Three-Cup Chicken 三杯鸡 (Sanbeiji)


My heritage is of Chinese-Malaysian and it is important for me to pass that down to my son who is of Chinese-Malaysian and German heritage. Food-wise, there will be a minimum of one chinese/asian meal per week at home. A couple of nights ago, I attempted the three-cup chicken dish. This recipe is a very popular Taiwanese dish. According to Wikipedia, it originates from the Jiangxi province in China. (Please click here for the read up). It requires only a few ingredients but it is an extremely flavorful dish. The name “Three-cup” is explained by the recipe calling for equal amounts of soya sauce, sesame oil and cooking wine. I think it is quite an easy recipe to remember. The other ingredients used are ginger, garlic, basil leaves and of course, chicken. When serving this dish, do prepare more jasmine rice than usual as the sauce goes wonderfully well with rice.


2 chicken breasts, cut to big cubes
4 slices of ginger, peeled
5 cloves of garlic, peeled
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup soya sauce
1/4 cup cooking wine
2.5 Tbsp sugar
1 chilli, sliced (optional)
Large handful of basil (normal basil or Thai basil)
Corn flour for coating chicken meat

1. Lightly coat chicken with corn flour. Do pat dry the meat with a kitchen towel if it’s wet.
2. Heat 1/8 cup sesame oil in large frying pan/wok over medium high heat. Add and fry ginger and garlic till slightly browned. Add chicken and sear the meat till golden.
3. Add cooking wine, soya sauce and sugar. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Reduce heat to a simmer and partially cover. Stir the meat constantly to keep it coated with the sauce. Simmer continuously for 15-20 mins until the meat is cooked through and the sauce has thickened. Switch off the heat.
4. Add in basil leaves and chilli (if using), tossing them in to get them mixed in. Cover for a few minutes to infuse. Dish up and serve.

Acknowledgement: This recipe is a shared recipe which was shared within a Facebook cooking group that I belong to.


One response »

  1. Pingback: Broccoli with Egg Sauce | Cloth and Apron

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