Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Three-Cup Chicken

I heard the name of this dish from HK drama (ancient setting.. ok not that ancient actually.. its more on the time when Emporer existed in China) that I watched. I was curious whether this dish existed in modern times and if it does how it taste like? After a few seconds of googling, I found out that Sanbeiji/Three-cup chicken is a popular chicken dish in chinese cuisine. Its name referring to 3 cups of sauces used.  Some said the 3-cup comprise of soy sauce, sesame oil and rice wine while others said its soy sauce, sesame oil and sugar. This dish originates from Jiangxi Province of Southern China and speciality of Ningdu and become very famous in Taiwan.

There are also several version of the origin of this dish. This story often involves cook who place 3-cup of sauces into an earthenware pot (which i assume is claypot) and simmer it for a long time.

  • 500g chicken pieces (with or without bone. I use winglette)
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup chinese cooking wine
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sugar or to taste
  • 1/2 bulb garlic, minced
  • 6 slices thin fresh ginger
  • 4 dried chillies, halves (depends on how spicy you want)
  • 1 handful basil
  • 3 stalks spring onion, cut 1 inch each

  1. Heat up sesame oil in a wok or large skillet on high heat, browned chicken pieces and set aside. 
  2. Add garlic, ginger and dried chillies into the sesame oil, stir fry until fragrant. 
  3. Return the browned chicken and stir in wine, soy sauce and sugar. 
  4. Bring to boil, cover the chicken and lower the heat to simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes. 
  5. Remove cover and cook until the sauce thicken/reduced.
  6. Increase heat, add basil and spring onion, stir to combine and serve immediately.

  • You can reduce the 'Three-cup ingredients' to 1/8 cup if you use chicken pieces without bone at 500g
  • If you have dark sweet soy sauce (kecap manis), you can use it to substitute 1/4 cup soy sauce + 1 1/2 tbsp sugar = 1/4 cup sweet soy sauce.
  • Need quick meal? SKIP the browning process. Toss in raw chicken  after garlic, ginger and dried chilli fragrant and do a few quick stir before adding the rest of the ingredients.
  • You can also substitute the chicken to pork loin or belly

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