Monday, June 28, 2010

Taiwanese Three Cup Chicken 三杯雞

Several times, people have asked me what real Chinese food is. Moreover, what is Taiwanese food? I guess that is quite difficult to decide what is Taiwanese food because the food of Taiwan incorporates Japanese and various Chinese regional influences upon its dishes. For the dish I am blogging about today is one of my favorites that my mom often makes. It is called san bei ji (literally 3 cup chicken). It is quite flavorful and can be eaten quickly with several hundred bowls of rice because it is so delicious. I doubt you can find this dish in many Chinese restaurants around America or find any Taiwanese restaurants in general except in California, Washington DC, and New York.

Also, I think people need to know how to tear apart a whole chicken. The other day, I went to Ralphs and chicken was on sale for about 50% off or more. The thing is ... I saw people ignore the whole chicken and proceeded to buy 2 chicken breasts for twice the price of a whole chicken -_-. So everyone just youtube quartering chicken, and there should be videos about how to do it. With some practice, you should be able to master it.

Three Cup Chicken 三杯雞

2 Chicken thigh and leg (from a quartered chicken)
1/4 cup Soy sauce
1/4 cup Rice wine
1/4 cup Sugar
5 Chinese red chili peppers (I like mine spicy)
Handful of Thai basil or 1/2 cup loosely packed (regular basil works too apparently)

Prep work
1. De-bone the meat from the chicken thigh and leg
2. Slice the chicken into strips or cubes
3. Place chicken in a bowl and mix enough corn starch to lightly coat the chicken (2 tbs)
4. In a cup, stir together the soy sauce, rice wine, and sugar

1. Heat pan
2. Add oil (1-2 tbs canola oil) enough to coat the pan.
3. Add chicken and cracked chili peppers to heated oil and cook around for about 4-5 minutes occasionally stirring.
4. Add sauce and cover pan for about 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked fully
5. Turn off heat and add basil and cover for 1 minute
6. Enjoy with several million bowls of rice

On a side note, you can reduce the spicy level by adding 0 or a little bit of chili peppers.

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