3 Cup Chicken Recipe

This 3 cup chicken (三杯鸡) is one of the most classic Taiwanese recipes that I used to love. The name itself comes from the three key ingredients: the rice wine, roasted sesame oil and dark soy sauce, while the “cups” refer to the equal ratio instead of literal measurement.

I actually love the sauce and normally add it to steamed rice  and I could literally live with this kind of food. Check out this 3 cup chicken recipe adapted to my personal preference.

3 cups chicken recipe3 cup chicken recipe3 cups chicken recipe

3 Cup Chicken Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Cuisine: Asian
Serves: 2-3
  • 1 lb chicken drumsticks
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda, to tenderize the chicken, optional
  • 2 tablespoons dark sesame oil or toasted sesame oil
  • 2-inch piece old ginger, peeled and cut into thin pieces
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1½ tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1½ tablespoons dark sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)
  • 1½ tablespoons Shaoxing wine
  • A big bunch Thai basil leaves
  1. Cut the chicken into pieces and rub them with the baking soda. (this process will make the chicken more tender).
  2. Set aside for 10 minutes before rinsing the chicken off with water.
  3. Make sure the baking soda is completely rinsed off. Pat dry the chicken pieces and set aside.
  4. Heat up a claypot on high heat and add the dark sesame oil.
  5. Add the ginger, garlic, and stir-fry until aromatic. Add in the chicken and do a few quick stirs.
  6. Add the soy sauce, dark sweet soy sauce, Shaoxing wine and continue to stir-fry the chicken.
  7. Cover the chicken and lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  8. Add the basil leaves and stir well with the chicken, dish out and serve immediately.
I suggest to use the roasted sesame oil (dark sesame oil). This is a bit expensive but the flavor is strong and intense compare to regular sesame oil.