Mushroom and Chicken Lettuce Wraps

This is a quick, homemade version of P.F. Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps. In my version, I used very few ingredients and a short amount of time to make one of my favorite gourmet snacks (or dinners). This dish is a crowd pleaser or even a dish to treat yourself with little effort. It tastes great and isn’t too unhealthy (NO OIL NECESSARY). The simplicity of the dish really brings out each ingredient’s unique flavors and while creating synergy among them.

Let’s get started:

Prep time: 10-15 min
Cook time: 11-18 min
Total time:
21-33

Yield: 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet of frozen sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 tsp of minced ginger
  • 2 skinless chicken breasts (1 per serving/guest)
  • 1 cup of soy sauce
  • 1 tsp brown rice flour (go ahead and use wheat flour instead if you’d like, though. I personally avoid wheat, but it makes no difference to the dish)
  • 1 head of romaine lettuce (or use endive)

    Optional
  • 1/2 tsp of sambal oelek OR 1/2 tsp of ghee (clarified butter)
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Soak frozen mushrooms in a bowl of water for about 10-15 minutes until thawed or soft.
  2. While the mushrooms are soaking, mince the garlic and ginger and leave them aside for now.
    I love garlic, so I added lots of it and enjoyed the warmer, garlic aroma in the dish. If you don’t like garlic, you can cut it back to 2 cloves.
    I’m not, however, a huge fan of ginger. I added the smallest amount possible necessary to achieve the desired effect (a sprinkle of spicy flavor without the heat of peppers). If you like ginger, add 3/4-1 teaspoon of it. I did that once by accident and the ginger flavor was overpowering for me, but everyone else seemed fine with it.
  3. Cut the chicken breast into 3/4 inch to 1 inch pieces.
  4. Place the chicken in a large bowl and pour 3/4 cup of soy sauce over it, just enough to cover every piece of chicken, but not soak them (chicken should sort of look like it’s marinating). The chicken should be just coated with soy sauce, not dripping with it and also not dry. 
  5. Add rice flour to the chicken and toss to coat evenly.
  6. Drain mushrooms in a colander and squeeze out excess water.
    You can choose to cut the mushrooms into smaller pieces if the pre-cut slices are too big for you. I usually keep my mushrooms at the size that they came in if the slices are very thin, or I might roughly cut them in half for 1-2 inches in length.
  7. Add the chicken to a pan on high heat. Sauteé for 5-7 minutes, just until the chicken is MOSTLY done, stirring occasionally. It will cook quickly as you add the rest of the ingredients.
    I usually add the chicken as the pan is heating up. When it cooks a little more slowly and builds up to the high heat, I gain more control over how it sauteés. But, it doesn’t matter. 
    The soy sauce and flour mix often causes the chicken to stick to the bottom of the pan. Stir the chicken enough to prevent it from sticking or burning while allowing the chicken to brown a little, if you can see it through the already brown soy sauce stain.
  8. By now, any excess soy sauce and moisture from the pan should have evaporated leaving your pan a little dry. Lower the heat by a couple of notches, and add 1/4 cup of soy sauce, garlic, and ginger. Cook for 2 minutes.
  9. Add the mushrooms and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  10. Add “salt to taste” if you would like it to be saltier by adding 1 tbsp of soy sauce at a time until you achieve the desired effect.

    Optional:
  11. Now, if you would like the dish to be spicy, mix in sambal olek and cook for 3 minutes. 
    If you would like a more buttery, rich flavor, lower the heat and add ghee. Let it melt into the food, stirring slowly, without getting stuck at the bottom and burning. Cook for 2 minutes.
    I don’t like adding both. It conflicts with my palette, but go ahead and experiment with it. 
  12. If you would like to add fresh ground black pepper, take the pan off the heat, and add black pepper either into the original recipe or the ghee option.

  13. Turn off the stove and remove the pan from the hot stove. The more it cooks, the more moisture evaporates and everything else just becomes overdone. 
  14. Tear off whole leaves from the head of romaine lettuce. Trim off any ends that are too deep or discolored.
  15. You can either serve the mushroom and chicken on top of individual leaves, or plate them with the leaves of lettuce on the side for guests to create their own wraps.

image

For a vegetarian version, substitute the chicken for 1 1/2-2 blocks of extra firm tofu and sauté the tofu for 5 minutes instead of 5-7 (step 7). I tried that the time I accidentally used too much ginger for my liking, and aside from the ginger, it was great! Although, P.F. Chang’s also has a “Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps,” I just realized. I’ll have to try that.

Try it all out and let me know how you liked it!