clean bowl. Keep warm. Heat the other teaspoon of oil, and add mushrooms and cook for about a minute. Add onions, garlic and ginger and cook until onions are soft and everything is fragrant. Add the chicken back in the pan and mix everything together. Add the sauce and cook for about a minute. f the sauce thickens too much add a little splash of water.
- To serve pile high lettuce leaves on each plate and serve the filling family style. To assemble the wrap, peel one or two lettuce leaves and fill with about 3T of filling. Top with sliced green onions, thinly sliced cucumber or pickled red onion.