Thursday, August 28, 2008

Three Cup Chicken, or Vegetarian's Three-Cup Mushrooms

Two cups? What cups? A cup, B, C...F or G cup for Gargantuan? :P How about three cups in equal sizes? Heeee.....

Hey you, I am talking about Three-Cup Chicken (三杯鸡 San Bei Ji). And it is NOT Three Cups of Chicken, either. This is another really simple yet robust dish, making use of easy available seasonings and....tapping on the aroma of fresh basil!

Simple. First, you need chicken (wings or other parts, fresh or frozen - up to you). Not Three Cups of chicken BUT the essentials THREE CUPS - each of equal amt. dark soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil - hence the name Three-Cup Chicken.

This dish is popular in Taiwan and so I had a go at it when I was in Taiwan. I've seen it demonstrated in some Taiwan cooking programmes but here, I have it tailored to more "homemade" cooking. Sure, use a claypot at the final stage if you wish. I don't have a claypot then, so made do without it. If you are vegetarian, you can try have a go at Three-Cup Mushrooms - easily another flavor- and fragrance- bombed dish.

Three Cup Chicken
Chicken wings(I use frozen and had it thawed), garlic, ginger, green onions, slice red chili (de-seed if you don't want too spicy), fresh basil

Seasoning: Proportion of sesame oil and dark soy sauce and cooking (rice) wine should be equal.

1. Heat up sesame oil in wok or pan
2. Add ginger to fry in sesame oil till it exudes aroma
3. Add chicken wings (that's what I use - frozen chicken wings that have been thawed), sear the chicken to brown on all sides
4. Add minced garlic, followed by dark soy sauce. Turn down heat to simmer 5-8 minutes. (Note: Taste test here - if too salty, add a little brown sugar to "tone" it down)
5.Turn heat up again when sauce is bubbling, add the Chinese wine (Note: when adding wine, do not drizzle directly on the chicken; instead slowly pour wine on the sides of the pan, allowing the heated metal to evaporate the alcohol content; this way, the fragrance of the wine is retained)
6.Cook till chicken is done and sauce has reduced (Note: At this stage, you can pre-heat a claypot on your stove, then pour the entire mixture into the claypot)
7. Add fresh basil and red chili last, mix well
8. Garnish with scallions. Best with steamed rice!


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