Asian-Style Chicken Drumsticks

With summer in full swing it is time to get creative with the sauces for your meat.

Pack away the heavy casserole dishes and take out your salad bowls and barbecue utensils. I hope you like drumsticks because there are a few recipes heading your way in the coming weeks. You can have a lot of fun with marinades and sauces by making them savoury, spicy or sweet and sticky – the choice is yours. This dish isn’t strictly Chinese but all the ingredients are Asian and makes for one very moreish sauce.

The recipe is originally for the oven, but there is nothing stopping you from partially cooking it in the oven first and finishing it off with the glaze on the barbecue.

Download and/or print the recipe! Click HERE.

Baked Chinese Chicken Drumsticks
Serves 5
Preparation Time: 10 mins – Cooking Time: 1 hr
  • olive oil, to drizzle
  • 10 chicken drumsticks
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 90ml (6 tbsp) honey
  • 45ml (3 tbsp) fish sauce
  • 22.5ml (1½ tbsp) light soy sauce
  • juice of 1½ lemons
  • 45ml (3 tbsp) rice wine vinegar
  • 22.5ml (1½ tbsp) sesame oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 140°C/fan 120°C/285°F/gas mark 1.
  2. Lightly oil a large baking dish. Season the drumsticks with salt and pepper and arrange in the dish in a single layer. Drizzle over a little olive oil, cover with foil and bake in the oven for 40 minutes.
  3. Prepare the glaze in the meantime. Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl until evenly combined.
  4. Take the chicken out of the oven and increase the temperature to 180°C/fan 160°C/350°F/gas mark 4.
  5. Pour over the glaze and coat each drumstick.
  6. Return the chicken to the oven and bake for another 20 minutes, turning several times, until the chicken is tender and nicely glazed.
  7. Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serving.
Serving Suggestion
  • Serve with steamed rice and purple sprouting broccoli or green beans.
  • Drumsticks were used in this recipe to ensure even cooking. You are welcome to use chicken wings, thighs or breasts instead. Take note that you will need a longer cooking time if the pieces are bigger – bake for longer at 140°C/fan 120°C/285°F/gas mark 1 but keep the browning/glazing stage at 20 minutes at 180°C/fan 160°C/350°F/gas mark 4.

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  1. Confused says

    What exactly makes these “Chinese”? The fish sauce that is more common in Vietnamese or Thai cuisine? or perhaps it is the rice wine vinegar, which is used in Chinese cuisine, but much more common in Japanese cuisine. Oh wait I know it must be the olive oil!

  2. says

    Confused: As said in the text, the dish isn’t strictly Chinese. If you can come up with any names for the chicken I’d love to hear them!

    Thanks, Jo & Irada!

    Carla: Does heaven have a kitchen so that you can try out the recipe? 😉 Let me know how it goes!

    Steve: Good question but it really depends on you. I like to cook chicken with its skin on because it increases the flavour and keeps the meat inside moist. Afterwards I pull off the skin and dip the meat in the sauce!

  3. says

    Chinese, or not, I think this is a fantastic dish. I love to play with Asian ingredients and western cooking method like this. Win! :)

    • Rob says

      Use a Gluten Free soy sauce. There are multiple brands to choose from. Or use Bragg’s liquid Aminos (soy) or Coconut Aminos (obviously – coconut).

      These are easily interchangeable and make any dish yummy (Asian, Thai recipes etc…)

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