Finger-licking Three Cup Chicken is a tender braised chicken in sesame oil, rice wine and soy sauce with Thai basil.
By Shannon Lim
The recipe Three Cup Chicken originates from 3 cups (or portions) of soy sauce, sesame oil & rice wine each. But each household has its own version that does not always equate to 3 equal cups (or portions) of each ingredient. And some use Thai basil instead of spring onion in the dish. As I have both plants, I use both in my dish to make the best out of all recipes. This recipe works best with on the bone-in chicken pieces, the flavours of a dish with bone-in chicken is more intense.
- 500g (1 lb) Chicken Drumsticks - cut into chunks (I use whole drumsticks for photography purposes. You can also use chicken drumettes or wings)
- 2 tablespoon Sesame Oil
- 1-2 inch Ginger - thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic - finely chopped
- 60ml (¼ cup) Shaoxing Wine (cooking rice wine)
- 2 tablespoon light Soy Sauce (or Tamari for gluten free option)
- 2 tablespoon Water
- 2 stalks of spring onions - cut into 2 inch pieces
- Small bunch of Thai basil
- Place sesame oil, ginger, garlic and half of spring onions into a huge wok (or pan) on medium heat, for 1 minute to let the aromatic ginger and garlic infuse the oil.
- Then add the chicken to the wok all in one even layer, so every piece gets seared equally on both sides. Don’t over-crowd the wok.
- Once both sides are browned, stir in cooking wine, soy sauce and water. Cover the wok and simmer for 15 minutes to get the chicken cooked through.
- After 15 minutes, remove the cover and turn up the heat to rapidly reduce the sauce. If there sauce is dried up, add a splash of water. Stir the chicken until they turn a rich, dark colour.
- Toss in Thai basil and remaining spring onion and stir 1-2 times to quickly wilt the herbs.
- Plate and serve immediately. I toss in a few raw Thai basil because the flavours of raw herb is more intense.
If you want to use whole drumstick, cook the chicken for an extra 5 more minutes before adding Thai basil