Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hot & Cold Lettuce Wraps

Do you like P.F. Chang's? I like having a restaurant to suggest when the occasion arises for group dining and no one has any ideas that will accommodate me. I rediscovered this restaurant chain when I was living in Philadelphia, and (at the time) the only location was way in the ‘burbs. Way, way, out. An hour out. But I made the trek once or twice, usually coupled with a visit to the Brandywine River Museum. (Andrew Wyeth, anyone?)

Here in Cincinnati, I’m pretty close to a P. F. Chang’s store, but I still decided to try their signature lettuce wrap appetizer at home. This wasn’t an exact replica, but it was still tasty!


I started by pressing my tofu, about 1/3 of the block, diced small. I marinated it in soy sauce, fresh grated ginger and garlic, and lime juice. I broiled it. I used the rest of the tofu in a stir fry.

Separately, I cooked chopped onion, mushrooms, and water chestnuts. I cut everything small to be roughly the same size in the wraps. Then I tossed in the broiled tofu so it could soak up some of the mushroom juice.

I made a sauce of hoisin, ginger, pepper paste (Sambal Oelek), rice vinegar, and soy sauce. This was nice and hot!

Serve this mix up scooped generously in iceberg lettuce cups along with some fresh cilantro and bean sprouts, if you have any. I promise if I ever decide to make a cookbook, I’ll be more specific with my measurements – but for now, do everything to taste!


  1. Yum! Sounds awesome! I love lettuce wraps!

  2. Hi! Your lettuce wrap looks delicious!!! Makes me want to make one tomorrow. :D I wish I had a tofu press! The extra water in the tofu gets in the way of flavor absorption sometimes, no matter how long I marinate it.

  3. This looks so good. I find myself craving this exact dish all the time! I'll have to give it a try.

  4. Yum...your lettuce wrap looks awesome. I've never made a lettuce wrap, but I do believe that is about to change! :o)

  5. Oh, Diana - I don't have a tofu press either! I always freeze my tofu as soon as I get home, then I thaw it on the counter the day I plan to cook it. That really changes the texture (although some folks don't like it that way). Then I wrap it in a clean dish towel and put a cast iron skillet on it for at least half an hour. That works best for me - I don't room for another kitchen gadget!

  6. I do like P.F. Chang's. It's our go-to place when dining out with my parents, etc. I always get the lettuce wraps. Regarding your comment about not having a room for a dehydrator...I wish I had one of the nicer square ones with pull-out trays to leave on the counter. The one I have has so many parts, and I feel like I don't have room for it, either. I also have a hard time giving out recipes because I have a really hard time following them myself.