Last September we met up with our friends Matt and Stacy, the Paleo Parents, for dinner at P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, a popular Asian-themed chain restuarant here in the U.S. that sports a gluten-free menu. It was our first time visiting the restaurant, and Stacy strongly recommended (demanded?) that I try to re-create their famous Chicken Lettuce Wraps. Never one to turn a challenge down, I accepted, and then promptly forgot all about it.
But lucky for you, Stacy didn’t forget the promise I made that fateful day. In fact, she did one better, and corralled a bunch of Paleo-friendly bloggers together this week to re-create some favorite dishes from the restaurant chain. Here is a link to the round-up.
For my version I made a few minor adjustments. I used honey instead of what I assume is gobs of sugar (we taste-tested the original dish again last week and I was surprised by how sweet it was), and made fried noodle sticks using sweet potato noodles instead of rice or mung bean noodles, which I assume is what they use in the original recipe.
1 lb ground chicken
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp mirin (dry sherry okay)
1 tbsp wheat-free tamari (coconut aminos okay)
1 tsp rice vinegar (red wine vinegar okay)
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
1/2″ ginger, grated or minced
dash white pepper
4oz water chestnuts (1/2 can) drained and chopped
2 fresh shitaake mushrooms, chopped (dried okay if soaked for 30 mins)
3 stalks green onion, chopped
black pepper, salt to taste (1/2 tsp each)
to serve with:
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, leaves separated
10 strands sweet potato noodles, cut into 4″ pieces
Because this is a relatively quick recipe, you’ll want to have all of your ingredients prepped and ready to go before you start. Chop up your add-ins and mix your stir-fry sauce ingredients.
Frying sweet potato noodles is super easy. It only takes a second to make them: simply drop a few uncooked noodles into a couple tbsp of hot coconut oil:
Pro tip: after they’ve initially puffed up, be sure to tilt the pan so the oil bunches up on one side of the pan, then submerge the noodles for a couple seconds to make sure each part of the noodle gets puffy (sure beats wasting a bunch of oil to deep fry the noodles!). Set them aside to cool on some paper towels as you get the chicken ready.
I should also note that when using a wok it’s important to use a flame as a heat source. Since we have a glass-top stove I use a butane burner for stir-frying. I love it.
Once you have the ingredients prepped and your noodles made, let’s whip up the chicken. Heat 2 tbsp coconut oil in a wok on medium heat until shimmering (about 30 seconds), then add the garlic. Stir-fry until aromatic – it should only take a few seconds – then add the chicken. Stir-fry until almost fully cooked (little pink), about five minutes total, tossing often. Be sure to break up the larger chunks every couple of minutes.
Once the chicken is mostly cooked, stir in the water chestnuts and mushrooms. Stir-fry everything until the mushrooms start to soften, about one minute, then add the sauce and scallions and turn the heat up to high. Toss and stir-fry for another minute or two, until the sauce has mostly dried up and the chicken is starting to crisp. Add salt and pepper to taste (about 1/2 tsp each).
Serve with your fried potato noodles and lettuce to wrap with.
Be sure to check out the rest of the P.F. Chang’s recipes that Matt and Stacy rounded up, right here! Everything looks pretty darn tasty.