Even if you’ve never had them yourself, I’m sure you’ve heard the hype about PF Chang’s Lettuce Wraps. They are delicious! On Pinterest there are all kinds of takes on the recipe so I decided to add my own, with one little twist: CABBAGE!!
We harvested our very first cabbage this year, and while I definitely want to make some Sauerkraut with the others, I was so excited that I wanted to eat the first one fresh. I am a big fan of KetoConnect’s Egg Roll in a Bowl, so that was what I decided to make. Well, long story short, I didn’t have all the ingredients for that recipe. Womp womp… But not to worry! I added a few of my own and ended up making the tastiest cabbage wraps I’ve ever had!
Here is where PF Chang himself came on the scene.
Once I was done cooking, I had the outer leaves of my cabbage left. Normally the ones in the store are gross and I just toss them in the compost. But these leaves were so perfect and tender that I decided to use them as the vessel for my meal. And I don’t know about you, but I LOVE eating things in wraps. Tacos, lettuce wraps, cabbage wraps, you name it. For some reason it just makes the experience so much more fun! And that is how I ended up with PF Chang’s inspired cabbage wraps!
Lettuce Wraps vs. Cabbage Wraps
I think the cabbage wrap tastes delicious! It is heartier than lettuce, so it holds its shape and the contents within superbly. Unlike lettuce wraps, I never once worried if the wrap was going to fall apart! While the stems do get a little tough, all you need to do is trim that part off. Then you have a big tender leaf that you can over-stuff with filling (don’t we all do that to our tacos/ wraps?) and trust it to stay together. Plus, the CRUNCH of the cabbage mixed with the tender and juicy filling is a great texture combination in my opinion!
Can I Change the Filling?
Absolutely! The beauty of stir fries, with or without the cabbage wraps, is that you can completely customize them! While I definitely recommend cabbage and carrots to add some volume and variety of texture, you can add in whatever is ripe in the garden! I think zucchini would be delicious (but my husband hates it, so that’s out the window for us…), as well as mushrooms or peppers!
Also, we used ground beef this time around, but we’ve made them with ground beef, ground turkey, and ground pork. Whatever you have will work!
Can I Make it Ahead of Time?
You can 100% make the filling ahead of time and warm it up for dinner! It is great for meal preps, so you could make a huge batch on Monday and eat it throughout the week. And cabbage is a sturdy enough vegetable that it’s not going to get too mushy if you’re eating leftovers. In fact, I think it might taste better as the sauce continues to soak in with the meat and veggies. Yum!
In terms of the wraps themselves, I would eat them the first night that you make the filling. Cabbage heads store well in the fridge, but just like lettuce wraps, the individual leaves can get a little floppy and wilty. Not the best look or taste for a crunchy wrap.
The Secret Ingredient
The ingredient that makes these PF Chang’s inspired cabbage wraps so so good is peanut butter! I normally use Sesame Oil, but I ran out before I made this and I’m so glad I did! The peanut butter adds a wonderful nutty flavor, and plenty of fat to keep things moist. In fact, I would use less oil at the start of things if you plan on throwing some peanut butter in at the end. If you use natural peanut butter, you’ll know it already has a LOT of oil on its own, and adding extra can make it a little more greasy than you may want.
How to Make Cabbage Wraps
From start to finish, the whole recipe takes less than 20 minutes. It’s great for school nights, and clean up is easy because it’s all in one pan!
The filling is made up of your choice of protein, with cabbage, carrots, and whatever other veggies you have on hand. I usually go out to the garden and see what is ripe that evening. The fresher the better!
While a lot of Asian food requires a ton of spices, this recipe is simple and straightforward. We use ginger (ground or fresh, whatever you have), garlic (fresh or garlic powder), and chopped onion, combined with some low sodium soy sauce (you can use Liquid Aminos if you can’t do soy), and peanut butter.
You can top your cabbage wraps with some fresh herbs like Thai Basil or Cilantro and a squeeze of lime. Sriracha is great addition if you like some spice, but I also love love love Chili Garlic Sauce!
Making the Filling
First, heat up a non-stick skillet to brown the meat (I’m partial to my Great-Grandma’s hundred-year-old cast iron skillet, and can’t recommend cast iron enough!). While the meat is browning, chop your cabbage (save the outer leaves for your wraps!), grate your carrots, dice your garlic and onion, and grate your ginger. After your meat is browned and broken up, throw in seasonings. and veggies, and sauté until the cabbage is soft. Last but not least, add in the soy sauce and peanut butter, and simmer until the sauce is thickened.
It’s Time to Eat!
Once your sauce has thickened up, it’s time to eat! Take one of the outer leaves from your cabbage and lay it on your plate. Scoop some filling on to the cabbage wrap and top with your herbs and/ or hot sauce. Wrap it up just like a taco, and voila! Yum yum eat it up!
PF Chang’s Inspired Cabbage Wraps
- 1 head of cabbage
- 2 carrots
- 1 lb of ground beef (or your choice of protein)
- 2 cloves of garlic (or 2 tsp of garlic powder)
- 1/2 onion
- 1 inch of grated ginger* (or 1 tsp of ground ginger)
- 1 tbsp of olive oil or coconut oil*
- 2 tbsp of low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tbsp of peanut butter
- Heat a non-stick skillet (we use cast iron) to medium-high heat. Add ground beef and cook til brown and broken up.
- While the beef is browning, prepare the seasonings and vegetables: Chop cabbage into thin slices, reserving the outer leaves for serving. Shred carrots, dice onion, and mince garlic.
- Once beef is cooked, add olive oil if necessary, then garlic and onion. Grate the ginger over the meat. Stir til the onions become translucent.
- Add in cabbage and carrots. Cook til cabbage begins to soften (3-4 minutes).
- Add soy sauce and peanut butter, stirring til peanut butter is melted and sauce is thickened.
- Serve on cabbage wrap, add toppings, and enjoy!
*You can store your ginger root in the freezer, and just pull it out and grate immediately into the pan when you need it! It keeps much longer, and then you always have fresh ginger on hand!
*You may choose to add olive or coconut oil when cooking onion/ garlic, but if your meat is fatty enough you won’t need it. Plus, once you add the peanut butter, that adds more fat that will help keep things juicy.
- Chili Garlic Sauce
- Thai Basil
- Crushed Peanuts
- Squeeze of lime
Did you make these cabbage wraps? What did you think? Comment down below your favorite toppings!