Three Cup Chicken Recipe (三杯鸡)

Taiwanese 3-cup chicken - delicious comfort food made with ginger, garlic, chicken and soy sauce, with basil leaves.  

Course Main Course
Cuisine Taiwanese
Keyword Three Cup Chicken
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 3
Calories 350 kcal


  • 1 lb chicken drumsticks
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda to tenderize the chicken, optional
  • tablespoons dark sesame oil or toasted sesame oil
  • 2- inch piece old ginger peeled and cut into thin pieces
  • 6 cloves garlic peeled
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dark sweet soy sauce kecap manis
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine
  • A big bunch Thai basil leaves


  1. Cut the chicken into pieces and rub them with the baking soda. Set aside for 10 minutes before rinsing the chicken off with water. Make sure the baking soda is completely rinsed off. Pat dry the chicken pieces and set aside.
  2. Heat up a claypot on high heat and add the dark sesame oil. Add the ginger, garlic, and stir-fry until aromatic. Add in the chicken and do a few quick stirs. Add the soy sauce, dark sweet soy sauce, Shaoxing wine and continue to stir-fry the chicken. Cover the chicken and lower the heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Add the basil leaves and stir well with the chicken, dish out and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

This recipe calls for dark sesame oil or toasted sesame oil, which is different from regular sesame oil. Dark sesame oil is a lot more expensive but the flavor is more intense and with a stronger toasted sesame fragrance. You can skip the first step of tenderizing the chicken with baking soda. I personally like it because it makes the chicken so tender. If you don't have a claypot, you can use a regular wok or pan to make this dish.

Nutrition Facts
Three Cup Chicken Recipe (三杯鸡)
Amount Per Serving (3 g)
Calories 350 Calories from Fat 159
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17.7g 27%
Saturated Fat 3.6g 18%
Cholesterol 133mg 44%
Sodium 1982mg 83%
Total Carbohydrates 2.8g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0.2g 1%
Sugars 0.2g
Protein 42.6g 85%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.