3-cup Chicken

3-Cup Chicken (三杯雞)

3-Cup Chicken is a popular Taiwanese dish – tender pieces of chicken in a fragrant, spicy and delicious sauce. Are you intrigued by the name of this dish? 3-Cup? This refers to the use of equal portion of each of the three main ingredients – sesame oil, Chinese cooking wine and soya sauce. I like to add dark soya sauce and sugar too, so maybe I should call it 5-Cup Chicken?!

A key ingredient (other than chicken) is fresh Basil leaves which gives the dish the amazing aroma. It is so easy to make and tastes so delicious. We simply love it!

Video Link: https://youtu.be/jeR2KQccpRE


  • 500gm chicken thighs, breast meat, preferably with bone (cut into bite size pieces)
  • 6-7 slices of ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 5 small dried chilli (de-seeded, leave whole)
  • A large handful of fresh Basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • Seasoning:
    • 1 tbsp sesame oil
    • 1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
    • 1 tbsp light soya sauce
    • 1 tbsp dark soya sauce
    • 1 tbsp sugar


1. Add cornflour to the chicken and mix well to coat evenly.

2. Heat oil and fry ginger slices, garlic cloves and dry chillies till fragrant.

3. Add chicken meat to the pan and fry till slightly golden brown. I like to cover my pan to prevent splatters.

4. Lower the heat and stir in sesame oil, light & dark soya sauces and Chinese cooking wine and sugar. Stir well to coat chicken with sauce.

5. Cover and let the chicken simmer in the sauce until the chicken is cooked and sauce starts to thicken up.

6. Add fresh Basil leaves, stir to combine and cook for a couple more minutes.  Remove from heat and serve.


Updated from my post first published on 13 Sep 2015.

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