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3 Cups Chicken (三杯雞)

Saturday, 10 May 2008

It's chicken tonight! This is one of my fiancé's favourite poultry dish. I don't cook it often as 3 cups literally means 1 cup sesame oil, 1 cup soya sauce and 1 cup chinese rice wine. It is a traditional Taiwanese dish. Came across this dish while I was browsing a food forum. It sounded interesting so I thought I'd give it a try. Can't deny that it's yummilicious!


  • 1 small chicken (~1.3 kg) – chopped into pieces
  • ½ cup sesame oil
  • About 7 slices of ginger
  • 1 ½ bulbs garlic – crushed
  • Dried chilli - crushed (depends on how spicy you want)
  • About 4 stalks opring onion – cut into 2 inches in length
  • ½ cup soya sauce
  • ½ cup rice wine
  • A dash of sugar
  • 1 handful Basil – tear into pieces by hand rather than chop


  • Blanch chicken.
  • Heat up sesame oil in a pot.
  • Fry ginger and garlic until fragrant.
  • Add in chilli and spring onions, fry until fragrant.
  • Toss in chicken and cook chicken until slightly brown.
  • Pour in soya sauce and rice wine. Stew until sauce thickens.
  • Add sugar to taste.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Toss in basil and serve.
  • Yes, 1/2 a cup of sesame oil. I tried halving that amount but my fiancé complained it was too dry and lacking something. So this dish is all about the fats.
  • Could try to use a little less soya sauce as I think it's on the salty side. Probably 1 tablespoon less would do the trick.
  • The Thai basil makes the dish very fragrant and adds a really nice twist to the dish. So try not to leave this out.
  • Avoid adding water as I find adding water masked the taste a little. Not as fragrant.
  • Instead of chopping up the chicken, I left the thighs and drumsticks as they are. I then broil them in the oven until the skin is browned instead of blanching. Works quite well. Managed to get rid of some chicken oil through the broiling process. For the amount of chicken below, I used only 1/4 cup each of sesame oil, soya sauce and rice wine.

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