Three Cups Chicken

Dad: "KELLEY, KELLEY! I forgot to tell you something really, really important!"

Kelley: *panics* Oh no. I must have forgotten to do something for UCLA. Did I forget to submit something? Did I miss another housing deadline? WHAT DID I DO WRONG?! "What?! What did you forget to tell me?"

Dad: "The Three Cups Chicken you cooked last night was AMAZING!"

Kelley: "…"

A few things about this conversation. First of all, everything was spoken in Chinese (except the words in my head- that was in English). Second of all, I am usually a very high-strung person. And I missed a UCLA housing deadline recently and had to pay the $25 late fee. Therefore, I usually FLIP OUT when people scare me like that. Third of all, my dad enjoys freaking me out. When I was little, and I would scream for him to come and kill the spider that would supposedly eat me if he didn't come right away, he would kill the spider and then pretend to eat it. Of course, that didn't help my character very much.

Three cups chicken. Doesn't that sound funny? It sounds so much better in Chinese, I assure you. One of my favorite dishes is Three Cups Squid, but I didn't have squid on hand when I tried this recipe. So, three cups chicken it is. This recipe is adapted from Rasa Malaysia. Rasa Malaysia has amazing Asian recipes. If you like Asian food (ME!), you should go check it out. The photography is pro as well. Well, when you suck at taking pictures (ME!), all photography looks pro. But no really. Their photography is pro.

Three Cups Chicken

  • 1 lb chicken (I used chicken thighs)
  • 4 slices ginger, julienned
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped roughly
  • 2 tbs sesame oil
  • 3 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 ½ tbs rice wine
  • 1 ½ tbs white sugar or 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 4-5 basil leaves
  • 1 tbs baking soda

  1. Cut the chicken into pieces of desired size (you can use all boneless meat if you want).
  2. Sprinkle the baking soda all over the chicken, and stir until the surfaces are covered. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  3. Rinse off the chicken thoroughly with water. Make sure all the baking soda is gone. Pat the chicken pieces dry and set aside.
  4. Heat a clay pot (or wok) on high heat and add the sesame oil. When heated, toss in the garlic and ginger and stir-fry (爆香*).
  5. Toss in the chicken pieces, and stir-fry for about 30 seconds. Toss in the soy sauce, rice wine, and the sugar. Continue to stir-fry the chicken.
  6. Place a lid on the clay pot/ wok and turn down the heat to low. Let the chicken simmer for 5-7 minutes.
  7. Toss in the basil leaves and stir well with the chicken for another 2-3 minutes.
  8. Serve with rice! Because that's how Asians do it. ^-^v

*爆香, or "bao xiang" is a phrase that describes stir-frying aromatic vegetables (garlic, onions, scallions, ginger, etc) in oil.

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