Thursday, March 4, 2010

Three Cup Chicken

The only place i've seen Three Cup Chicken on the menu that i can recall has been the Post-Mao Cafe in Little Bourke St, Melbourne. This restaurant really doesn't get the credit it deserves: admittedly, ordering off the standard menu is a ho-hum affair, but when you look at the special 'Maos Favorite Dishes' menu, the restaurant comes to life, with delicious, flavour packed meals such as velvety goldensand prawns, and rich, tender three-cup duck.
The name refers to the ingredients used as the core of the dish; equal parts soy, sesame oil and shaoxing wine. Of course, you only need a cup of each if you're cooking something like 2 kilos of chicken!The other integral ingredient (other than chicken or duck- duh!) is Thai basil. Thai basil, for which there is no substitute, is quite difficult to describe. It smells, and looks like basil, but the flavour is much more potent, with a hint of anise. Needless to say, with a whole bunch of basil in this dish for 3, it really is the most important ingredient. 


  • 500gm chicken thighs cut into large bites
  • 3 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp sweet soy
  • 1 tbsp regular soy
  • 3 tbsp michu or shaoxing cooking wine (i used michu)
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 6 1/2 cm thick slices of ginger


Heat the sesame oil in a wok or claypot over high heat.
Add the garlic and ginger and stir fry until fragrant.
Add the chicken and stir fry until mostly all white.
Add the soys and cooking wine and stir fry for 5- 10 minutes on high until chicken is cooked and sauce is reduced a bit. 
Remove from the heat; pour out any excess sauce and stir through the thai basil.
Serve with steamed rice. 

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