P.F. Chang’s China Bistro isn’t known as an authentic Chinese restaurant (heck, apple pie is on the menu), but its most popular dish is steeped in tradition: The nationwide chain’s best-selling Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps first appeared on menus at The Mandarin, a legendary San Francisco restaurant, in the 1970s. When The Mandarin owner’s son, Philip Chiang, cofounded P.F. Chang’s in 1993, he knew he wanted to put the popular wraps on his menu with the same do-it-yourself twist: Diners get the chicken and rice noodles separate from the lettuce leaves so they can wrap them up themselves. Fans of the dish, like Sharon Deckard from Louisville, KY, have been writing to us asking for the recipe, but no one at the chain’s Scottsdale, AZ, headquarters would give it up. So, Food Network Kitchens created this perfect copy.
Prepare the chicken: Whisk the egg white, cornstarch and rice wine in a bowl. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Make the stir-fry sauce: Whisk 1/3 cup water, the oyster, hoisin and soy sauces, the rice wine and sesame oil in a bowl, then whisk in the cornstarch until dissolved.
Fry the noodles: Pull the noodles apart into sections. Heat 3/4 inch peanut oil in a medium saucepan until a deep-fry thermometer registers 380 degrees F. Working in batches, press the noodles into the oil with a spatula until they puff, 5 to 10 seconds. Drain on paper towels.
Make the stir-fry: Heat 2 tablespoons peanut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons peanut oil to the skillet; when almost smoking, stir in the garlic, ginger, jalapeno and minced scallions, then add 1/2 teaspoon salt and the sugar and stir-fry 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms, water chestnuts and scallion pieces and stir-fry 2 minutes. Add the stir-fry sauce and chicken and cook 1 minute. Make a bed of noodles on a platter and top with the chicken mixture. Serve the noodles and stir-fry with lettuce leaves and soy sauce for dipping.