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 people
Calories 308 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
  • 1 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 people)
Calories 308 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Fat 19g29%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 93mg31%
Sodium 1866mg81%
Potassium 288mg8%
Carbohydrates 12g4%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 19g38%
Vitamin A 185IU4%
Vitamin C 2.4mg3%
Calcium 26mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.