P.F. Chang's China Bistro, Inc.'s 40-plus restaurant chain, operating in 19 states, owes much of its success to founder Paul Fleming's unique idea of pairing oriental cuisine with American-style service. At the outset, when he opened the first of the restaurants in Scottsdale, Arizona, Fleming broke with the traditional Chinese restaurant format. With his collaborator, chef Philip Chiang, he devised a comparatively limited menu that featured far fewer dishes than the menus of typical, full-service, Chinese restaurants. Incorporating an American steak house dining style and a formidable selection of wines and cheeses, P.F. Chang's offers such additional oriental restaurant anomalies as espresso and cappuccino. Although P.F. Chang's China Bistros are stylish in decor, displaying motifs from the Ming and T'ang Dynasties and hand-painted murals, the dishes are moderately priced, partly because one of Fleming's aims was to provide high quality but affordable Chinese food for "the masses."




Saigon Summer Rolls

PF Chang's Copycat Recipe

8 sheets rice paper (12 inch round)  
8 pieces green leaf lettuce  
4 tablespoons mayonnaise  
4 cups cooked rice noodles    
6 ounces cooked pork tenderloin, sliced 1/4 inch  
12 cooked medium shrimp, peeled & deveined  
24 mint leaves  
1 tablespoon crushed peanuts (optional)  
peanut sauce for dipping

Fill a pot with water and bring to boil. Add the shrimp and blanch until the shrimp turns bright pink, about 3 minutes. Carefully drain the shrimp in run under cold water or shock in ice bath to stop cooking. When chilled, drain and pat dry, cut each shrimp lengthwise and reserve.

Fill a large bowl with water. Dip one sheet of rice paper into the water and quickly rotate to moisten the entire sheet. Lay the wet rice paper on a flat work surface. Arrange 1 lettuce leaf over the bottom 1/3 of the rice paper, flattening the lettuce to crack the rib. Spread a generous 1 1/2 teaspoon of mayonnaise over the lettuce, then top with 3 mint leaves placed from one end to the other. Place 3 pieces of sliced pork over the mint leaves and top 1/2 cup of rice noodles.

Fold in the left and right sides of the rice paper, then fold the bottom edge up and over the filling tightly and roll toward the top end one full turn to enclose the filling completely. Place the 3 pieces of cut shrimp, cut side up, end to end in a row. Sprinkle the peanuts over the shrimp. Continue rolling as tightly as possible toward the top edge, tucking in the sides, until you have a tight roll. Repeat with the remaining rice paper and ingredients.

The rolls can be made up in advance. Cover with a damp towel until ready to serve. Rolls can be cut or serve as is. Enjoy with peanut sauce.

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