Three Teacup Chicken

Three Teacup Chicken is so good! A classic Chinese chicken dish with ginger, garlic, scallions, and soy sauce. Quick and easy! Takes only 20 minutes to make. One Pot.

Three Teacup Chicken
Elise Bauer

This recipe is a simple braised chicken dish called Three Teacup Chicken. The name comes from the basic preparation in which a teacup is traditionally used to measure the three key ingredients of the braising liquid—sugar, soy sauce, and rice vinegar.

This braising liquid and a hearty amount of garlic, ginger, and scallion creates a dish that is sweet, salty, sour, and savory (combining many tastes in one dish is key to successful Chinese cooking). If you want, you can add Sichuan peppercorns and star anise to develop more depth of flavor and a pleasant, tingly heat.

Three Teacup Chicken
Elise Bauer

Three Teacup Chicken

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Servings 6 servings


  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (use gluten-free soy sauce for gluten-free version)

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine or dry sherry

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed

  • 8 slices (1/4-inch thick) peeled ginger

  • 6 scallions, chopped

  • 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns or 1 diced red chili pepper (optional)

  • 2 pounds chicken breast or thighs cut into bite-sized pieces

  • 2 star anise or pinch of anise seed (optional)

  • 1/2 cup water


  1. Make the braising liquid:

    In a bowl combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, and Shaoxing wine together and mix well. Set aside.

  2. Sauté the garlic, ginger, scallions, and peppercorns:

    Heat a wok or large sauté pan on high heat until a drop of water will evaporate within 1-2 seconds. Place the oil in the wok and swirl. Add the garlic, ginger, scallions, and Sichuan peppercorns/chili pepper if using and stir-fry for 30 seconds or until fragrant.

  3. Add the chicken:

    Stir-fry until no pink on the surface remains (you just want to sear the outside nicely).

  4. Add the braising liquid and star anise:

    Cook for 1 minute ensuring that the chicken is well coated in the braising liquid.

  5. Add the water:

    Cover and cook for 4 more minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and no pink remains.

  6. Serve immediately:

    Serve over rice with hearty amounts of the broth. Garnish with a little extra chopped scallion.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
374 Calories
8g Fat
23g Carbs
49g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 374
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 11%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 129mg 43%
Sodium 708mg 31%
Total Carbohydrate 23g 8%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 49g
Vitamin C 7mg 35%
Calcium 55mg 4%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 760mg 16%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.