Friday, September 7, 2018

Taiwanese Three Cup Chicken

Three Cup Chicken is a very popular Taiwanese dish. My Aunt once made it for me and I watched her carefully. At the time my question was Why is it called Three Cup Chicken - is it because it makes 3 cups of Chicken?  The answer was that the sauce was made up of 3 cups of Sesame Oil, Rice Wine and Soy Sauce. But she reminded me that she was talking about teacups - not measuring cups! The other flavoring include a bit of Sugar along with Thai Basil and some Scallions (Green Onion tops) that are added at the end to maintain the aromatic flavors. This dish is traditionally served over Rice.

I like to make it with the Chicken Things cut into small pieces and I use Low Sodium Tamari so the dish isn't too salty. I also use Taiwan Rice Wine, which is clear (and Gluten Free). This dish is really quick and easy to make and absolutely delicious!  

Taiwanese Three Cup Chicken

2 pounds boneless, skinless Chicken Thighs (about 6) cut into 1 inch pieces
1/3 cup toasted Sesame Oil
8 Garlic Cloves, sliced thin
1 chunk of Ginger (about 1" square), peeled and sliced and then cut in half
1/3 cup Low Sodium Tamari
1/3 cup Taiwan Rice Wine
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 handful of Thai Basil Leaves
2 Green Onions, green tops only sliced into small pieces

Heat a sauce pan over medium high heat and add in the Sesame Oil.  Then add in the Garlic and Green Onion. Cook until you can smell the fragrance.  Then add in the Chicken and cook until the Chicken is no longer pink.  Pour in the Tamari, Rice Wine and Sugar. Stir until Sugar is absorbed and the sauce comes to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Sprinkle with the Thai Basil and Green Onions. Toss to combine and serve with Rice.

Five Element Analysis

Chicken belongs to the Wood Element and the Tamari and Sesame Oil contribute the Water Element. The Metal Element is found in the Garlic, Thai Basil and Green Onions. The last two ingredients also bring in some more of the Wood Element. The Fire Element is found in the Rice Wine. Only the Earth Element is a bit deficient - it is found in the Sugar and Gingers so I served this dish with a Cucumber Salad to bring in more Earth and the White Rice contributes more Metal to make a balanced meal. 

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