Three Cup Chicken, which is also known as “Sanbeiji” is a Chinese chicken dish. This dish is very popular in Taiwan. You may wonder,” Why is it called Three Cup Chicken?” The name comes from the three cups of sauces that go into the dish, which are rice wine, soy sauce and sesame oil. Of course this recipe has scaled the measurement down a little bit. The idea is to have equal parts of sesame oil, soy sauce and rice wine. It’s not a typo this recipe calls for 20 cloves of garlic! The garlic along with ginger, Serrano peppers and basil adds a great deal of flavor to the sauce. I made a few changes to the original recipe. The first change was lightly dusting the chicken with cornstarch. The second change was deep frying the chicken before putting it in the wok. Serve with white rice. Enjoy.
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (or thighs)
Cornstarch (for dusting, optional)
1/3 cup sesame oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup rice wine (or sake)
20 garlic cloves (minced)
10 thin slices of fresh ginger
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoons water
2 cups fresh basil (chopped)
2 Serrano peppers (sliced, with seeds)
1 cup green onions (sliced)
Oil (if deep frying)
Step 1: Cut the chicken breasts into 1” chunks. Lightly dust the chicken with cornstarch. Deep fry the chicken bits in batches at 375 degrees until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
Step 2: Heat sesame oil in your wok on medium-high heat. Add garlic, ginger and Serrano peppers. Stir fry for 1 minute.
Step 3: In a bowl stir together rice wine, soy sauce and sugar. Pour into the wok. Put chicken bits into the wok and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, combine 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water in a measuring cup. Pour into the sauce and stir until the sauce becomes somewhat thick.
Step 4: Add green onions and basil. Cook for 2 minutes and serve.
(Makes 4 Servings)