How to Cook Sanbeiji (Taiwanese Three-Cup Chicken)

Sanbeiji (Taiwanese Three-Cup Chicken)

Course Main Course
Cuisine Taiwanese
Keyword Chicken
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 3 people
Author Connie Veneracion


  • 1 whole chicken about 1.5 kilos, minus the breast
  • 1/4 cup sesame seed oil
  • 1 one-inch knob ginger peeled and thinly sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic peeled and lightly pounded
  • 3 bird's eye chilies or 1 teaspoon dried chili flakes
  • 2 shallots diced
  • 1/3 cup light soy sauce I used Kikkoman
  • 1/3 cup sweet rice wine
  • 1 large handful Thai basil leaves


  • Cut the chicken into serving size pieces.
  • Heat the sesame seed oil in a large frying pan.
  • Add the ginger, garlic, chilies and shallots. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until lightly browned. Scoop out and set aside.
  • Turn up the heat to medium-high.
  • Lay the chicken pieces, skin side down and in a single layer, on the hot oil. Cook until the chicken skin is nicely browned and has a crusty texture. Flip them over and brown the other side as well.
  • Add the ginger, garlic, chilies and shallots back to the pan.
  • Pour in the soy sauce and rice wine. Turn the heat to low, cover the pan and braise the chicken for about 20 minutes. Taste the sauce occasionally; you may need to add more soy sauce.
  • Turn up the heat. stir in half of the Thai basil. Continue cooking the chicken, uncovered, until the sauce is thickened and reduced. At this point, there will appear to be more oil than sauce.
  • Add the rest of the basil leaves. Cook for another minute.
  • Serve hot with rice.