The Recipe

Taiwanese Chicken and Rice 

San Bei Ji "Three-Cup Chicken"

With Sesame Bok Choy 

As Ling-wen Tsai, from Tianan, Taiwan, and her partner, Nathan Kolosko, taught Lindsay Sterling in Portland, Maine, February 2015.

Serves 4-5
Cooking Time: 1 night (marinating) + 1 hour active

4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
2 Tbsp + 2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp + 1 tsp Taiwanese rice cooking wine (find this at an Asian market)
2 cups short grain rice
4 cups water
6 green onions
4 inches fresh ginger root
2 tsp Taiwanese chili-bean paste (find this at an Asian market)
2 bunches fresh Thai basil (find this at an Asian market)

Use a cleaver (or ask butcher) to cut chicken thighs into 1-inch bone-in, skin-on chunks. Check the cut bone ends with your fingers and remove any loose fragments. (The bones help give the sauce body and flavor). Marinate the chicken pieces ideally over night with 2 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 Tbsp sesame oil, and 1 tsp rice cooking wine. 

Cook short grain rice with water according to package directions. Scrape the skin off the ginger root with the tip of a spoon or the back of a knife. Slice ginger into paper thin rounds on a mandolin. Slice the green onions into thirds crosswise and then into quarters lengthwise so you have thin segments. Pick Thai basil leaves off the stems. 

Heat wok with 1 Tbsp sesame oil on high. When hot, add the marinated chicken. Cook without stirring until the moisture leaves and the chicken pieces begin to caramelize (turn deep golden brown) (about 4 minutes). Stir. Add green onions and ginger slices, and turn heat to low and cover.

After 3 or 4 minutes, stir in 2 tsp Taiwanese chili-bean paste (remove the beans), 1 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp cooking wine, and 1 tsp sesame oil. Let cook 3 more minutes or as long as needed until chicken is completely cooked. Mix in fresh Thai basil leaves. Serve in a bowl family style along with a bowl of short grain rice and a vegetable dish, such as sesame bok choy (below).

Sesame Bok Choy 

2 Tbsp sesame oil
6 cloves garlic, sliced
1-2 lb bok choy
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp tri-colored or black pepper

Cut bok choy stems into 1-inch segments and leaves into two-inch segments, keeping them in separate groups. In wok on high seat, saute garlic in sesame oil for 2 minutes. Add the bok choy stems and saute about 3 minutes before adding bok choy leaves, and cook for another two minutes. Add salt and pepper.

Copyright 2015 Lindsay Sterling