Three Cup Chicken

(San Bei Ji)

three cup chicken

San (三) = 3 Bei (杯) = cup Ji (鸡) = chicken Traditionally, it uses one cup of each liquid – soy sauce, rice wine, & sesame oil. The modern adaptation doesn't  require an exact amount. 

chicken wings



sesame oil

dried red chili (optional)


rice wine

soy sauce

dark soy sauce


Thai basil


Step 1

Brown chicken: Heat oil and sesame oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Brown chicken wings until slightly golden. Add the garlic and ginger slices; toss well.

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Step 2

Add sauces: Splash in some rice wine. Add soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar, and dried chilies (optional); toss well until all the wings are coated.

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Step 3

Simmer: Reduce the heat to medium and cover with a lid. Simmer the wings in the sauce for 15 minutes.

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Step 4

Thicken: Uncover and increase the heat to high. Continue to cook to reduce the sauce a little, about 3 minutes.

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Step 5

Add basil: Add the fresh Thai basil leaves (as much as you want) and stir. Remove the pan from the heat.

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Step 6

Add sesame oil: Drizzle in 2 tablespoons of sesame oil and let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before you serve. The sauce will thicken more as it rests.

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Three Cup Chicken

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4 people

40 minutes



Main dish



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