Three Cup Chicken (San Bei Ji)

Three Cup Chicken (San Bei Ji)“Three Cup” refers to the base recipe, which is supposed to include equal parts sesame oil, soy sauce, and rice wine. Ironically, most cooks these days put their own spin on it, changing the ratios, or adding other ingredients, like scallions, chili peppers or black pepper. For my Three Cup Chicken, I like adding a … Continue reading “Three Cup Chicken (San Bei Ji)”


  • CourseEntree
  • CuisineTaiwanese
  • Yield4 servings
  • Cooking Time20 minutes
  • Preperation Time5 minutes
  • Total Time25 minutes


toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons
ginger (cut into a thick julienne)
20 grams
garlic (halve the cloves if they are large)
28 grams
boneless skin-on chicken thighs
560 grams
Chinese rice wine (mijiu or shaoxing)
1/4 cup
dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon
soy sauce
1 tablespoon
brown sugar
2 teaspoons
Thai basil (leaves only)
10 grams


  1. Start your Three Cup Chicken by frying the garlic and ginger in sesame oil.
    Heat a large pan or wok until hot. Add the sesame oil, ginger and garlic and fry until fragrant, but don't let it brown.
  2. Brown the skin-side of the chicken.
    Add the chicken in a single layer, skin-side down and fry until the skin is well browned.
  3. The chicken is browned on the skin-side in seasme oil.

    Flip the chicken over, and then add the rice wine, dark soy sauce, regular soy sauce, and sugar. Cover and simmer over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, or until the chicken is tender, flipping the chicken over a few times as it cooks.

  4. Reduce the sauce to a thick glaze to coat your Three Cup Chicken.
    Remove the lid and turn up the heat. Reduce the liquid into a thick sauce.
  5. Thai Basil gets added to the end for a bit of freshness.
    Add the Thai basil leaves and toss to coat. Serve the Three Cup Chicken with rice.