Whether or not you’ve heard of “Three Cup Chicken,” you will like it. It’s so tasty that it’s hard not to. With the help of my grandma, I came up with this recipe, so it has the coveted grandma stamp of approval!
“San Bei Ji,” which means “Three Cup Chicken,” is a popular standard dish in China and Taiwan. The name comes from how it’s made: One cup of rice wine, one cup of soy sauce, and one cup of sesame oil make up the sauce.
It’s like how pound cake got its name because the old recipes called for a pound of flour, eggs, butter, and sugar. But you’ll notice that our version doesn’t use three full cups of anything. That recipe for 3 cups of chicken must have made a TON of chicken.
No two families make Three Cup Chicken the same way, but the basic recipe uses these three sauce ingredients to make a thick, dark, reduced syrup that soaks right into the chicken.
It’s a straightforward recipe because all you do is chop and drop. It’s a one-pot meal that you can make faster than saying, “kick in the pants.”
Even my mom’s and grandmother’s versions of San Bei Ji are slightly different. My mom likes to put in a lot of scallions and simmer them with the chicken until they get sweet and sticky.
On the other hand, my grandmother adds Thai basil, which is a more exotic touch. I’m just telling you what it looks like Wikipedia is telling me. I only came for the food. In any case, I agree with that food choice 100 percent!
You’ll also notice that the color of our three-cup chicken is very dark and rich. This is a matter of taste. The dark soy sauce will give the dish its dark color. Just add less if you want your dish to be lighter. So, here is the recipe!
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