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5 from 29 votes

Instant Pot Three Cup Chicken (San Bei Ji) 三杯鷄

Have a taste of Taiwan with this Classic Instant Pot Three Cup Chicken Recipe (San Bei Ji) 三杯鷄 in a fragrant, savory-spiced & slightly sweet secret sauce.
Servings 2 - 4
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 55 mins


Optional Thickener:

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water


  • 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) regular 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 1/2 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 regular 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.



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Author: Amy + Jacky
Calories: 304kcal


Calories: 304kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 127mg | Sodium: 491mg | Potassium: 358mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 105IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg