When cooking recipes from around the world, I like to find the most popular dish from that area and try to cook them. This allows me to sample and learn about the different flavor from each region as well as having a general idea for the kind of food that people in a particular area like to eat.
Taiwanese Three Cup Chicken (San Bei Ji) is a very simple, modest, and delicious dish I have ever tried. It’s the epitome of home-cooking and it brings me back to my childhood when my mom would cook these delicious family-style dishes for dinner. This is the most famous Taiwanese dishes and if you ever go to a Taiwanese restaurant, you have to try this out. Of course you can always make it yourself!
The name Three Cup Chicken comes from three ingredients, sesame oil, Shaoxing rice wine (dry sherry is an acceptable substitute), and soy sauce. Traditionally, we use equal measurements for these. While braising the chicken with this mixture, the meat becomes very flavorful and to top it off, Thai basil is used to add more fragrance to this delicious dish.
You can serve this dish with jasmine rice as well as stir-fry garlic vegetables (bok choy or others) on the side. Alternately you can also use other meat such as pork, frog, or squid too.
I like to cut and prepare everything before starting to cook this dish. This will ensure you do not have to leave the stove as the initial process is fairly similar to stir frying.
For this dish, I use approximately 12-15 garlic (yes this sounds a lot but as a garlic lover, this is delicious). You can of course change the amount of garlic, ginger and chili to taste… but why would you? 🙂 Other recipes call for whole cloves of garlic and you can do that too.
The use of dark chicken meat is preferred here as they have more flavor. I use boneless chicken thighs here but you can use the meat from drumstick as well if you wish.
Another tip for this recipe, I like to cut the ginger to matchstick size that way it’s easier to bite with our chicken! Try it out.
Make sure you stir fry our aromatics until it smells absolutely delicious.
We use equal part 1/3 cups of soy sauce, shaoxing rice wine, and sesame oil. The oil will help to reduce and thicken the sauce while at the same time make our chicken glistens and just look very beautiful.
Note that the sauce has reduced dramatically and our chicken is glistening from all the sesame oil. The thai basil just adds a lot of wonderful fragrant to this dish and elevate it to another dimension.
- 1lb chicken thigh
- 12-15 cloves of garlic. Sliced
- 1 small ginger. Sliced
- Thai basil leaves (to taste)
- Scallion. Sliced (to taste)
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- ⅓ cup shaoxing rice wine
- ⅓ cup sesame oil
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 3 Thai red chilli
- Salt (to taste)
- Stir fry aromatics (Garlic, ginger, and red chili) until fragrant
- Add chicken and brown
- Add sauce mixture. Bring to boil and lower the heat to simmer for 30 minutes
- Once sauce is reduced, take off heat and add thai basil leaves. Cover for 2 minutes