Three Cup Chicken Recipe (San Bei Ji)
Prepare time: 10 min
Cook: 45 min
Ready in: 55 min

Have a taste of Taiwan with this Classic Signature Comfort Food – Instant Pot Three Cup Chicken Recipe (San Bei Ji) 三杯鷄! One bite after another, you’ll be captivated by the tender chicken soaked in this fragrantsavory-spiced & slightly sweet secret sauce!!


  • 8 chicken drumsticks (827g), chopped (or whole)
  • ¼ cup (63ml) sesame oil
  • ¼ cup (63ml) rice cooking wine or Shaoxing rice wine
  • ¼ cup (63ml) light soy sauce (not low sodium soy sauce)
  • 15 grams (1 tbsp) rock sugar (raw cane sugar) 黃冰糖
  • 32 grams ginger, peeled & thinly sliced
  • 14 garlic cloves, peeled & crushed
  • 3 dried Chinese red chili
  • ½ tablespoon (7.5ml) dark soy sauce
  • 10 – 16 fresh Thai basil leaves

Optional Thickener

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch + 2 tablespoons water


1Prepare Pressure Cooker: Heat up your pressure cooker over medium heat (Instant Pot: press Sauté button). Make sure your pot is as hot as it can be (Instant Pot: wait until indicator says HOT).

2Sauté Ginger and Garlic: Add ¼ cup (63ml) sesame oil, 32g sliced ginger, and 14 garlic cloves in the pressure cooker. Sauté for 30 seconds until fragrant.


3Sauté Chicken Drumsticks: Add in the chopped or whole chicken drumsticks. Then, sauté for 3 minutes. Pour in ¼ cup (63ml) rice cooking wine and let it boil for a minute to evaporate some of the alcohol content.

4Pressure Cook Chicken: Add ¼ cup (63ml) light soy sauce, 3 dried Chinese red chili, and 15g (1 tbsp) rock sugar. Close the lid and pressure cook at

For Chopped Chicken Drumsticks: High Pressure for 5 minutes + 10 minutes Natural Release or

For Whole Chicken Drumsticks: High Pressure for 8 minutes + 10 minutes Natural Release.
Open the lid carefully.

5Thicken Sauce: Place chicken pieces in a large serving bowl. Heat up your pressure cooker (Instant Pot: press Sauté button), and bring the sauce back to a boil. Add in roughly ½ tbsp (7.5ml) dark soy sauce to give it some color and sweeten it a little.

Optional: Mix 2 tbsp of cornstarch with 2 tbsp of water and stir the mixture into the sauce one third at a time until desired thickness.

6Taste & Adjust Seasoning: Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning with more light soy sauce if necessary. Stir in 10 – 16 fresh Thai basil leaves.


7Serve: Pour the sauce into the large serving bowl with chicken. Mix well. Serve immediately with your favorite side dish.





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