That's A Wrap

PF Chang's Inspired Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Adapted from the culinary authority, The Kitchn

A certain someone is besotted with PF Chang's lettuce wraps. He speaks about them with affinity on regular rotation. Admittedly, we have never been in the five years we have painted the town red together. I ate there once in Boca Raton. The food was so salty I had trouble slipping on shoes and removing rings the next day. No dice. Perhaps this was a one-off but after that I had zero desire to return. I can procure spectacular, ethnic Chinese food in multiple cities and I go for that over the other variety any day of the week. In our time together, I have repeatedly tried and failed to emulate what he procures at the restaurant. That is until now. This recipe is every bit as authentic, flavorful and fun to wrap. The best part of home creation is knowing exactly what goes into your food. No sausage fingers or cankles for either of us in the day that followed. This made partner-in-crime happy and that's what it's all about. The little things.

Now I am not one to post quotes or limericks (though I do read and enjoy both) but I came across the below quote not too long ago and I think it so lovely:

"You are the poem I never knew how to write and this is the story I have always wanted to tell."

-Tyler Khott Gregson


3 TBS hoisin sauce - you can find this in the international section of your grocer
2 TBS low sodium soy sauce or Tamari
2 TBS rice wine vinegar
1 TBS black vinegar - Amazon
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp chili oil
1 lb organic ground chicken
2 TBS olive oil 
8 oz coarsely chopped mushrooms - I used a mix of oyster, shitake and hen of the woods
1 8 oz can drained water chestnuts - you can find this in the international section of your grocer
3 cloves of garlic - finely chopped
3 inch piece of garlic - peeled and chopped
6 green onions - chopped
Large head of Bibb lettuce
1/2 cucumber finely diced
1 cup of carrots - shredded


1. To prepare your sauce, in a small bowl combine the hoisin, soy sauce or Tamari, rice wine vinegar, black vinegar, sesame oil and chili oil. Whisk carefully and set aside.

2. Heat 2 TBS olive oil in a pan on medium high heat and add your chicken. You want to cook the meat until it's no longer pink, around 8 to 10 minutes. Once browned, add your mushrooms, 1/2 cup of shredded carrots, water chestnuts, half the green onions, garlic and ginger. Cook until aromatic and your mushrooms soften, around two to three minutes. Now stir in the sauce. Raise the temperature to high and when the mixture begins to bubble, lower the heat to simmer. Gently mix and let this cook for around seven minutes. Remove from the heat.

3. I set up a "lettuce wrap bar" comprising washed Bibb lettuce leaves, shredded carrots, green onions and diced cucumbers. You can also add shredded radishes, toasted peanuts and any hot sauce that wets your whistle. Go to town.

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