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three cup chicken with rice

3 Cup Chicken (San Bei Ji Recipe)

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5 from 2 reviews

Three Cup Chicken is a traditional Taiwanese dish called San Bei Ji. It is bone-in chicken simmered in the most flavorful aromatic sauce. The key ingredients include soy sauce, Shaoxing wine (rice wine), and sesame oil. Aromatics like ginger, garlic, and Sweet Thai Basil leaves make this dish special. You have to make this ultra-comforting meal. It is one of my favorites.

  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2-4 1x



6 bone-in chicken thighs (skin removed*)

10 cloves of smashed garlic

8 ginger slices

2-3 dried chili

3 tbsp Shaoxing wine (Chinese rice wine)

3 tbsp sesame oil

3 tsp dark soy sauce

2 tbsp light soy sauce

1 tbsp of neutral oil for frying

3 tbsp of water

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 cup fresh Thai Basil leaves


  1. *Optional: Remove the chicken skin to make the dish healthier.
  2. In medium heat, add neutral oil to a cast iron pan, and brown your chicken pieces on all sides.
  3. In the meantime, prep the rest of your ingredients. Smash your garlic, slice your ginger, and remove the basil leaves from the stem.
  4. Prep your sauce. Put all the liquids in a bowl. Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, and water.
  5. Once your chicken is browned, add the garlic, ginger and chilis. Saute until fragrant. 1 minute.
  6. Add the sauce.
  7. Put a lid and let it come to a boil, and simmer on low for 15 minutes.
  8. Remove the lid and add the Thai basil leaves.
  9. Mix a little bit with a spatula for 1-2 minutes.
  10. Serve and enjoy.


  • Remove the skin from the chicken thighs to make them healthier. Less fat.
  • For a faster cooking time, use your Instant Pot (pressure cooker). Brown the chicken, and add all the aromatics and sauce ingredients. Set to manual - 15 minutes. Natural release.
  • Author: Carmen
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: mains
  • Method: braising
  • Cuisine: asian