Three cup chicken (San Bei Ji)

Three cup chicken (San Bei Ji)

The name of this dish says it all. For this recipe, besides the chicken, you will need three main ingredients: soy sauce, sesame oil and rice wine. Originally for this recipe you would use a cup of soy sauce, a cup of sesame oil and a cup of rice wine, however, you would need way more chicken than I used :). 

Although San Bei Ji originated in China, this dish is very popular in Taiwan. What I like the most about it is the simplicity. You need just basic ingredients and all the flavors come together just perfectly. This time I made three cup chicken with Japanese rice wine, but next time I will definitely try to make it with Shaoxing wine. 

Ingredients for 4 portions:

  • 450 g chicken thighs or drumsticks (with skin), cut into smaller bites
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 2 cm ginger, cut into thin slices
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce  
  • 2 tbsp kecap manis (you can substitute it with dark soy sauce+1tbsp of sugar)
  • 2 tbsp Shaoxing wine  or sake 
  • 1 tsp brown sugar*
  • 15 g fresh basil

1. Rub chicken bites with baking soda and set it aside for 10 min. It will tenderize chicken. After 10 min, rinse chicken pieces well with water, make sure there are no soda residues.

2. Heat the pan on high heat and add toasted sesame oil. After it is heated, add ginger and garlic, saute until fragrant. 

3. Add chicken pieces and cook for a few minutes.

4. In the same pan pour soy sauce, kecap manis, sake, add sugar.

5. Cover a pan, lower the heat and let it simmer for 10-13 min (until chicken is cooked).

6. Add the basil leaves and stir it well. Serve immediately.

*I don’t have shaoxing wine, I substituted it with sake and added additional sugar for sweetness.