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 fragrant, savory-spiced & slightly sweet secret sauce!!
First, peel & thinly sliced the ginger. Then, peel & crush the garlic cloves.
Optional Step: chop the chicken drumsticks in pieces (as shown in photo below).
Pro Tip: The authentic Taiwanese Three Cup Chicken dish uses chopped chicken drumsticks. But, you can opt out from chopping if you like.
However, the chopped chicken came out more flavorful than the whole chicken drumsticks as we were testing this recipe. This is because the chopped chicken were able to absorb more flavors during the cooking process.
Prepare 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).
Sauté 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.
Sauté 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.
Pressure 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.
Thicken 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.
Taste & Adjust Seasoning: Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning with more light soy sauce if necessary. Stir in 10 – 16 fresh Thai basil leaves.
Serve: Pour the sauce into the large serving bowl with chicken. Mix well. Serve immediately with your favorite side dish.