三杯雞 Sanbeiji (Taiwanese 3-Cup Chicken)

from TimeOutShanghai.com, actually*

from TimeOutShanghai.com, actually*

If you don’t try to blog every day, suddenly you look up and realize it’s been a week or more since you posted anything. I’m still writing for a few projects, it’s just that they are not bloggable, I suppose. That, and I’m packing everything I own into 8 boxes or fewer in order to move countries. There is that, too.

I am preparing to leave Taiwan for my next adventure in Shanghai.

One of the signature dishes in Taiwan, and one of the first that was shared with me by a local Taiwanese friend, is Sanbeiji, 三杯雞, literally 3-Cup Chicken. It takes its name as the sauce is basically 1 part soy sauce, 1 part saké, and 1 part oil– just braise the chicken and sauce it, topping it all with a ton of fresh basil. That’s basically about it, super quick and easy and thus a favorite for college students who want to not eat at the 7-11 or Family Mart that day. I’ve found it’s best with a few other ingredients to help it along, too.

SANBEIJI

1 lb. chicken pieces, thickly sliced
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin (or saké with 2 tsp. sugar)
1/4 cup sesame oil
1 tbsp. fresh ginger, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
4 scallions, finely chopped
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced

Steps
1. Sear the chicken in a dry pan until you can move the chicken without it sticking.
2. Combine the sauces together then add to the pan, stirring with the chicken.
3. Cover and stew the chicken for about 8 – 10 minutes.
4. Uncover and add the ginger, garlic, basil, and scallions. Crack some black pepper over everything.
5. Continue cooking until the sauces is reduced, another 10 – 12 minutes or more. In the last few minutes, add the tomatoes for brightness and sweetness but don’t overcook them.
6. Serve the chicken and basil over white rice, removing from the stew. If desired, use a flour rou or continue reducing the sauce to thicken it and top the chicken.

So on my way out the door, here’s one more, 3-Cup, for the road…

*The picture comes from a review at TimeOutShanghai.com, a Taiwanese restaurant that has whole garlic roasted with their Sanbeiji

 

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Bourbon Soy Chicken & Mushrooms

Rainy monsoon days during the weekend means trying to clean out the cupboards … which can lead to playful and interesting results.

2014-06-15 12.43.07

BOURBON SOY CHICKEN & MUSHROOMS

olive oil
1 small onion, diced
4 shittake mushrooms, diced (1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms)
2 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp rosemary
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp 5-spice powder
2 – 3 chicken breasts, thickly sliced
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp cup black vinegar
1/4 cup bourbon

Steps
1. Heat the oil in a frying pan and add onions, until just starting to brown.
2. Add the mushrooms and continue frying until mushrooms have shrunk and browned, about 2-3 minutes
3. Add the garlic and the spices and toss for 30 seconds.
4. Add the chicken and toss, allow the chicken to sear a bit.
5. Mix the liquids together then pour over the chicken. Mix, cover and cook while the sauce is bubbling for 3-4 mintues.
6. Uncover and allow the mix to reduce for another 5 minutes or so, tossing the chicken one or two more times.
7. Serve over white rice or buttered noodles.

The whole thing is quite tasty without being too rich. It’s like a chicken marsala, really, which is just a mushroom-wine reduction, but this adds a bit of Asian flavor and is slightly more sweet. Next time I might try for more extremes, such as adding some pineapple or raisins for even more sweetness.