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P.F. Chang's

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    The crispy banana spring rolls are just one delicious component of this signature dessert—it also comes with a big scoop of coconut-pineapple ice cream for an extraordinary flavor combo. The perfect mash-up of the warm spiced banana and the sweet tropical ice cream is why this is the number one dessert at the restaurant, and no other copycat recipe I’ve seen provides methods for you to make both parts at home.

    The bananas are wrapped in spring roll dough and fried, but first they are rolled in sugar and seasoned with Chinese five-spice, which is a blend of anise, star anise, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger that you can find in most big food stores.

    The ice cream hack is made by combining your favorite vanilla ice cream with toasted coconut bits, coconut extract, and real pineapple in a frozen bowl. Chains such as Cold Stone Creamery mix chunks into ice cream in a similar way­­—on a frozen slab of stone—so that the ice cream doesn’t melt while mixing.

    I’m also sharing with you an easy way to make the vanilla bean sauce from scratch, because there’s nothing better than fresh when it comes to vanilla sauce. For the caramel sauce, just pick your favorite from the many delicious bottled sauces available, and try to get one that comes in a squirt bottle so your dish looks great.

    Bring it all together and you’ll have created a beautiful hack of the dessert made famous by P.F. Chang’s, with enough for four to share.

    Click here for more amazing copycat recipes from P.F. Chang's.

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    While seeking out information to help make the ultimate hack of these lettuce wraps for my TV show Top Secret Recipe, I talked to Eric Justice, V.P. of Culinary Development at P.F. Chang's China Bistro who informed me that the restaurant uses a jet cooker stovetop with a high flame to cook food quickly. Jet cookers that blast out powerful 185,000 BTU flames can be found in restaurant supply stores, but I created a clone recipe requiring only the heat provided by most standard home stovetops (a gas flame stove is best).

    I also found out that a well-seasoned wok is preferable for this recipe, but it is also possible to produce a close re-creation of these famous lettuce wraps even without one. If you don't have a wok, use a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet and get it nice and hot. You'll also want to track down the right ingredients: black mushroom soy sauce contributes the dark caramel color to the lettuce wrap filling, and it's best to use Lee Kum Kee brand of hoisin sauce and oyster sauce just as the restaurant does. And finally, Shaoxing rice cooking wine, a secret I learned from Cecilia (Mama) Chiang.

    Heat up your wok (or large skillet) until it smokes and keep the ingredients moving around in the pan so that nothing scorches. This is the recipe that fooled all three judges in a blind taste test on my CMT show.

    Find more of my P.F.Chang's copycat recipes here

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Step-by-Step by Todd Wilbur. 

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    You may be surprised not to find any pear ingredients in this drink. Rather, the flavors of lime juice, sour apple schnapps, citrus rum, and pineapple juice combine to create what P.F. Chang's bartenders claim is a refreshing pear-like flavor. Does it taste like pear to you? Regardless, the drink is excellent, especially if you dig mojitos.

    You might also like P.F. Chang's Key Lime Pie Martini copycat recipe.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    This cocktail requires a vanilla-flavored Spanish liqueur called Licor 43. When it's mixed with key lime juice, sugar, and cream in just the right proportions, you get a remarkable liquid version of key lime pie. The restaurant uses bottled key lime juice which can be found at specialty stores such as Trader Joe's, or you can just squeeze your own key limes. In a pinch, you can use regular limes. And if you can't track down Licor 43, I found that Tuaca liqueur substitutes nicely. Cheers.

    You might also like P.F. Chang's Asian Pear Mojito copycat recipe.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    Menu Description: "Served with a ginger chili pepper soy sauce. Steamed or pan-fried."

    Shrimp Dumplings from P. F. Chang's are scrumptious mounds of shrimp and other yummy ingredients wrapped in wonton wrappers and steamed. You can also order them pan-fried, which makes the bottom of each little package a nice crispy brown. The dumplings are served with a soy-based dipping sauce that can be cloned by combining six ingredients in a saucepan. You don't have to be concerned about the size of the shrimp you buy for this recipe, since you're going to puree the shrimp in a food processor. Oh, by the way, you'll need a food processor to puree the shrimp.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.50. Votes: 2

    Menu Description: "Stir-fried with chives and bean sprouts."

    Chefs at P. F. Chang's China Bistro cook most dishes in heavy woks over extremely high heat with flames nipping at their noses. The special stove is designed so that the tall fires work at the back end of the wok, away from the chef. The well-ventilated stove is built with a steady stream of running water nearby to thin sauces and rinse the woks after each dish is prepared. Since we don't have those blaster stoves at home, I've had to tweak the recipe for standard kitchen equipment. A gas stove and a wok will give you the best results, but this recipe can be knocked-off just as well with a large saute pan, if that's all you've got. Things are moving fast in P.F. Chang's kitchens. The chefs are well-trained, but they eyeball measurements for sauces with a ladle, so each wok-prepared dish is going to come out a little different. Considering this, I figured the best way to get a good clone would be to order the dish several times. I averaged the flavors by combining several batches of sauce into one large bowl, and then copied that. The shrimp is lightly breaded—they use potato starch, but cornstarch is a good substitute—and flash fried in oil. Strain the shrimp out of the oil, add it back to the pan with the sauce, and you've got yourself a clone.

    I've copied a ton of famous dishes from P.F. Chang's. See if I hacked your favorite here

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 5

    Menu Description: "It's our signature recipe."

    Bring the tropical spirit of this drink to your house with a clone of this potent cocktail from the growing Chinese bistro chain. Mai tai is Tahitian for "out of this world," and P.F. Chang's recipe is one of the best and most authentic. The secret to a true mai tai is found in the original recipe developed by Trader Vic in 1944: almond-flavored syrup, called "orgeat." You can find the sweet stuff in stores that sell coffee flavorings (Torani is one very popular brand), or from bar supply outlets. If you can't find orgeat, there's a clone recipe included in the Tidbits below.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.97. Votes: 33

    Menu Description: "Quickly-cooked steak with scallions and garlic."

    Beef lovers go crazy over this one at the restaurant. Flank steak is cut into bite-sized chunks against the grain, then it's lightly dusted with potato starch (in our case we'll use cornstarch), flash-fried in oil, and doused with an amazing sweet soy garlic sauce. The beef comes out tender as can be, and the simple sauce sings to your taste buds. I designed this recipe to use a wok, but if you don't have one a saute pan will suffice (you may need to add more oil to the pan to cover the beef in the flash-frying step). P. F. Chang's secret sauce is what makes this dish so good, and it's versatile. If you don't dig beef, you can substitute with chicken. Or you can brush it on grilled salmon.

    I've cloned a lot of the best dishes from P.F. Chang's. Click here to see if I coped your favorite.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.50. Votes: 8

    Menu Description: "Stir-fried with garlic."

    This is a standard side dish at the country's biggest Chinese dinner chain, and it'll take you just a couple minutes to duplicate at home as a good veggie side for any meal, Chinese or otherwise. It's especially good when you're pressed to slam together a last minute vegetable for tonight's dinner. You can use a wok for this, but I always just use a medium-size saute pan. The trick is to saute the snap peas quickly over high heat, tossing often, until they're hot, yet still crispy and bright green. You get the garlic in right at the end, and then quickly pull the pan off the heat so the garlic doesn't scorch. 

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 3

    Menu Description: "Wok-seared with Chang's barbecue sauce."

    One of the most popular eats on P. F. Chang's appetizer menu is the Chinese spare ribs that arrive slathered with Asian-style barbecue sauce. The Asian flavor comes from the addition of sweet hoisin sauce to a fairly rudimentary barbecue sauce formula. Chang's menu says these ribs are spare ribs although they appear to be much smaller, more like baby backs. You can certainly use either for this recipe, just be sure to trim the ribs first, since the restaurant version is lean, clean ribs with no extra meat or fat hanging off. There are several ways to cook pork ribs—P. F. Chang's boils theirs first, then fries them. After that, the ribs are tossed with the sauce in wok and served piping hot. A serving of these ribs at the restaurant is 6 individual ribs, but since a full rack is as many as 12 ribs, this recipe will make twice what you get in a serving at the bustling bistro chain.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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