When I finished the HSC so many years ago, I took up a part time job waitressing at a local Chinese restaurant. The stint only lasted a few months, but offered me an insider’s look at how some Chinese staples are prepared. It was also during this time that I discovered Three Cup Chicken (San Bei Ji), a delicious casserole dish originating from Jiang Xi province made with equal shots of chilli oil, rice wine and soy sauce.
I’ve been making this dish quite regularly at home lately, thanks to a small investment in a claypot. These fickle little things are actually quite tricky to cook with for first timers. My first one exploded because I had the heat up too high. The key is to keep the flame on low and make sure the pot doesn’t withstand dramatic changes in temperature.
Recipe: Three Cup Chicken
(Adapted from Noobcook)
1/2 kilo of chicken thigh
1 small Chinese cabbage
5 cloves garlic, peeled & slightly bruised
2 stalks spring onions, cut to 2 inch lengths
1.5 tbsp sesame oil
1.5 tbsp chilli oil
1.5 tbsp light soy sauce
1.5 tbsp Chinese wine (Shaoxing wine/Hua Tiao Jiu)
1 tsp dark soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
A few fresh basil leaves (optional)
1. Heat sesame oil in wok, then add garlic cloves, shallots and chillies. Stir fry till fragrant.
2. Add chicken pieces and carrots. Stir fry until the surface are no longer pink.
3. Sizzle shaoxing wine and add light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, chilli oil and sugar. Stir evenly, and cover the lid to cook for about 6 minutes.
4. Line a clay pot with Chinese cabbage and fill with chicken. Close the lid and set on a small flame for 10-15 minutes.
5. Remove from heat and transfer to a padded surface.