The quest for the best chicken lettuce cups!

For a while now, our  family has been on a mission to find the best lettuce cups. I’m not sure why — maybe because lettuce cups are a refreshing treat in the hot summer, they are healthy or Luke likes anything that resembles a taco. Regardless of our motive, we have found a number of tasty versions of the dish made famous by PF Chang’s.

I’ll share each, in case you want to try a few yourself.

The first recipe we tried was Cooking Light’s Chicken Lettuce Cups. I liked this one because of the variety of flavors, ranging from artichoke hearts to olives to mozzarella cheese.

Our obsession continued with a recipe in the August 2012 edition of Cuisine at Home: Chicken lettuce wraps with ginger, garlic, lime. Though the magazine’s recipes are not available online, you can find more details in this blog post. This one, in my opinion, would be even better with Chang’s special sauce on top.

One night, Rob decided to make Cooking Light’s Lettuce wraps with Hoisin Peanut Sauce. Though the recipe is vegetarian  (made with tofu), we substituted ground chicken instead. The peanut sauce is delicious and adds a Thai twist to the usual Asian flavors.

After all the effort to find the wraps that most resembled Chang’s, I found the actual recipe on the ABC News website — PF Chang’s Chicken in Lettuce Wraps. We have made these with ground chicken and tofu, and both are tasty! (The original recipe suggests using chicken breasts).

This is the ‘meat’ mixture.

These are the special noodles that you’ll find in the restaurant. They are called maifun rice sticks and prepared by deep frying in small batches for a couple of seconds. They puff up right before your eyes. (Note: Be sure to fry them in small batches and until they are thoroughly cooked.)

Assemble and serve! You can pour the special sauce on top, mixed and matched to suit your preference for heat.

Melinda Hinson