Three Cup Chicken


Three Cup Chicken or “三杯鸡” (pronounced as Sanbeiji) is one of the most iconic dishes in Chinese cuisine. Originated from Jiangxi, China, it has gained popularity in Taiwan for some reasons. It is also commonly served in confinement meals according to the Chinese community in Malaysia.

The name “Three Cup” derives from its 3 main ingredients with the ratio of – 1 part sesame oil, 1 equal part light soy sauce, and 1 equal part Shaoxing wine.

Well, if you run out of ideas on what to cook for dinner, definitely try this one! Oh and make sure you cook some extra rice.

How to make Three Cup Chicken


for 2 to 3 servings

Main ingredients

  • 2 chicken whole legs
  • ¼ cup sesame oil
  • ¼ cup light soy sauce
  • ¼ cup Shaoxing wine or rice wine (optional)
  • 40 g ginger, thinly sliced
  • 10 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
  • 2 hot chilli peppers, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • A handful of Thai sweet basil
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar


  • Some salt
  • Some white pepper


  • Fresh Thai sweet basil


  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides.
  2. On medium-high heat, cook chicken for 3 minutes each side or until lightly browned.
  3. Remove from heat and chop chicken into bite size.
  4. Heat frying pan on medium-low.
  5. Add sesame oil and ginger. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes or until aromatic.
  6. Add garlic and chillies. Stir-fry for another 1-2 minutes.
  7. Add chicken and soy sauce. Stir until well coated.
  8. Add Shaoxing wine. Stir-fry and simmer for about 1-2 minutes.
  9. Add brown sugar. Stir until well mixed.
  10. Cover and simmer for 4-5 minutes or until chicken is cooked.
  11. Uncover and cook for 1-2 minutes to reduce the sauce. Set aside.
  12. Heat up claypot on medium-low.
  13. Add onion and half of the Thai sweet basil. Stir-fry for about a minute.
  14. Add chicken. Stir until well mixed.
  15. Top with the other half of Thai sweet basil.
  16. Off the heat and cover.
  17. Let steam for 1 minute.
  18. Good to serve with white rice. Enjoy!