This paper discusses the evolution of the dish 'Three-Cup Chicken' in Taiwan. The earliest recipe of three-cup chicken appeared in 1956. Shortly afterwards, newspapers suggested it was a dish from Jiangxi Province. To explore the origin and evolution of this dish, this paper first examines Jiangxi local gazetteers and cookbooks from both Ming-Qing and Republican eras. While there are no records of the term 'Three-Cup Chicken' in these sources, there were many dishes that were similar to Three-Cup Chicken. For example, in the Republican era, a chicken dish called 'Xinfeng Chicken' (Xinfeng is a place in the southern part of Jiangxi Province), was similar to three cup chicken. After World War Two, this dish was passed on by Chinese mainlander writers, and the saying that 'Three-Cup Chicken originated from Jiangxi' emerged. On the other hand, native Taiwanese local senior chefs and restaurant owners believe that Three-Cup Chicken originated in Taiwan. They believe that this dish was developed to serve two purposes: 1) to reduce the amount of rice wine for women to eat after childbirth; and 2) to increase the length of the period during which it would remain edible, which derives from the concept of frugality. In addition, Taiwanese farmers cooked Three-Cup Chicken using sesame oil, rice wine, and soy, and after 1970s, this combination of seasoning for this dish was promoted as 'native chicken village'. In short, this paper argues that there are two explanations of the emergence of Three-Cup Chicken in Taiwan. The first one is that it was developed by Chinese mainlanders, who did not incorporate the ingredients of sesame oil and basil until the 1970s; while the second one is that it emerged from local senior Taiwanese chefs and restaurant owners who provided the context, the motivation for changes to the dish, and the eventual cooking methods of Three-Cup Chicken. All these factors reasonably explain the character of dish at present.
|Translated title of the contribution||Legend and Taste: In Search of the Evolution of 'Three-Cup Chicken' in Modern Taiwan|
|Original language||Chinese (Traditional)|
|Number of pages||45|
|Publication status||Published - Apr 1 2020|
- Three-Cup Chicken
- Native Chicken Village
- soy sauce