SanBeiJi – Taiwanese Three Cup Chicken Recipe

by | Last updated Feb 5, 2021 | Chicken Recipe, Chinese Recipe, Recipe

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Authentic SanBeiJi (Three Cups Chicken) Recipe that everyone can do it at home. My San Bei Ji recipe was shared by a Taiwanese friend where she told me that this is her mother’s recipe, an authentic Taiwanese flavor!

SanBeiJi Recipe Taiwan Three Cup Chicken

Three Cups Chicken? What are the Three Cups?

As the name says, this chicken dish is cooked with three cups of sauces, they are;

Sesame oil, Soy Sauce and Wine.

Traditionally, the San Bei Ji is cooked in a clay pot for the chicken to absorb all the sauce and creating a slightly seared chicken that gives the chicken dish a very aromatic aroma!

three cups chicken recipe

Authentic Taiwanese SanBeiJi Recipe

I was lucky that during my stay in Taiwan, I met a friend who willing to share her family recipe with her. I was even lucky enough that I met her mother and she showed me how this SanBeiJi is supposed to be done. Hence I am able to share this recipe with you guys!

Author have a say…

San Bei Ji literally translate to Three Cups Chicken, this dish although rose to frame in Taiwan but its actually originated from Jiangxi, China, a specialty of Ningdu. So, what are the 3 cups? They are sesame oil, soy sauce and wine (can be rice wine, shao xing wine or mixture of both). The flavors combination of these 3 are balance with sugar, basil, ginger, garlic and onion.

Source  :  Wiki

SanBeiJi - Taiwan Three Cup Chicken Recipe

SanBeiJi Recipe Taiwan Three Cup Chicken
Ethan Wong
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5 from 1 vote

SanBeiJi literally translated as Three Cups Chicken. The Taiwanese San Bei Ji must be cooked with 3 cups of sauce, namely sesame oil, soy sauce, and wine. I learnt this dish during my stay as a private chef in Taipei, the combination of ingredients pull off intense aromatic flavours!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Difficulty Medium
Servings 4 people


  • 1 whole Chicken (chopped)
  • 6 tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 6 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 6 tbsp Wine (Rice Wine, Shao Xing Wine or a mixture of both)
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 knob Ginger (sliced)
  • 50 g Garlic (whole clove)
  • 100 g Onion (chopped)
  • 1 cup Basil
  • 2 pcs Chili (sliced - add more if you like spicy)
  • 1 stalk Spring Onion (cut into 1 inches length)
  • Water (enough to cover the chicken)
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  • Preheat the pan with sesame oil.
  • With high heat, add chopped chicken to sear to brown edges. Then remove seared chicken from pan.
  • With medium heat, add sliced ginger and pan-fry to aromatic.
  • Then add chopped onion and sweat the onion to cook away the rawness.
  • Add garlic, chili and spring onion and continue pan-frying them.
  • As the garlic starts to brown, add sugar and caramelized sugar.
  • Then add the seared chicken back into the pan and stir fry to mix them together.
  • Add soy sauce and then add wine.
  • Switch heat to high heat and then add water.
  • Let it braise for 15 minutes or until the gravy thickens.
  • Once the gravy thickens, switch to medium heat and add basil and stir to mix together.
  • When basil has softened, remove from heat and serve.



Calories : 276kcalCarbohydrates : 15gProtein : 4gFat : 21gSaturated Fat : 3gCholesterol : 1mgSodium : 1514mgPotassium : 184mgFiber : 1gSugar : 8gVitamin A : 346IUVitamin C : 8mgCalcium : 44mgIron : 1mg
Allergy : Meat
*These Nutritional Values have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration
Keyword san bei ji, sanbeiji, sanbeiji recipe, three cups chicken

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Ethan Wong

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I curate recipes during my free time. Currently, I am occupied with a new superfood snack that I have just launch – Truly Gourmet. Oh yeah, I spend my break time learning to code.
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