Wanna-be PF Chang’s Lettuce Wraps Recipe

PF Chang's Lettuce Wraps on http://www.theculinarylife.com

Photo by Nisa, via Creative Commons license.

Why should you care about this PF Changs Lettuce Wraps Recipe? Here’s why:
So you waited until the last minute to make reservations for Valentine’s Day, and everywhere is booked. If you’re thinking you’ll hit up the local sit-down chain restaurant, think again – there’s no greater buzzkill on V-Day than having to cool your heels in a restaurant lobby for two hours. That’s right, guess who’s not getting any tonight? The early bird gets the worm, so to speak.

The way I see it, you have two options: try your chances downtown, or make something at home (with some tips to save your sanity, if you’re not familiar with cooking for someone else). And why not try cooking something yourself? Trust me – your likelihood of getting lucky will increase exponentially if you treat your date to a home cooked meal, especially if you doll it up with a few candles and a bottle of vino.

This recipe is pretty easy – my friend Lisa made it just last week, and she downright hates to cook. Despite the long ingredient list, you can throw this together in about 30-45 minutes. If you’re really pressed for time (or cash) leave out the pouring sauce. It doesn’t need it unless you’re going for that full-on restaurant taste, which I actually try to avoid.

You could even make this recipe with leftover chicken from another dish, if you’ve got some lying around. Recycle those leftovers in style!

Wanna-be PF Chang's Lettuce Wraps Recipe
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Asian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Despite the long ingredient list, you can throw this together in about 30-45 minutes. If you’re really pressed for time (or cash) leave out the pouring sauce. It doesn’t need it unless you’re going for that full-on restaurant taste.
Pouring sauce
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons gluten free tamari (or regular soy sauce if you’re not concerned about gluten)
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon hot water
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
Stir-fry sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
Chicken stir-fry
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed to 1/2″
  • One 8-ounce can sliced water chestnuts, minced to the size of corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, minced to the size of corn kernels
  • 1/2 onion, chopped fine
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced fine
  • 6 large leaves of iceberg lettuce or Napa cabbage
Pouring sauce
  1. In a large bowl, dissolve sugar in 1/2 cup warm water, then add soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ketchup, lemon juice and sesame oil. Mix well and throw in the fridge until you’re ready to eat.
  2. Just before serving, combine 1 teaspoons hot water with dijon mustard and garlic and mix in small bowl. Add to the pouring sauce, 1/2 a teaspoon at time to taste.
Stir-fry sauce
  1. Prep the stir fry sauce by mixing soy sauce, brown sugar, and rice vinegar in a small bowl.
Chicken stir-fry
  1. Combine oils and add to wok or large frying pan. Heat oil over high heat until it glistens, about one minute. Add chicken and saute until mostly cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  2. Turn the heat under the wok down to medium-high. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, wait one minute, and then add garlic, onions, water chestnuts, mushrooms, and the stir-fry sauce you prepared earlier. Stir-fry everything until the mushrooms have cooked through, about 4 minutes, and remove to a serving dish.
  3. Serve stir-fry with iceberg lettuce or nappa cabbage leaf wraps and top with pouring sauce.
  4. Variation: you can do the same thing with ground beef, if you like.



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Comments from other ninjas:

  1. Melanie McMinn says

    Funny, I make a similar version, but just use oyster sauce instead of the “pouring sauce.” It works well and makes it a fast dish to prepare with few required ingredients.

    And I use ground chicken, usually made from cheaper packs of chicken parts that I stick in my meat grinder. It also works well with Boston lettuce.

  2. steph says

    Oh, that sounds good! I think oyster sauce had gluten in it though, doesn’t it?

    I think you’re right… this would be better with thighs, which I dig more than breasts. Good call.

  3. Melanie McMinn says

    My oyster sauce only lists wheat as part of the “Soy Sauce Extract,” so if you aren’t a coeliac and manage regular soy sauce, you should be able to manage regular oyster sauce.

    If you are a coeliac, never fear. Certified Gluten Free Oyster Sauce is available at

  4. Janis says

    Oops – this isn’t the recipe I used!! Sorry about that. I used the recipe at

    They look pretty similar – but not identical

  5. Janis says

    THe whole family loved these. I made a double batch since the kids don’t like shiitake and I LOVE them. I actually preferred it without the dipping sauce because the cooking sauce was so great. I think the ginger is mandatory – the nice zing from it really sparked the dish and helped tame the overall sweetness.

    Thanks for the recipe – it’s a keeper!

    Oh, and I used boneless/skinless thighs and ground them up in the cuisinart.

    I messed up the lettuce cups though. Mine were really un-cup like. oh well.

    • steph says

      Glad you loved it so much! And for what it’s worth, I killed my lettuce cups the first time too. 😉

  6. MarthaAndMe says

    That does sound amazing. I’ve had the PF Chang version only once and it was goooooddd. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Jeff says

    I just tried these last night and found the recipe near perfect.

    I don’t live in the US right now so there’s not much chance for me visiting PF Changs or PeiWei anytime soon. Both my wife and I appreciate you posting this well thought out recipe and clear instructions.

    • steph says

      Thank you for the feedback, Jeff! It’s always wonderful to hear that something works well. Happy eating. :)

  8. Darce says

    Awesome recipe! It tasted almost very close to PF Chang’s recipe…theirs just seems to be a bit thicker in their sauce.

    On a side note, this recipe isn’t exactly for beginners, if you aren’t a seasoned cooker (like me), beware! Although I did make the cellophane noodles to put underneath the stirfry concoction, and those almost caught my house on fire…

    Again, great recipe, a little harder than a throw together! I’m impressed!

    • steph says

      Glad you liked it! You could thicken your sauce with a little cornstarch or agar if you like.

      Sorry about the near-fiasco with the noodles!

  9. Mary A. says

    Excellent! I needed more stir fry sauce and I did add cornstarch to thicken. Really close to the real thing.

  10. Emily says

    I’m planning on making these tonight. Can you tell me what kind of onion you use? Your picture (and my memory of PF Chang’s version) looks like green onion. Is that right?


    • steph says

      Hey there! I used green onions for this photo, but I’ve also used shallots and even yellow onions. Never used red onions, but any mild-but-rich tasting onion should work great.

  11. Sonja says

    This recipe is the closest I’ve come to achieving the same flavor and texture of PF Chang’s lettuce wraps. However, I think it is VERY VERY important for you to note that this recipe is NOT GLUTEN-FREE (GF). Soy Sauce contains gluten/wheat. You can find GF soy sauce at many health food stores. My sister nearly died from ulcerative colitus. If she gets even the slightest amount of gluten in her system it is devastating…crippling. So many people don’t understand the ramifications of claiming gluten-free items when they have traces…it can be life-threatening and very expensive to wind up in the emergency room with giant blood clots because someone decided to slap a “gluten-free” label on something with wheat!!!! Please stay informed.

  12. Heather says

    My family finished off each morsel. I didn’t use water chestnuts, though. I used walnuts and minced. They were great. Thanks.

    • steph says

      Hi Heather, I’m so glad your family liked the recipe! I’ll have to try it with walnuts – my husband doesn’t like water chestnuts, and that’s a great substitute.

  13. Star says

    Thanks for posting the recipe. I would like to try and make this dish tonight but can’t seem to find the instructions on how to make the cellophane noodles for this dish. Any ideas??


    • steph says

      Hello! They’re not something you usually make, though I suppose you could if you really wanted to! You can buy cellophane noodles at an Asian grocery store, or a regular grocery store with an Asian section. Here’s a little more info:

      Let me know how it turns out!

    • steph says

      If you see Darce’s comment below, she’s got the right noodles. They’re these:

      Those sometimes the package looks a little different, look for the name.

  14. Darce says

    I got my "cellophane" noodles from our local chain grocery store…they are called Maifun Rice Sticks. I found them on the international isle. They look like just plain white noodles, kind of like how noodles from Top Ramen come…all intertwined in abrick shape. You heat up oil and dip a block of them in, and they blow up QUICK, you then turn them…BE VERY CAREFUL!

  15. Star says

    Thank you both for your feedback. We didn\’t have time to go get the noodles last night, however, we did make the main dish- it was excellent!! :)

    • steph says

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! If you do end up buying the noodles, they last for-freaking-ever so you can stash a bag in your pantry just in case. :)

  16. Lori says

    I’m planning on making these tonight, because I LOVE lettuce wraps, and this seems to be the simplest recipe I’ve found. My question is, where did the cellphane noodles come from? LOL. I didn’t see them mentioned in the recipe, but everyone seems to be talking about them. Are they supposed to be served with the wraps as a side dish or do they go inside with the chicken mixture?

    • steph says

      Hi Lori,

      You can get them at an Asian grocery store. At PF Chang’s, they serve them on the side and you can mix them in with the meat if you like. It’s totally up to you. :)

  17. Candice says

    I think I darn near surprised myself after I made this recipe! As I am cleaning up the kitchen, my husband ran out to get some wine hehe! This is a perfect dish for a Saturday evening at home. Thanks!

    • Stephanie Stiavetti says

      I’d say it serves 2 as an entree. Thanks for the heads up, for some reason that info isn’t showing in the code for the recipe.

    • Stephanie Stiavetti says

      Hi Barbara, I’ve never tried making it in a crockpot, but if you try it, do report back and let me know how it goes. As for making appetizers, this dish would be perfect for that.

  18. Tara says

    This is wonderful- I added 1/2 c chopped roasted nuts instead of water chestnuts- it was so tasty! This recipe is a keeper!!!

  19. tracy says

    I’ve made this two Sunday’s in a row, and it’s even better the 2nd time around. The Stir fry sauce had more time to sit and the indredents meld together. The only thing I did differently is I added carrots and I left out the mushrooms and and left out the mustard. And I used ground chicken.
    This is even better than PF Chang’s Lettuce Wraps. Everyone that I made this recipe is asking for it. Now that I’ve made it and had it. There is no reason for me to ever eat the lettuce wraps at PF Changs again. Mine are better any way.
    Thank you so very very much for putting this recipie together for the rest of to copy and use.

  20. Chris says

    Why not use ground turkey? That’s what I use to make my own pseudo lettuce wrap and it tastes delicious! For those of you concerned about grinding the meat, I dare you to try this next time – I bet you won’t ever grind your chicken again!

  21. Sonja says

    I still keep coming back to this recipe. It is so wonderful I decided to share the secret with my Facebook friends. Thanks.

  22. Erika says

    I made these tonight for my family and my son who is allergic to wheat. I just used San-J Wheat-Free Organic Soy Sauce. My whole family loved them. The pouring sauce was good but definitely not necessary, as the stir-fry sauce has plenty of flavor!


  23. Bill Lucas says

    I agree with the previous comments about not seeing anything in the current recipe about cellophane noodles nor ginger. Was there an older post where these were included? I’m looking forward to trying these. I’ll even include the mushroom’s, even though I hate them.

    Thanks for posting it.

  24. Anu Menon says

    We just made this today – just replaced the chicken with extra firm tofu…
    It disappeared in a matter of min… Loved it! Thanks…

  25. KELLY DE'SOUZA says

    My partner had these for the first time in Hawaii and loved them, went back three nights in a row…I am making these tonight… wish me luck… watch this space..

  26. Wendy says

    I just finished these and they turned out great! I used ground turkey also and loved it. My only recommendation changes would be a little less sugar, a bit too sweet for me and add a dash of cayenne pepper to your desired spice level took it to the next level.

  27. Sarah says

    I love this recipe. I use it a few times a month, and it is so easy and delicious. I actually tend to make a large batch and use it as the entree. Thank you for this recipe, it got me trying new things in the kitchen. :)

  28. Stephanie says

    Hey Steph,

    I saw that someone mentined the cellophane noodles which I don’t see as part of the recipe. Do you know how those are made?

  29. T. says

    This is great but instead of ketchup I use hoisen in the gyoza (pouring) sauce. 😉 and red pepper flakes in the chicken mixture. Also, I would mince the chicken instead of cubing it. Then use garlic chili sauce and hot mustard at the end before serving the gyoza sauce. Great recipe!

  30. T. says

    The cellophane noodles are rice noodles and all you do is throw them in hot oil and watch them instantly expand. Then take them out and let them drain. Voila!

  31. T. says

    **do NOT actually throw the rice noodles in hot oil. you WILL have a bill from the local fire department and possibly a disaster. :-I p.s. don’t know if hoisen is gluten free, probably not…

  32. Shannon says

    I made a vegan version of this by using tofu and it was outstanding! I did everything as stated except I stir-fried extra-firm tofu instead of the chicken. Absolutely delicious. Can’t wait to try it with chicken.

  33. Shirley @ gfe says

    I’ve been dreaming about this recipe of yours ever since Wendy made it for her adoption post! I’m only missing the rice wine vinegar … will pick that up next week and then I’ll be in business. 😉

    Thanks, Stephanie!


  34. Amanda says

    WOW awesome recipe!!!

    My 13 year old son and I made this. It isn’t hard to make at all. The first time is just teedious. We got the rice noodles and fried them (Be FAST because it is a flash fry and puffs up fast!)

    I didn’t have mushrooms on hand or water chestnuts so I improvised. I used chopped carrots and a heaping handfull of cashews chopped up. Also, we didn’t have sesame oil so I threw in some sesame seeds.

    GREAT DISH!! Thank you SO much!!

    • Stephanie Stiavetti says

      Using carrots and cashews is a good idea – I will have to try that. It sounds really good.

  35. Jason says

    Just made these tonight, very good, and very close to the original. A new favorite of ours, thanks for your efforts!

  36. Andrea says

    Just made these for dinner tonight and they were AWESOME!!! Great recipe! I pulsed the veggies and then the chicken in my food processor to make it into small peices just like it is a Chang’s. MMMMMM…..

  37. Denise Lewis says

    I loved this recipe. I added red bell pepper for color and serrano pepper for some heat. These were excellent and will be added to my small list of favorites. The boyfriend went crazy over them.

  38. Brittany says

    Thank you for this recipe!! I made it tonight and it was just as wonderful as PFCHangs!! Will be making this very often!!

  39. Melissa Pritchett says

    Made these two nights ago for my hubby and used lamb instead of chicken! SO GOOD! Love this recipe. Esp the sauce, which should be bottled and sold like gold! Yum

  40. Crystal KLein says

    I made this tonight. Quite wonderful. I added ginger to both sauces. I also fried up some cellophane noodle.

  41. Becca Beca says

    Well done! Now may I challenge you to create a fabulous rendition of Avacado Club Eggrolls, served at California Pizza Kitchen? Please include the dipping sauces, they are an important condiment!!!

  42. Brooke says

    Loved this!!!! I used firm tofu in place of chicken and added some roasted corn kernels and Chinese five spice…Yum! I would never skip the pouring sauce it is awesome! (messy, but awesome)

  43. Tina says

    Sorry ladies but I go to PF Changs alot and this wasn’t even semi close to the real thing – I am so disapointed

    • Melanie says

      You must have messed up. I’m made this for my family and it is just like the real thing. I’m 18. If I can make it taste right, I’m sure you can figure it out. Good luck next time.

  44. Amy Heflin says

    I’ve never had PF Changs. But I am not sure how you can wrap this. It was so runny I had to add cornstarch to thicken it up. It was good though. Just didn’t look like the picture.

  45. Rachel says

    Love this recipe! Had some friends over and we couldn’t get enough of it. Several of my friends took a copy of the recipe with them. Next time I will double the recipe to have extra!

  46. luckymona says

    I made it tonight and we loved it. I did a few adjustments like adding a bit pepper and dried red chillis to make it hot***. Keeping rocking….

  47. Dana says

    Thanks for this recipe! Going to try this soon (with turkey) and I’m sure they’ll be a hit. Bookmarked your site :)


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