Sanbeiji, Taiwanese Three Cup Chicken!

I saw this on a cooking show the other day and wanted to give it a try. If you’re making the true recipe of 1 cup of sesame oil with 1 cup of soy sauce, and 1 cup of rice wine you will need to use 2 large whole chickens. I modified this to make a smaller portion.

Use the back of a spoon to peel the skin off of some ginger. I used about 2″ chopped into nickel size pieces.

Normally I would also use red chillies without the seeds for this recipe, but I couldn’t find that so I used two whole serrano’s instead.

I’m a garlic fan, so I used 12 cloves of garlic, but if you’re not a big garlic lover, 4 to 6 would be sufficient without overwhelming the dish for you.

This recipe is best with Thai basil which is the one on the right, but regular basil will work just fine. Do not cut this with a knife as it will turn the basil black, you can tear with your fingers or just serve it whole.

I went to the Asian grocery store and this is what I came back with. If you’re watching your salt make sure you get low sodium soy sauce. And be sure you’re buying rice wine not rice wine vinegar. The dark soy sauce is also better, I learned after this time around.

If you have a wok, you should use it on fairly high heat. I used a Dutch oven on medium high heat. I started with the sesame oil, and added the ginger, garlic and peppers.

Then I added the chicken that was still on the bone, and let it brown a bit.

After about 20 minutes I added the white meat chicken, along with the soy sauce, rice wine, water, black pepper, and sugar. Stir and let it cook partially covered.

Next time I’m going to use a little bit more soy sauce, so I will modify this recipe to reflect that. I feel like it should be a little darker than it was right here, but once it boiled down, the sauce thickened and it was quite tasty. Place fresh basil once you have put on plate or serving dish and it is off the heat.

Serve over steamed white or brown rice. I used purple cabbage that o sauteed to lessen the carbs.

It was my first try and it next time I will use less oil and more soy. I will modify below.

Give it a try!


Try this recipe:

One whole cut up chicken or 6-8 thighs

1/8 cup sesame oil

1/2 cup dark soy sauce

1/2 cup rice wine (not vinegar)

1/4 cup water

2 inch piece of fresh ginger, cut in nickel sized pieces

12 cloves of garlic chopped in dime sized pieces

1 red chili pepper without seeds or 2 serrano chili peppers with seeds diced

1 tbsp brown sugar

1/2 cup fresh thai basil

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