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Monday, January 3, 2011

Three Cups Chicken

Hi there!!! Still in holiday mood? Or glad the kids are back to school?
I'm back from my Christmas blogging break and I'm still on leave
Yes, will be back to work in March 2012. Still a long way to go, but time flies.

I’ve done 3 cups tofu and now, 3 cups chicken. And I’ve got to say, with chilli is definitely nicer.
My father in law ate a lot of rice the night I served this and it made all of us smile, because he hasn’t been having good appetite for quite some time.

Three Cups Chicken
Source: Wendyywy, based on my experience with 3 cups tofu
recipe for 4-6 pax

500gm boneless chicken whole legs, cut into 6-8 pieces each (3 medium sized)
1/3 tsp salt
60gm ginger (2 big toe sized knobs), sliced 1 cm thick and smashed
60gm onion (1 medium sized onion), cut into 8 wedges and loosened.
20gm garlic (4 large cloves), skin on, lightly smashed
1 red chilli, deseeded and cut into 1 inch pieces
50ml sesame oil (or use 3.5Tbsp )
50ml light soy sauce
50ml Shao Xing wine or rice wine
1 handful of Thai basil, leaves only
1 sprig spring onion, cut into 2 inch lengths

1. Marinate chicken with salt for 15 minutes.
2. Heat wok until very hot. Put in loosened onion wedges and toss them around with spatula. Put in ½ tsp oil (yes very little) and toss toss toss until the edges are browned. This step only takes a while if your wok is very very hot. Dish up and set aside.
3. Let the wok remain very hot, put in sesame oil and when the oil gets hot, put in ginger and fry for 10 seconds, then the smashed garlic. Cook until the ginger looks slightly golden and the garlic look golden too. Put in chilli and toss for a while.
4. Put in chicken pieces and cook until meat turns opaque and juices almost turning dry.
5. Put in cooking wine and light soy sauce and cook until gravy is dry (you’ll see oil rather than gravy). Return browned onions to the wok and toss.
6. Put in spring onion. Toss.
7. Put in basil, turn off the heat and toss.
8. Dish up and serve.

This dish is quick to cook and it should not take you more than 10 mins cooking time.


  1. welcome back wendy! hope you had a good rest and enjoyable holidays! 3 cups chicken really taste better with chilli! i could almost smell the aroma from my pc screen!

  2. That looks like a dish I would eat a lot of along with several bowls of rice, and I don't even eat that much rice. I'll be sure to try this out one day when I'm adventurous enough to cook. Whenever I cook meat, it ends up totally different from the original recipe.

  3. Jess,
    LOL, so geng ah?

    Cooking meat Chinese way has a lot to do with the heat of the wok. It sure does take practice.
    I'm sure you can cook meat dishes well one day.


  4. simple and looks delicious! so with this '3 cup chicken' can i shout 3 toasts with you for a better 2011? yum seng! yummm seng! yuummmm SENG!

  5. Delicious dish! Waiting for more of your mouthwatering cooking and baking! Happy New Year!

  6. hi there, happy new year :) you juz cooked a delicious dish there, like it so much.. thanks for sharing the recipe ;)

  7. i'd help my mom cooked 3-cups-chicken before following an old chinese cookery book from china. they seriously used 3 small cups (those 'pai san' cups') for full measurement. honestly, i was shocked i mean come-on 3 cups of cholesterol, high blood pressure n almost liver damaged alcohol...ok sorry i exaggerated! taste wise awesome!

    but then wendy, i looked at the pics before reading the title, it looks like 'kung pao chicken' to me minus the nuts. yup definitely goes with rice 'song fan' kind of dish...yum!

  8. Great to see you posting your wonderful recipes again! I love 3 cups chicken....but always have no fresh basil. Will try out your recipe soon. Happy New year!!

  9. Sooo goood to see you back! Had a horrible start as school reopens to day...and yeah! my bro just passed me a netbook to use in school, just nice for me!!

  10. Lena,
    Thankyou, Thankyou, Thankyou :)


    Thanks, you're welcomed

    Lisa L.
    Hmm, the KungPao chicken here consist of no nuts :p
    But then, sesame oil is good for you, a good source of omega 6, and it's not high in cholesterol, instead it lowers blood pressure.
    There is so much goodness in sesame oil that it is inevitable in Chinese confinement food. A must in everything post labour ladies consume.
    So, don't worry about it being bad for you.

    Use Sweet Basil, works as well. I'm sure supermarkets carry sweet basil.

  11. Wah, you are on leave till March, so nice :) I like 3 cup chicken very much, tried once before but it's a bit salty for me. Will try your recipe next time.

  12. Min,
    I think maybe it has to do with your soy sauce gua.
    I used Knife brand this time.
    Some brands are rather salty.

  13. Jenn@ChasingFoodDreamsJanuary 4, 2011 at 11:11 AM

    Happy New Year to you & yr family!

    Looks simply and delicious, will try this for CNY! Tq.. as usual..

  14. This is absolutely an appetizing dish and serve well with rice yum yum!

  15. Wendy, Hope you enjoyed your break,I am on holidays myself and tried 3 of your recipes, Siew Yoke the taste and crackling fantastic!!! Salted ducks egg chicken and your tofu with the left over egg whites.Thank you for those recipes. Happy New Year to you and your family.

  16. wohoo back to blogging. i just ate this at a taiwanese restaurant.. love it with basil!!!

    I'm gona make this and pack for lunch...

  17. I love this dish Wendy ;) . Tq for sharing it ;) here's the link

  18. Do I need to add water for this dish, wendy? I realized you put water for 3 cups tofu. jaynelle

  19. I've tried this, it;s very fragrant, tasted very salty ..jaynelle

  20. Jaynelle,
    I didn't add water because chicken usually releases water as it cooks. This dish is not meant to have lots of gravy, plus after cooling down, the chicken and the condiments continue to release liquids.
    Some brands of soy sauce are more salty than others.

  21. Hi Wendy, i followed your recipe and it turned out pretty good! Thank you so much for sharing.


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