Ginger Basil Chicken

Known as Taiwanese Three Cup Chicken.


  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 2-to-3-inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced into coins, approximately 12
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 4 whole scallions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 dried red peppers or 1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 2 pounds chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • ½ cup rice wine
  • ¼ cup light soy sauce
  • 2 cups fresh Thai basil leaves or regular basil leaves


Dry brine the thighs.  Salt thighs under skin and non-skin side with kosher salt.  Place on plate in fridge for ~2 hours allowing skin to dry a bit.  Heat oil in skillet on medium-high and place thighs skin side down.  Cook 5-7 minutes.  Turn thighs over and cook for another 3-4 minutes.  Rest in pan on counter while proceeding with the following:

  1. Heat a wok over high heat and add 2 tablespoons sesame oil. When the oil shimmers, add the ginger, garlic, scallions and red peppers, and cook until fragrant, approximately 2 minutes.
  2. Scrape the aromatics to the sides of the wok, add remaining oil and allow to heat through. Add the chicken.
  3. Add sugar and stir to combine, then add the rice wine and soy sauce, and bring just to a boil. Lower the heat, then simmer until the sauce has reduced and started to thicken, approximately 15 minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat, add the basil and stir to combine. Serve with white rice.



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