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Asian Chicken Drumsticks are crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. A sweet Asian-inspired sauce, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds, add the perfect finishing touch to this fantastic chicken leg recipe!Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved chicken legs – but I’ve never eaten any as delicious as these Asian Chicken Drumsticks! This recipe came about, in part, because our local butcher had these amazing, meaty chicken legs on special – so we decided to stock up. And somewhere…somehow….my husband Jack came up with the idea for these crispy, fried Asian Chicken Drumsticks.
How do you make them?You’ll start by marinating large chicken drumsticks in buttermilk that has been seasoned with ground ginger, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper. You’ll want to give the chicken a good 12 to 24 hours to marinate for the best flavor and tenderness. When you’re ready to eat, remove the chicken legs from the marinade and blot dry with paper towels. Heat vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven. Coat each chicken drumstick with flour, them place all of the drumsticks in the oil to fry. Now – typically, when frying food, we’d tell you not to overcrowd the pan. But this recipe is different! By cooking all of the chicken at once, the temperature of the cooking oil will drop low enough so that the inside of your Asian Chicken Drumsticks will cook through, without the skin burning on the outside. By the time the chicken is cooked through – you’ll have perfectly crispy, golden and mahogany brown skin. chili garlic paste, lime juice, dry sherry, ground ginger, and both peanut and sesame oils – which is all cooked together into a nice thick syrup. Garnish with a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Serve with plenty of napkins! You may enjoy these other chicken recipes:
- Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Gooey Ginger Chicken
- Asian Barbecue Chicken Wings
- Asian Noodle Salad with Chicken
8 large chicken drumsticks, ours were 10 ounces each but any size will work*, 4-5 pounds
3 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons powdered ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup of flour, for coating
Vegetable oil, for frying
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup honey
1 tablespoon chili garlic paste
½ cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon sherry
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons ginger powder
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons corn starch
Sesame seeds, to sprinkle on finished chicken
Place the chicken drumsticks in a gallon zip lock bag.
Mix all marinade ingredients and pour into the bag with the chicken and massage. Squeeze out the air, seal and refrigerate 12-24 hours.
Drain the chicken and discard the marinade, then pat the chicken dry with paper towels.
Heat enough oil in a large Dutch oven so that all of the chicken will be covered when you are ready to fry. Heat oil to 350 degrees F.
Place the chicken in a large bowl and sprinkle on the cup of flour toss and turn the chicken so that all sides get coated. Discard the flour that is left after coating.
When the oil reaches 350 degrees F, place all of the chicken in the oil. The oil temperature will drop below 300 degrees F which is what you want. Keep the burner on high and as the oil heats back up, the chicken cooks at this lower temperature and by the time the oil is back up to the 325-350 degrees mark, the skin gets crisp and the chicken is about fully cooked. Use tongs to lift one out and stick a probe thermometer into the thickest part of the drumstick without touching bone. Remove them to a paper towel lined pan when they reach 160 degrees F. (Our very large drumsticks took 15 minutes. If yours are smaller, the total cooking time may be less but the process should remain the same.)
While the chicken is frying, in a medium sauce pan add sugar, honey, chili garlic paste, soy sauce, lime juice, sherry, peanut oil, sesame oil and ginger powder and bring to a boil.
Mix the water and corn starch in a small bowl and drizzle it into the hot liquid and whisk to thicken. Remove from heat and set aside.
After the chicken drains a bit on the paper towels, place four at a time in a large bowl and drizzle on one third of the sauce and toss to coat then place on a serving platter. Repeat for the remaining chicken and another third of the sauce and add to the platter.
Sprinkle on sesame seeds and serve with the remaining sauce on the side or poured over the chicken on the platter.
Serve with plenty of napkins.
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*The size of the drumsticks does not matter except in the length of cooking time. They are done when the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F. Our 10-ounce drumsticks took 15 minutes in the fryer to reach 160 degrees F. Smaller drumsticks will fry up in less time.