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San Bei Chicken - 3 Cup Chicken

Three cup chicken is a delicious Taiwanese chicken dish with 3 main components making the sauce...sesame oil, soy sauce and Chinese rice wine. Everyone has their own version of this dish with differences in chicken with bones or no bones, fried or not fried as well as proportions to balance the sauce. Oh...the sauce! It is really the best part!

We've had san bei chicken many times. We LOVE the dark, rich umami flavor of the sauce but what we hate are the tiny shards of bones that come from chopping through the thighs and drumsticks.

I made a recipe using boneless, skinless thigh meat, that is not deep fried, and I add a lot of veggies to soak in all that delicious sauce. You won't even notice it's healthier because of the rich, delicious sauce. I hope you enjoy this version with some hot rice!

San Bei Chicken - Three Cup Chicken

Ingredients (serves 4)

3 Tablespoons vegetable or canola oil

4-5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into about 6 pieces each (1 1/2")

1 teaspoon salt

1 medium onion (about 3/4 cup, 100 g), large diced

1 Tablespoon ginger, finely minced

1 medium carrots (about 3/4 cup, 100 g), large diced

2 cups potatoes, washed, peeled and cut into 1 1/2" chunks (I like yellow potatoes)

5-6 dried shitake mushrooms, rehydrated and sliced (2/3 cup, 75 g rehydrated)

1 cup cabbage, chopped into 1 1/2" pieces (170 g)

4 large cloves garlic, smashed

1 Tablespoon dark soy

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup sesame oil

3 Tablespoons rice wine

3 Tablespoons sugar

1/4 cup water

1 cup Thai basil, washed, leaves only


In a large skillet or wok over medium high heat, heat up the 3 tablespoons of oil. When the oil is shimmery, add the chicken and salt and stir. Cook for about 3-5 minutes until chicken is browned but not cooked through. Scoop out from skillet to a heat proof bowl and set aside.

In the same skillet add the onions, ginger, carrots, and potatoes. Stir and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Add the mushrooms, cabbage and garlic. Stir and cook for 1 minute. Add dark and regular soy sauces, sesame oil, rice wine, sugar, water and chicken. Stir to coat evenly. Bring up to a boil then turn down to medium low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes covered. After 15 minutes, uncover, stir and check potatoes for doneness. Raise heat to medium high and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Add basil, stir and turn off heat. Serve with hot rice and enjoy!

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