The textures and flavors in these popular PF Chang-style Chicken Lettuce Wraps are a real treat for weeknights or dinner parties. My husband devoured them! And they’re surprisingly easy.
I’ve been thinking of making these for awhile and finally decided to tackle them, maybe because I spent a weekend at my sisters cottage and ate way too much (these wraps are pretty low in calories). After reviewing a lot of PF Chang copycat recipes, I played with various combinations of ingredients from Dinner Then Dessert and Recipe Tin Eats and devised a recipe. To simplify, I combined the stir fry sauce and dipping sauce. And, instead of water chestnuts, I used fresh corn which adds a bit sweetness as well as crunch.
Once you gather the ingredients (I know, it’s a long list – but worth it), the dish comes together very quickly. The actual cooking and serving part only takes about 10 minutes. You will not be disappointed. They are not an exactPF Chang copy, but they are delicious. My husband’s comments in between enthusiastic mouthfuls were “you can make these any time” (lucky me) and “are there any more?”.
One caution…you might not want to serve these chicken lettuce wraps to guests who are eating on their laps at a cocktail party. They can be a bit messy if the lettuce is not as sturdy as you’d like it. I would suggest eating them as a starter at the dinner table or perhaps informally around an island counter in the kitchen. Alternatively, try iceberg lettuce which is not as pliable but sturdier.
Tailor to your Taste
- Use ground pork instead of ground chicken.
- Instead of wrapping the filling in lettuce, you can serve it over steamed rice or in hot dog rolls like a Sloppy Joe.
- Make a vegetarian version by omitting the chicken and using finely chopped tofu instead.
- If you don’t have Sherry, you can try some white wine with a dash of sugar. Or leave it out and reduce the cornstarch a pinch.
- If you don’t have oyster sauce, you can use Hoisin sauce instead (not the same taste, but still good).
- The recipe includes a mild amount of heat with Sriracha, but feel free to add it more liberally (or pass some chili oil at the table)
- Use chopped water chestnuts for crunch instead of the corn.
- Try chopped peanuts instead of cashews.
- Add some bold colour with matchstick carrots or red peppers as an extra garnish.
Make Ahead PF Chang Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Two options: Make the sauce ahead and prep/chop your ingredients, leaving just the cooking and assembly to do about 10 minutes before serving; or make the filling ahead of time, then reheat it on the stove before assembling into the lettuce cups.
Chicken Lettuce Wraps (PF Chang Style) Recipe
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 onion)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb ground chicken (white or dark meat)
- 3/4 cup corn niblets cut off one large corn cobb (or 1 1/2 cups frozen niblets)
- 1 large head of Bibb lettuce (or Boston or Butter lettuce) , cleaned and separated into 8 leaves
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp Sherry (or dry white wine or mirin)
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce (or Hoisin)
- 2 tbsp Ketchup
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp Sriracha sauce (for mild heat)
- 1/4 cup green onions, chopped
- 1/2 cup cashews, chopped (about 2 ounces)
- MAKE THE SAUCE: Whisk all sauce ingredients together in a bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- STIR FRY THE FILLING: Heat oil in a wok or large frying pan to medium high. Add garlic and onions. Stir and cook for 2 minutes. Add ground chicken, breaking it up with a spoon. Stir fry until all white, stirring frequently about 3 minutes. Add corn and sauce to chicken mixture. Cook about 3 minutes until sauce is thickened. Note 1
- ASSEMBLE AND SERVE: Spoon about 1/4 cup chicken mixture into each lettuce leaf and place on a platter. Garnish with chopped cashews and green onions. Top with matchstick carrots if desired for additional color. Pass a squeeze bottle of chili sauce for those who crave spice/heat. Serve as an appetizer/starter at the table or kitchen island (they can be a bit messy to eat on your lap!)
- Make Ahead: The chicken mixture can be made ahead, then reheated when ready to fill the lettuce wraps and serve.
Other appetizers you might enjoy (in less than 30 minutes):