Friday, May 04, 2012

Asian Lettuce Wraps

 One of my favorite Asian restaurants is P.F. Chang’s.  There is not one in our city, so unfortunately it is rare that I get to go there.  I had a craving for their mouthwatering lettuce wraps the other day and I couldn't resist trying to find a copycat recipe for them.  They are just so delicious!  With some searching and tweaking…this is what I came up with… 
 The dipping sauce is the bomb-diggity.  Yummmm…….
 I love eating food wrapped in lettuce.  It just feels healthier…and tastes good too!  
 I made these for dinner with a side of rice –but if you are having a big dinner party these make a great appetizer too!
Asian Lettuce Wraps
Serves 4-6 (Depending on if you are serving it as appetizer or dinner) 
Ingredients for dipping and pouring sauce
4 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup hot water
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil

Ingredients for stir-fry sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar (not packed tightly)
1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

Ingredients for stir-fried chicken
1 teaspoon hot water
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into half-inch cubes
1 – 8oz can whole water chestnuts, drained and minced
1/2 cup mushrooms, minced
1/2 yellow onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
6 large leaves of iceberg lettuce

Directions for Pouring Sauce
In a large bowl, dissolve sugar in 1/2 cup hot water. Blend in soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ketchup, lemon juice and sesame oil. Mix well and set aside in the refrigerator until the rest of the dish is ready.

Directions for Stir-Fry Sauce
In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, brown sugar, and rice vinegar. Mix well and set aside.

Directions for Stir-Fried Chicken
In a small bowl, combine 1 teaspoon hot water, mustard and minced garlic and set aside.
In a large frying pan over high heat, combine olive oil and sesame oil. Heat until it simmers, about one minute. Add chicken chunks and stir fry until entirely cooked through, about five minutes. Remove from the chicken pan and reserve the oil in the wok or pan, turning the heat down to low.

Take the pan that you cooked the chicken in (with the still warming oil) and turn it up to medium-high heat. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, wait one minute, and then add the garlic, onions, water chestnuts, mushrooms, cooked chicken, and the stir-fry sauce. Cook everything, stirring constantly, until the mushrooms have cooked through and are tender, about four minutes. Remove from pan and place in a serving dish.

Add mustard/garlic mixture that you set aside to the pouring sauce.

Wash the iceberg lettuce leaves and try to keep them intact.  Put pouring sauce in small bowls. Put the stir-fry in lettuce leaves, top with pouring sauce and wrap tightly.  (These can get messy so you may just end up eating them with a fork!).  Serve & enjoy! 

Source: adapted from The Culinary Life 

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