It was just last month that, thanks to some rave reviews by one of my fave bloggers over at Gracefully Gluten Free, I tried PF Chang’s GF Lettuce Wraps. They were fantastic, so this weekend I decided to try to replicate them. This isn’t an exact copy; I’m not sure that I could if I tried. I used what I had on hand, and it turned out fantastic. These are delicious gluten free beef lettuce wraps. And? The prep time is so quick- these truly take about the same about of time to make as taco night. You brown beef, add onions and mushrooms, add some seasoning, puff the rice noodles, and prep the lettuce shells and the sauces. NOTE: you could also use chicken, or even firm tofu.
The most fun? Taking the dry rice noodles and throwing them into hot oil and watching them instantly “pop” into puffs. My kids LOVED this. The oil takes some time to heat, but the noodles take just a second to puff (once the oil is hot enough).
This is super easy to make. I promise!
1 lb ground beef
1/2 of an onion
4 oz of shiitake mushrooms (or mushrooms of your choice)
2 T Tamari or soy sauce
1 T hoisin sauce
1/4 C water
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp cornstarch
Thin rice noodles
Oil for frying
For topping sauces:
Your choice of amount for each
Hot chili sauce
Brown hamburger and as it cooks crumble it pretty finely. As it browns, chop the onion and the mushrooms. When browned, add the onion and mushrooms and stir frequently; you want to onions to become translucent and the mushrooms to release their liquids.
While that is cooking, stir up the main sauce – the Tamari, hoisin, water, garlic, oregano, and cornstarch – and set aside.
When the beef mixture is ready, remove from heat and stir in the main sauce you just made. Cover and set aside.
Heat frying oil (I used canola, but you can use any frying oil you prefer. I want to try coconut oil next time) until very hot. If you hold a long dry noodle partway into the oil, the noodle submerged should puff up immediately when it is hot enough. Break pasta into smaller pieces (3 inches or so) and drop into oil. Immediately remove noodles from oil and let dry on a paper towel.
Watch how quickly the noodles fry (and pardon the exclamations of glee from my sons) here.
Prep your topping sauces. I used (all GF): Tamari (soy sauce), hoisin sauce, hot chili sauce, and wasabi sauce.
At the table, we mix the sauces into the soy sauce cup and stir to create a unique spicy sauce. This is what I loved about PF Chang’s – the topping sauces really are fun.
I served the beef and noodle puffs on a platter, the lettuce in a separate dish, and the topping sauces in individual cups.
To make: add the beef mixture and noodles to a leaf of lettuce. Top with your choice of sauces. Roll up and enjoy!
Tags: beef, gluten free, how to, lettuce, PF Changs, restaurant, rice noodles, soy sauce, Tamari