Three Cups Chicken

Three Cups Chicken

Three Cups Chicken

As regular readers might already know, Clan Paleovirtus has a habit of celebrating birthdays and other special occasions and anniversaries at our favourite restaurant in town – Kin Long.

Mrs. Paleovirtus’ go-to dish on the menu is their wonderful Three Cups Chicken.

I’ve wanted to have a crack at recreating the dish at home since mid-January, and what better time than for an early Valentines Day dinner?

Right, let’s talk Paleo. The original version of this dish contains soy sauce, which as per usual I swapped out for fish sauce.

Similarly, the sugar in the original was replaced by coconut sugar. So far so Paleo.

From a Paleo perspective, however, the elephant in the room is the use of quite a lot of Saké, not only an alcoholic beverage, but one made from a grain, too.

Your call. I usually use it only in small amounts, but here I decided in favour of using quite a lot more of it as it’s a special occasion, and not an everyday occurrence, a bit of a treat if you will, a couple of times a year indulgence.


Generally speaking, not too bad for a first attempt.

The taste was definitely thereabouts, although Mrs. Paleovirtus opined that ours was a little hotter than our beloved restaurant’s version, so perhaps next time I’ll use only 1 chilli.

We also thought the sauce could do with being a bit thicker. This could probably be solved by keeping the actual chicken warm in a low oven, and then reducing the sauce down over high heat until the desired consistency is obtained.

Certainly an encouraging start, though. Hurrah!

Three Cups Chicken


  • 5 spring onions (scallions), thinly sliced
  • 2dl sesame oil
  • 2dl Saké
  • 2dl fish sauce
  • a 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 red bird’s eye chillies, finely chopped
  • 900g skinless, boneless, chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 1 large bunch Thai basil leaves
  • coconut oil
  • sesame seeds
  • hot chilli flakes


  • In a measuring jug combine the Saké, the fish sauce, the sesame oil, and the sugar. Mix well until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
  • Heat 4 tbsp of coconut oil in a non-stick wok over medium heat. Stir fry the garlic, ginger, and chillies for 2 minutes.
  • Add the spring onions (scallions), and stir fry for 2 minutes.
  • Add the chicken pieces, and stir fry until the chicken has lost its pink, raw, colour, about 5 minutes or so.
  • Add the Saké, fish sauce, sesame oil and sugar mixture. Bring up to a simmer, and cook for 20 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add the Thai basil leaves, and stir well. Remove the pan from the heat. Serve, garnished with sesame seeds and hot chilli flakes, and together with a side of egg fried cauliflower rice.


Use a fish sauce that contains fish, water, and salt. You’re probably best looking in an Asian store for genuine Thai fish sauce, although if you’re in Britain Tesco’s own fish sauce fits the bill. I currently use Thanh Ha Phu Quoc.


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