This Three Cup Chicken Recipe From Taiwan Is a Must-Try

Three Cup Chicken Recipe From Taiwan

The Taiwanese cuisine offers a bevy of mouthwatering dishes that beg to become your new favorites. One of these recipes that people all around Taiwan and the world have come to love is the three cup chicken or San Bei Ji. Its name comes from the three main ingredients: Chinese rice wine, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Here’s how to make this delicious recipe.


  • 1lb chicken drumsticks, thighs, or a combination of chicken parts
  • 2 tablespoons dark or toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda to tenderize the chicken (not mandatory)
  • 2-inch piece of ginger, cut into thin pieces, peeled
  • 1 ½ tablespoons dark sweet soy sauce, kecap manis
  • 1 ½ tablespoons normal soy sauce
  • 6 cloves peeled garlic
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Chinese rice wine (Shaoxing for example)
  • A bunch of basil leaves
  • Chili flakes for serving (optional)

the three main ingredients in the Three Cup Chicken recipe Three Cup Chicken from Taiwan: Preparation

Step 1

Cut the chicken into even pieces and rub the baking soda all over them. Wait for 10 minutes before washing the chicken and removing all traces of soda. Pat dry the chicken pieces and set them aside.

Step 2

Grab a clay pot (or a normal saucepan) and put it on high heat. Add the sesame oil, ginger, and garlic. Stir-fry for a few minutes until the flavors start coming through. Add the chicken and stir quickly a couple of times.

Step 3

Add the dark sweet soy sauce, the normal soy sauce, and the wine to the mix. Continue to stir-fry for a bit, then cover the pot and lower the heat. Let it simmer for about 5-10 minutes.

Step 4

Add the basil leaves and combine them well with the chicken. Remove from the heat and serve immediately. Enjoy it hot like they do in Taiwan.

Three cup chicken from Taiwan

Notes: If you can’t find dark sweet soy sauce, just add a tablespoon of sugar to normal soy sauce. You can also deep-fry the chicken pieces quickly before cooking them in the pot with the other ingredients to get a more glazed finish.