My 12-year-old daughter Eliza is somewhat of a PF Chang’s fanatic. To be honest, she will chow down on any type of Asian meal she can get her hands on, but lettuce wraps are her jam and according to her, PF Chang’s has the best. She relishes in the fact that she can order their meaty wraps and have the whole plate to herself. But chicken, gluten, and oyster sauce means a no-go for the rest of us. So when Kiersten challenged me to make a meatless version of lettuce wraps, I was both intrigued and a little terrified at the same time. Kiersten had no way of knowing that I live with a self-appointed lettuce wrap aficionado and when it comes to food I can always trust Eliza to give me honest feedback, even when it may be hard for me to hear.
Armed with Eliza’s help, I anxiously accepted the challenge. I stalked the internet, I hung out in the ethnic section of Whole Foods far too long, and then I came home and made my first attempt at lettuce wraps. On the Eliza rating scale, they were a “kind of like” not a “love,” so I went back and started over, picking apart what she liked and didn’t like about my failed attempt. Have you ever tried to have a 12-year-old girl old explain why they like or don’t like something when it comes to food? I assure you, it requires patience and lots of love!
While I was working on this recipe, we had lettuce wraps more times than I care to admit, until Eliza exclaimed that they were perfect, she wouldn’t change a thing, and may never have the need to order out for the PF Chang’s meaty version again. I could not believe it; my chicken-loving kid was actually opting for my veggie-filled version of lettuce wraps! I am pretty sure that a ray of sun broke through the cloudy sky and warmed me with its light at that very moment.*
*Ok, I may have a flair for the dramatic and that may be an embellishment, but it was a BIG deal!
Over the course of the next 24 hours, Eliza had lettuce wraps for breakfast, packed in her lunch for school, as an afternoon snack, and again at dinner that night! She pouted when the filling ran out and made me promise that these will be making a regular appearance in our house and her lunchbox.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when making these lettuce wraps at home for yourself:
If you are preparing the optional sushi rice for this meal 1 cup of uncooked rice will cook up to approximately 2 1/2 cups of cooked rice. Since I cook gluten-free for my family, I used a homemade hoisin sauce; a store-bought sauce should work too, but I haven’t tested it myself.
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