4.25 from 4 votes
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Three Cup Chicken Recipe

A uniquely Taiwanese dish of chicken pieces stir-fried with ginger, garlic, spring onions and dried chillies, and braised in soy sauce, Chinese wine and sesame oil until wonderfully caramelised.
Celia Lim
Course: Chicken, Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Main Dish, Meat, Snacks and Treats
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese, Taiwanese
Servings :4 servings
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 45 mins


  • 1 whole chicken (1 to 1.5 kg) chopped into smaller pieces
  • 8 cloves garlic peeled, slightly bashed
  • 1 thumb-length ginger peeled, sliced thinly
  • 2 stalks spring onion chopped into 1-inch (2-cm) lengths
  • 8 dried red chillies with as many seeds as possible removed
  • 6 tbsp sesame oil
  • 4 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 6 tbsp Chinese wine or sherry
  • 3 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • Handful fresh basil leaves (or more, as desired)


  • Heat up sesame oil in a large clay pot or wok over medium heat. When hot, add cut dried chillies and fry till seared. Remove chillies from oil with a slotted spoon or sieve. Set the chillies aside.
  • Add ginger slices, garlic cloves and half of chopped spring onions into the oil. Stir-fry till garlic and ginger start to sear or brown, and become fragrant, about 1 minute. Increase heat to high, and add chicken pieces. Stir fry together for a minute or so, till chicken just starts to cook on the outside.
  • Add all dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, Chinese wine, and sugar, and stir-fry together until chicken pieces are coated all over. Lower heat and let braise till sauce is significantly reduced, and almost runs dry, about 25 to 30 minutes. At this point, the chicken pieces should be cooked through and have a slightly thicker, sticky coat of sauce. Add in remaining chopped spring onions and fried chillies. Toss or stir to mix well.
  • Do a taste test. ┬áIf a tad salty, add more sugar. To balance out sweetness, add a dash of salt. Turn off heat.
  • Put in half of the fresh basil leaves, and stir briefly to mix well. When ready to serve, stir in the remaining basil leaves, reserving a few for garnishing.
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