Anybody else a PF Changs fan?  My husband and I sure are. We are addicted to their “great wall of chocolate.”  Never had it?  YOU MUST.  It is a bit of heaven wrapped into a double chocolate cake with berries and raspberry sauce.  We just ordered two (take out) for my husband’s birthday last week.  Anyone else?  C’mon, just leave a comment!  What is you favorite PF Chang’s menu item?

Another of our favorites are the lettuce wraps.  We enjoyed them often during the first two years of our marriage.  And then, we quit our jobs, moved from Utah to California (and doubled our cost of living), started law school, and had twins.  PF Changs was no longer in the budget.

So, I started playing with and tweaking different copy cat recipes I’d found online.  I eventually came up with the one I’m about to tell you about.  We love it.  But, I’ve never been able to get the chicken just right.  I tried boiling breasts and then shredding them.  I tried using ground chicken.  I tried baking breasts and then chopping them in a processor.  While good (great), it was never quite right.

Well last week as I was planning our dinner menu I decided to have lettuce wraps and I once again started thinking about how I could improve the chicken.  I had a genius idea: use Thrive freeze dried chopped chicken!  It is the exact same size and texture of the chicken at PF Changs.  PERFECT!  And as an added bonus: it was much easier!  All I did was add water.  No more boiling, baking, browning and / or shredding, dicing, chopping.  I was one happy girl.

Want to give it a try?  Here you go:

PF Changs Lettuce Wraps (a copycat recipe):

  • 2 cups Thrive freeze dried chopped chicken
  • 1 cup Water chestnuts, diced to the size of small peas
  • 3/4 cup Dried shitake mushrooms, hydrated and diced to the size of small peas (you can find them in the produce section, mine looked like this:
  •  4-5 T. Chopped green onions
  • 2 tsp. Minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup Soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1/2 cup Brown sugar
  • 2 tsp Rice wine vinegar
  • A few drops (maybe 1/4 tsp) sesame oil

Hydrate freeze dried chicken by soaking it in hot (not boiling water for 15-20 minutes).  Drain well.  It should look like this:

 While it is hydrating mince the water chestnuts, mushrooms, green onions and garlic.

Mix the soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar and sesame oil in small sauce pan and heat over medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring regularly until it darkens.  Remove immediately.

Add chicken to water chestnut mixture.  Mix well.  Pour sauce over chicken.

 Serve immediately (with special sauce below if desired)

For Special Sauce:

  • 1/4 c. White sugar
  • 1 /2 c Water
  • 2 T. Soy sauce
  • 2 T. White wine vinegar
  • 2 T. Ketchup
  • 1 T. Lemon Juice
  • A few drops (maybe1/4 tsp) Sesame oil
  • 1 T. Hot mustard
  • 1-2 tsp. Garlic red chile paste

Dissolve sugar int he water in a small bowl.  Add soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, lemon juice and sesame oil.  Mix well and heat in microwave for 1 minute (or until sugar is completely dissolved).  Chill in refrigerator.  When ready to serve add desired amounts of mustard and chile paste to sauce and pour over chicken in lettuce wrap:

And just to make you smile, here is what it looked like (what is always looks like) at my feet while I cooked (no, we don’t all wear our pjs all day.  This was first thing in the morning.  I try to get most of dinner prepped by 9 am):

I am an independent consultant for THRIVE Life (formerly Shelf Reliance); a company with a mission to empower others to become self reliant, prosperous and charitable.  You can learn more about THRIVE Life (formerly Shelf Reliance), becoming a THRIVE Life (formerly Shelf Reliance) consultant ,buying their products, or earning free products, on my THRIVE Life (formerly Shelf Reliance) Consultant website.    

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