Three Teacup Chicken: A Delicious And Easy Recipe

This recipe is for a simple, yet delicious three teacup chicken dish. I first came across this dish when I was in China and it quickly became one of my favorites. The best part about it is that it only requires three ingredients: chicken, green tea, and soy sauce.

I love this dish because it is so easy to make and can be enjoyed any time of day. Whether you are looking for a quick lunch or a light dinner, this dish is perfect.

Three Teacup Chicken

Prep Time

5 mins

Cook Time

15 mins

Total Time

20 mins


6 servings

Three Teacup Chicken


  • soy sauce
  • rice vinegar
  • sugar
  • Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
  • sesame oil
  • garlic cloves
  • ginger slices
  • scallions
  • Sichuan peppercorns or diced red chili pepper (optional)


  • In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, Shaoxing wine or dry sherry, and sesame oil.
  • Peel and thinly slice the garlic cloves. Peel and thinly slice the ginger. Trim and thinly slice the scallions, separating the white parts from the green parts.
  • If using Sichuan peppercorns, toast them in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant, if using diced red chili pepper, seed it and dice it.
  • Place a wok or large skillet over high heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the garlic, ginger, white part of the scallions, Sichuan peppercorns or diced red chili pepper (if using), and chicken breasts (skin-side down if desired). Stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant then add the soy sauce mixture to deglaze the pan/wok.
  • If you don’t want to use alcohol simply leave it out & substitute it with additional chicken broth OR water!
  • Just be sure to adjust your seasonings accordingly since there will no longer be an acidic component to this dish especially important if marinating your chicken ahead.
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Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 260
  • Fat: 10 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2 g
  • Cholesterol: 72 mg
  • Sodium: 962 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 11 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Sugar: 7 g
  • Protein 28 g

What is three teacup chicken, and why is it called that?

Three Teacup Chicken is a classic Chinese dish that gets its name from the fact that equal amounts of soy sauce, shaoxing cooking wine, and sesame oil are used in the recipe. The dish consists of ginger, garlic, scallions, and soy sauce. Three teacup chicken gets its name from the three key ingredients: soy sauce, shaoxing cooking wine, and sesame oil. These three ingredients form the base of the dish, and when combined in equal parts give the dish its unique flavor profile.

The dish is traditionally made with chicken thighs or drumsticks, but can be made with any cut of chicken you prefer. I like to use boneless skinless chicken breasts for this recipe because they cook evenly and stay moist during cooking. If you use bone-in chicken pieces make sure to adjust your cooking time accordingly so that the meat is cooked through but not dry or overcooked.

To make three teacup chicken at home follow these simple steps:

  • Combine soy sauce, shaoxing wine, and sesame oil in a bowl or measuring cup and stir to combine; set aside
  • Prepare your ginger, garlic, and scallions by peeling/chopping as needed. I like to mince my garlic and slice my ginger thinly so it disperses evenly throughout the dish while cooking. For this recipe you will need about 1-2 tablespoons each of minced garlic and thinly sliced ginger (or 3-4 cloves garlic & 1 inch piece ginger). Adjust as necessary based on your preferences
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How do you make three teacup chicken?

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, soy sauce and rice vinegar.
  • Place the chicken breasts in a large resealable bag or container and pour in the marinade. Make sure each chicken breast is well coated in the marinade.
  • Let the chicken marinate for at least 30 minutes, up to 12 hours if possible.
  • When you’re ready to cook the chicken, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add a bit of oil to coat the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the garlic and ginger to the pan and cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the chicken breasts (discarding any remaining marinade) and cook until browned and cooked through, 4-5 minutes per side depending on their thickness.

What are some variations of three teacup chicken?

There are many variations of the Three Teacup Chicken dish, but they all typically contain ginger, garlic, scallions, and soy sauce. The chicken used in the dish is usually the Serama Bantam, which is the smallest chicken breed in the world.

The Serama Bantam is a popular choice for this dish because of its small size; however, other chicken breeds can also be used. Some variations of Three Teacup Chicken may also include additional ingredients such as rice wine or sesame oil.

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