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 your 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 copycat 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.

Note – The links in this post are affiliate links meaning if you purchase after clicking on them, I will be given a small commission (at no additional cost to you).  Learn more here about how I am (and am not) compensated, and thank you for your support of me and my family!

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?

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 if desired.

For Special Sauce

Dissolve sugar in the 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.)

 

Copycat Recipe: PF Changs Lettuce Wraps
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • For the lettuce wraps:
  • 2 cups Thrive freeze dried chopped chicken
  • 1 cup water chestnuts, diced to the size of small peas
  • ¾ cup dried shitake mushrooms, hydrated and diced to the size of small peas (you can find them in the produce section.)
  • 4-5 Tbsp. chopped green onions
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. rice wine vinegar
  • A few drops (maybe ¼ tsp) sesame oil
  • For Special Sauce:
  • ¼ c. white sugar
  • ½ c water
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • A few drops (maybe1/4 tsp) sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp. hot mustard
  • 1-2 tsp. garlic red chile paste
Instructions
  1. For the lettuce wraps:
  2. Hydrate freeze dried chicken by soaking it in hot (not boiling water for 15-20 minutes). Drain well.
  3. While it is hydrating, mince the water chestnuts, mushrooms, green onions, and garlic.
  4. 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.
  5. Add chicken to water chestnut mixture. Mix well. Pour sauce over chicken.
  6. For the Special Sauce:
  7. Dissolve sugar in the 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.

 

Want More Food Storage Recipes?

If you’d like more (family approved) 100% food storage recipes, I have a recipe book that you can find here or by clicking on the image below.