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Three Cup Chicken  

Three Cup Chicken 三杯雞 (sān bēi jī) A classic Taiwanese dish that is simply pungent. The three cups refer to one each of sesame oil, rice wine, and soy sauce.


Serves 5–6

1 kg (2.2 Ib) chicken, chopped into bite-size chunks
1 tablespoons vegetable oil
15 cloves garlic, crushed
15 slices ginger
1/3 cup sesame oil
1/3 cup Taiwan rice wine
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 chilli peppers, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
A few stalks fresh oriental basil


  1. In a clay pot or casserole dish, brown chicken in vegetable oil.
  2. Add garlic and ginger and fry for a couple of minutes.
  3. Mix sesame oil, rice wine, soy sauce, chillies and sugar, add to pot. Bring to a boil.
  4. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Place basil on top of chicken, cook for a further 5 minutes.
  5. Remove chicken, minus liquid, to a serving dish. Serve with white rice.

Notes: Don't be tempted to skimp on seasonings – this dish is meant to pack a punch. And don't simmer much longer than 20 minutes or the chicken will start to resemble salty hunks of leather.






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