asian, bison, bison lettuce wraps, chicken, chicken lettuce wraps, coconut aminos, ginger, gluten-free, grain free, grain-free, kitchenaid, lettuce, lettuce wraps, p.f. changs, paleo, shiitake mushrooms, soy sauce, stir-fry, sweet potato noodles, tamari, the domestic man, water chestnuts, wok
First off, I’ve been meaning to write this post since Monday, but this week has been a long one, a tough one, and the last thing I wanted to do was to sit down and type. But I have really been wanting to share this recipe I found for lettuce wraps.
Though we do not go often to P.F. Chang’s, when we do go, we always get the lettuce wraps. That just sounded like “the most interesting man in the world.” Funny! Anyway, for whatever reason, Sunday night I had this craving for them and since I knew we were not going to be heading to the nearest Chang’s any time soon, I searched and searched and searched for a Paleo recipe. And searched and searched and searched.
It wasn’t until Monday night, right before I was leaving work, that I found a few recipes that I thought would get close to what I had in mind. I printed three recipes and headed to the grocery store. In the parking lot at the grocery store, I chose one, got what I needed, and headed home hoping the recipe would work.
Let’s just say, before I go on, that this recipe is INCREDIBLE! My husband gave me two thumbs up and a head nod, since his mouth was full of the delicious lettuce wraps at the time, but I think he would have given me more thumbs if he had them. This is, by far, the closest recipe that I’m sure I could find to the actual wraps at P.F. Chang’s, but above and beyond that, I think they are better because they use wholesome ingredients, organic meats and vegetables, and there are no surprises like added sodium, preservatives, sulfites, and whatever else you find in restaurant food.
SO here it is!
I found this recipe at The Domestic Man
I didn’t really take any photos during the cooking process, 1) Because it was 8pm on a Monday night when I got home, 2) We were hungry, 3) I forgot. Knowing I was going to make some type of wrap, I was curious to try out a 1 pound package of Bison ground meat that I had bought, so I thawed it out. At the grocery store, I bought organic chicken breasts (just in case the bison didn’t turn out like I wanted it to) and a few other ingredients I did not have.
NOTE: Ingredients you may not have on hand (as I did not have a few):
- coconut oil (I used ghee/clarified butter instead)
- dry sherry or mirin (used the former as I still don’t know what the latter is)
- coconut aminos or gluten-free tamari/soy sauce (used gluten-free soy sauce)
- red wine vinegar (or rice wine vinegar)
- sesame oil
- red chili flakes
- fresh ginger
- water chestnuts
- shiitake mushrooms
- iceberg lettuce
- sweet potato noodles (never did find them)
At the store, I went straight to the Asian foods aisle and found, much to my surprise, water chestnuts, as well as bamboo shoots (for a recipe later on). I picked up a head of organic iceberg lettuce, organic chicken breasts, and another ginger root. I already had most of the other things to make it Paleo. I used dry sherry because I wasn’t, and am still not sure, what mirin is. Red wine vinegar worked wonderfully and I already had sesame oil and the rest of the ingredients. You can use regular soy sauce, but it has gluten in it, so I used my gluten-free soy sauce/tamari. Coconut aminos are so expensive that I saved that special bottle for other uses.
It’s pretty straight forward – you sauté the meat (chicken, beef, bison, etc.) until it is cooked through. We have a wok and I have a grinder for my KitchenAid mixer, so we ground the chicken breasts. Instead of coconut oil (since Jason is not too fond of the flavor), I used ghee (clarified butter) and it worked great. I cooked one meat at a time because I thought mixing them might be strange.
Once cooked, you add in the water chestnuts and mushrooms and cook them for another minute or two. I opted to forego adding the green onion because I don’t like onions, but if you like it, you would add it a minute or two after the chestnuts and mushrooms.
And then you add the best part…the sauce! I placed all the ingredients in a small bowl and then dumped it into the wok and stirred it all around in the meat. It smelled heavenly and tastes divine.
Meanwhile, my husband washed and cut the head of lettuce in half and made the lettuce bowls for the wraps.
I found some slivered almonds in our refrigerator and decided that they’d be quite tasty to sprinkle on top of the wraps, and I was correct!
Once everything was cooked and mixed and ready to go, we built our wraps…and ate them up like it was nobody’s business.
I actually think I like the bison the best, though the chicken was right up there. The bison had a slightly sweeter flavor that I preferred, while the chicken took on a little bit more of the spiciness from the chili flakes.
So, you might notice that there are none of those white noodles that usually come with the lettuce wraps. Funny story – when I was in the Asian aisle at the store, I saw these bean threads…they looked like what I needed and weren’t terribly expensive, so I bought them. Well, when I tried to fry them, they turned black and did nothing. Then I read the package and it said they had to be boiled first and then cooked. So I boiled them. They actually are like the shiratake noodles that I buy in place of pasta noodles and were NOTHING like the sweet potato noodles that are in the recipe. Oh well! I’ll look for them at our nearest asian market next time, but for dinner on Monday, we weren’t missing them.
You can make it with no spicy flavor if you leave out the chili flakes; make it medium spicy by following the recipe; or make it HOT! by adding twice as much chili flakes. It’s up to you! Have fun with it.
This is a recipe that will be added to our rotation and will be shared with and made for family and friends because it is so good, so fun, and so easy. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did. They make great leftovers as well, as I have been having them for lunch for the past 3 days. I’ve never had a better lunch.