Three Cup Chicken – SAN BEI JI With Green Beans :Since Cathy Erway is the gal who inspired our week of eating in, we decided this would be the perfect time to try one of the recipes from her book. We were having one of our favorite foodie friends over for dinner and a brainstorming sesh (more on that later!), so we wanted something that was relatively quick and easy (didn’t wanna be serving dinner at 10pm), and hearty enough to feed the three of us yet would still yield leftovers for the next day’s lunch (if nothing else, our week of not eating out has been a huge exercise in the art of planning). We decided on San Bei Ji, a Taiwanese dish known as three cup chicken, that Erway made for one of her first dinner parties. The ingredients are pretty simple and the outcome is pretty tasty, especially with a good dollop of Sriracha to top it off.
San Bei Ji from The Art of Eating In by Cathy Erway
3 lbs. boneless chicken breasts and/or thighs, sliced against the grain to ¼-inch-thick pieces
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/3 cup plus 2 tsp. sesame oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup rice wine
20 cloves of garlic, smashed or coarsely chopped
20 slices of fresh ginger
2 – 3 dried whole red chiles (optional)
1 lb. green beans, ends trimmed and snapped in half
3 Tbsp. sugar
2 scallions, chopped
1 large bunch Thai basil leaves (Full disclosure: we used regular old basil. If we were better at planning we would’ve had time to try to find it somewhere other than Whole Foods)
Rice for serving
1. Mix chicken pieces in cornstarch and two teaspoons of soy sauce in a bowl. Cover and chill to marinate at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight.
2. In a large pan, heat sesame oil with the chilies, garlic, and ginger until oil just begins to bubble.
3. Add chicken and stir to brown pieces on all sides a little bit. Add rice wine, remaining soy sauce, and sugar. Stir until boiling, then cover.
4. Let simmer on medium-low until chicken is done, about 8 minutes. Add the green beans and basil and stir. Cover partially and continue cooking for 5 minutes.
5. Add scallions and toss once more.
6. Serve with white rice.