How often have you found yourself addicted to a dish at a favorite vacation restaurant and only being able to enjoy those dishes when you return on your next trip?  I found myself in that dilemma a few years ago when my friend introduced me to P.F. Changs in Raleigh, North Carolina and their amazing lettuce wraps.  Living in Tallahassee we can’t get these yummy wraps and the closest P.F. Changs to us to the East is in Jacksonville, FL and the closest place to the West is in Sandestin, FL.

So, on a mission to recreate that yummy goodness, I have tweaked this recipe for the past six years.  I think changing a lot of the added ingredients that the restaurant uses like switching the iceberg lettuce for a healthier green leafy lettuce and making it more fresh and nutritious is even better to me than the restaurant version.  If you have had P.F. Changs lettuce wraps, try this for yourself and you be the judge!

Here’s what you will need:

  • 1 ½ lbs ground meat (I have used chicken and extra lean beef)
  • ½ cup Shitake Mushrooms, diced
  • 1 cup Water Chestnuts, diced
  • 1 cup green onion, diced
  • ½ cup Hoisin Sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • ¼ cup of Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 fresh garlic cloves, crushed
  • Green leafy lettuce (or Iceberg but has less nutritional value)
  • Soy Sauce
  • Sweet Chili Sauce

In a large skillet, preferably a wok type skillet, brown your meat.  Drain off the excess fat and return meat to skillet.  With burner set on medium heat, add mushrooms, water chestnuts, green onions.  Mix together and let cook for about five minutes, stirring often.

In a small bowl whisk together the hoisin sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, brown sugar and 1 tablespoon of soy sauce.  Add this mixture to the skillet and combine.  Turn heat to Medium-Low and cook, stirring often, for about five (5) more minutes or until everything is heated through.  I generally sprinkle a few sesame seeds in mine to add a little more asian flair.

Cut off the bottom of the bunch of the green leafy lettuce, rinse and separate each leaf to make a bowl for holding the meat mixture.

Mix together in a small bowl, about 2-3 Tablespoons of Sweet Chili Sauce and add Soy Sauce to taste.  You want the sauce to be a little spicy.  This is the sauce that you spoon over the top of your built lettuce wrap.

Now build your wrap or as we eat them, your lettuce taco.  Place one piece of the green leafy lettuce on your plate and add a spoonful of the meat mixture and then add the sweet chili and soy sauce mixture to the top and enjoy.  Keep napkins on hand and a fork, this gets a little messy!