Three Cup Chicken or (San Bei Ji 三杯鸡) is a savory Taiwanese/Chinese Dish that is extremely popular to eat. It’s a very simple recipe that anybody can make at home and takes only about 30 minutes to make. So come learn how to make this dish in the most authentic way possible.
As you know, Chicken is one of my favorite things to eat.
Fried Chicken, Sticky Chicken Wings, Steamed Chicken Feet and anything else made out of chicken is always going to on top of my list.
And growing up, one dish that always eluded me was a dish called “Three Cup Chicken”. Anytime I saw this dish on the menu, I was always not allowed to get it. And that has always irked me.
However there was a reason behind that.
The reason that my parents never let me get this dish was because this dish is typically only made for pregnant women. Apparently the dish has many properties which can help the pregnancy experience.
Now as to if that is true or not, I really do not know.
However as I got older, I managed to convince my parents to let me try this dish. And I was glad that I did as the chicken flavors from this dish was so amazing.
Which is why I wanted to write this post.
I wanted to share with all of you the amazing taste and flavor that this dish provides.
So hopefully you all can try it and fall in love with it just as much as I have.
What Is Three Cup Chicken?
If you’re ever roaming around the country of Taiwan or China, one of the most popular dishes you might come across is one called the Three Cup Chicken / San Bei Ji / 三杯鸡.
The name Three Cup Chicken is actually a strange name to some, but actually has a certain meaning behind it.
The reason for the name is because the dish is made up from the three main ingredients used in the recipe.
- Sesame Oil
- Soy Sauce
- Chinese Rice Wine
Now the “Cups” portion of the name refers to the equal ratio of ingredients used.
It does not mean the literal measurements of using 1 cup for each ingredients. If you were to use 1 cup sesame oil, 1 cup soy sauce and 1 cup Chinese rice wine, then you would be in for a world of trouble.
Basically you would use these ingredients to help marinate the chicken while it is cooking and produce a dish that is extremely flavorful and tasty.
Also, if you are wanting to make this dish in the most authentic way possible, then you will need to use Thai Basil Leaves. I noticed a lot of food bloggers out there who skip out on this ingredient yet still call it an authentic dish, which is simply wrong.
This dish needs to use the basil leaves to help produce that amazing aroma and minty flavor that the leaves provide.
Ingredients To Make Three Cup Chicken
The ingredients you’ll need to make Three Cup Chicken / San Bei Ji / 三杯鸡 is as followed:
- Chicken Wings/Legs – 2 Pounds
- Sesame Oil – 1/4 Cup Sesame Oil
- Rice Wine – 1/2 Cup Rice Wine
- Soy Sauce – 1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
- Red Chilies – 2 to 3 Red Chilies
- Ginger – 10 to 12 Thin Slices
- Garlic – 12 to 15 Whole Garlics
- Green Onions – 3 to 4 Green Onions Chopped Into Tiny Pieces
- Sugar – 1 and a Half Tablespoon Sugar
- Thai Basil Leaves – 1 Cup Thai Basil Leaves
- Dark Soy Sauce – (OPTIONAL) 1 Tablespoon For Darker Color
And that’s basically it!
How To Make Three Cup Chicken
Making Three Cup Chicken / San Bei Ji / 三杯鸡 is a relatively simple thing to do.
The process to make this dish is as followed:
First thing you’ll want to do is grab a large wok or skillet and pour in your sesame oil over medium-high heat.
Once the oil is hot enough, you’ll want to add in your sliced ginger, garlics, chopped green onions, and chilies. Stir things around and cook them until things start to get fragrant. This should take about 1 minute or so.
After things are fragrant, add in the chicken pieces and cook them until slightly brown. Make sure to stir things around occasionally for about 2 to 3 minutes.
Then you’ll want to add in the rice wine and soy sauce into the wok or skillet. Bring the contents to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and let it cook uncovered for a few minutes.
You want to cook the chicken until the pieces are thoroughly cooked through and the sauce has slightly reduced. This should take about 15 minutes or so.
(Optional) During this time, you can add in your dark soy sauce to give it a darker coloring if you want. However this is not necessary if you do not want to do so.
Once the chicken is cooked through, add in your sugar and stir things around until the sugar dissolves.
Turn off the heat and add in the thai basil leaves. Stir things around so the remaining residual heat will continue to cook the leaves.
How To Store/Keep For Future Use
Storing this Three Cup Chicken / San Bei Ji / 三杯鸡 is a really simple thing to do.
Basically all you have to do if you have leftovers or just want to save the dish for later is to simply wrap the dish up with some plastic wrap. That or you can also put it in an airtight container and then store it in the fridge. This should remain good for up to 3 days at most.
As for freezing, I have personally never tried to freeze this dish, but I have heard other people doing so. From what they say, you can apparently freeze this dish in the freezer as long as it is in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
When you are ready to eat this dish again, simply heat it up on a skillet or wok for a few minutes until it becomes nice and hot again.
Three Cup Chicken Recipe (San Bei Ji 三杯鸡)
- 2 Pound Chicken Wings/Legs
- 1/4 Cup Sesame Oil
- 1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
- 1/2 Cup Rice Wine
- 2 to 3 Whole Red Chilies
- 10 to 12 Ginger Sliced into thing pieces
- 12 to 15 Whole Garlic Peeled.
- 3 to 4 Green Onion Chopped into tiny pieces
- 1 1/2 Tablespoon Sugar
- 1 Cup Thai Basil Leaves
- 1 Tablespoon Dark Soy Sauce
- Pour the sesame oil into a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat.
- Once the oil is hot enough, add in the ginger, garlic, green onions, and red chilies. Stir things around and cook them until things start to get fragrant.This should take about 1 minute.
- Add in the chicken pieces and cook them until they are lightly browned. Make sure to stir things around constantly.This should take about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add in the rice wine and soy sauce and bring the contents to a boil. Then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the chicken pieces are entirely cooked through and the sauce has slightly reduced.This should take about 15 minutes or so.Optional – During this time, you can add in 1 tablespoon of Dark Soy Sauce if you want a darker colored chicken wings/legs.
- Once time is up, stir in the sugar until just dissolved.
- Turn off the heat and add in the Thai Basil. Stir things around for a few seconds until the basil starts to soften, then it is ready to serve.
- Serve immediately.
Did you try making my Three Cup Chicken / San Bei Ji / 三杯鸡? If so, how were they? I would love to hear all about it down in the comment section below or you can connect with my on Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram.
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