Jul 29, 2009

Chicken in Three Cups Sauce

This tasty Three Cup Sauce Chicken is a very popular and tasty Chinese dish, in memory of the last meal of the righteous senior minister Wen (文天祥) of late Sung Dynasty as some suggested. An old lady, who thought Minister Wen was dead, intended to go worship him bringing with her some chicken and wine. She then surprising found him alive in jail and so prepared his last meal with the limited ingredients with the jail officer who also greatly respected the virtuous minister. Three cup sauce refers to one (small) cup of oil, wine, and soy sauce each and along with other ingredients brings out the very nice and subtle flavor of the chicken. The dish has been passed on in China since the historic times!


1 lb. chicken pieces
2 Tbsp sesame oil
20 g ginger, cut into slices
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp red pepper, sliced
3 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp Rice wine
2 Tbsp rock sugar, crushed (can substitute sugar)
1 Tbsp Taiwanese basil (I used thyme)


1. In a large pot boil 3 cups of water and 1 tsp salt and cook chicken in water for 3 minutes. Drain the chicken pieces.

2. In a separate frying pan heat the sesame oil over medium high heat, add the ginger, garlic and red pepper and cook until the garlic is lightly browned.

3. Add the chicken pieces to the same pan and cook until almost done, about 8 minutes. Add remaining ingredients to pan and stir fry until fragrant and sauce is mostly absorbed.

4. Serve hot with rice and vegetables.

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