Asian Inspired Drumsticks

Change things up with these Asian inspired drumsticks! Way more meaty than wings and so much more delicious and even a little healthier.

Amazingly Delicious Asian Inspired Drumsticks

Let’s be honest here. My interest in March Madness is solely in the food. I currently live in Germany and having a basketball viewing party just wouldn’t fly. I can imagine it now: “March Madness? Who is mad and why? Why have a party for this?” But that’s all right. I can make my party food and eat it myself! More for me.

It seems like most people like chicken wings, but those things have so little meat on them. They’re mostly just skin and bones, you know. Not only that, but you have to eat a dozen just to feel the slightest bit full. That’s where these Asian inspired drumsticks come in! Also, it’s easy to rip off the skin. So if you have people like myself at your party who shudder at the thought of eating that part of the chicken, they can just take it off.

Amazingly Delicious and Easy Asian Inspired Drumsticks

These leg and thigh pieces are meaty, and if you can find them, they’re usually pretty cheap. When I’m entertaining a large group of people, I certainly appreciate being able to save a dollar or two here and there. When I make them for a party, people generally manage to eat one, or perhaps two if they’ve starved themselves in anticipation of the yummy party food. Yeah, it happens. And if you can’t find this cut, normal drumsticks will do just fine!

Now I know people love Buffalo chicken, especially at game day parties, but I thought it’d be fun to change things up a little! So I went for something slightly Asian-inspired. There’s honey, soy sauce and ginger in these, but the flavors are subtle. If someone doesn’t like Asian food, I’m betting that they’d still love these.

Super Delicious Asian Inspired Drumsticks

When I’m hosting a party, I’m usually a frantic mess. I rely on dishes like this one to help reduce the insanity. You let the chicken sit in the marinade overnight, and then pop them in the oven shortly before your guests arrive. Baste once, and that’s it. I can easily fit 30 of these legs + thighs in a few pans in my oven at once, and that will keep a lot of people at bay for a while.

In the past, I’d make something like these spicy potato wedges thinking, “People LOVE wedges! Best idea ever.” Literally five minutes out of the oven, the wedges would all be gone, then I’d sulk because I didn’t get any. Definitely not a problem here!

As an added bonus, these drumsticks are great even at room temperature. Some dishes just need to be hot, and luckily this is not one of them.

I think these shirataki noodles would be great to go on the side. And for another great drumstick recipe, check out these Crispy Baked Chicken Drumsticks!

Asian Inspired Drumsticks

Rated 5.0 by 1 reader
Asian Inspired Drumsticks
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 9 servings


  • 1/2 cup dark balsamic vinegar
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce (make sure to get a GF sauce, if needed)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 9 chicken legs + thighs or 16 drumsticks
  • up to 2 teaspoons cornstarch, if needed
  • Optional garnish:

  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


  1. For the marinade, combine all the ingredients (balsamic vinegar through red pepper flakes) in a large enough bag to fit the chicken pieces. Place the chicken in the bag, being careful not to poke any holes in the bag. Seal the bag and let the chicken marinade in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. Thirty minutes before baking, remove the chicken from the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and line your largest baking tray with foil or a piece of parchment paper. Reserving the marinade, arrange the chicken, leaving a tiny bit of room between each piece to make sure you'll be able to baste them properly later on.
  3. While the oven finishes preheating, prepare the glaze by boiling the marinade in a small pan or pot over medium heat until thickened. This should take 10 - 15 minutes. It if doesn't become thick enough for your liking, add 1/2 a teaspoon of cornstarch at a time, up to two teaspoons. Be careful not to add too much cornstarch as the glaze will thicken a little as it cools. Set the glaze aside until later.
  4. Bake the chicken for 35 minutes (25 minutes for drumsticks) and then remove it from the oven. Spoon on or brush the marinade on the chicken and then return the chicken to the oven. Bake for another 10-15 minutes or until a nice, dark crust has formed and the internal temperature in the thickest part of the chicken piece has reached 165 degrees F.
  5. Sprinkle the sesame seeds and parsley on the chicken just before serving.


  • This post is part of BlogHer's March Madness Game Day Eats editorial series, made possible by Kettle Brand Chips.

Recipe by  |

Pin post on Pinterest Share post on Facebook Share post on Twitter Share post on Google+

49 comments on “Asian Inspired Drumsticks” — Add one!

  • Elissah
    August 14, 2013 @ 2:00 am

    I made these for dinner last night with just 2 chicken breasts. Basically, I eyeballed the recipe and used about a third of everything! I also made fried brown rice with green onions and peas to go with it. It was delicious and I will definitely make it again!

    • Erin replies to Elissah
      August 15, 2013 @ 10:48 pm

      Oh wow. That sounds amazing and way less fussy! I’m definitely going to try that next time. Thanks for the tip, feedback and the rating, too. :)

  • Carla Walker says
    April 11, 2013 @ 1:13 am

    I would be ALL over these at a party! They look seriously drool worthy! And I agree… March Madness is all about the food… right?!

  • Lisa {Authentic Suburban Gourmet } says
    April 9, 2013 @ 4:35 am

    I am with you on the food for sports events. Like you, not much into sports but the food is something else. LOVE these chicken thighs and would have a hard time limiting myself to one or two. Great job.

  • Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts says
    April 8, 2013 @ 10:20 pm

    These are incredible – I am not sure I could stop eating them, I love the flavors!

  • Georgia | The Comfort of Cooking says
    April 8, 2013 @ 7:59 pm

    These look so irresistible – I love the flavor! Definitely going to make these regardless of whatever sports are going on, ha!

  • Jennie @themessybakerblog says
    April 8, 2013 @ 3:14 pm

    I'm not so much into the sports as I am the food. Food makes the sport interesting. This is some picture perfect chicken, Erin. Yum!

    • Erin replies to Jennie @themessybakerblog
      April 8, 2013 @ 8:16 pm

      Thanks, Jennie! And for sure. If there's some really yummy food around, I could possibly… tolerate a game. ;)

  • Martine @ Chompchomp says
    April 8, 2013 @ 3:26 am

    I am with you…Ill take a drumstick over a wing any day. In fact thanks to you…I want some right now!

  • Jen Laceda | Tartine and Apron Strings says
    April 7, 2013 @ 11:10 pm

    Yum-yum-yum! I'm heading down to bbq some chicken myself, right this moment. So, I am going to try your recipe! Perfect timing! I just know that I am going to love this! After all, I am Asian :)

  • Tracey Wilhelmsen says
    April 7, 2013 @ 9:31 pm

    I love the flavors in this recipe, my favorites!! My mom used to make chicken leg quarters all the time when we were growing up, I still love them to this day so I'm psyched you used them here :) And you managed to make them look so pretty too- not an easy task!

    • Erin replies to Tracey Wilhelmsen
      April 8, 2013 @ 8:04 pm

      Oh Tracey, thank you! Chicken leg quarters. I tried to find out what these were called in the US and could only find them referred to as chicken legs + thighs. Google and the people I asked just didn't know. Thanks again! :)

  • Regina @ SpecialtyCakeCreations says
    April 7, 2013 @ 6:39 pm

    I love Asian food! Aside from desserts I am in my food heaven here.
    Maybe with this recipe I can bring some Asian food flair to Canada as well ;)

  • Lemons and Anchovies says
    April 7, 2013 @ 4:55 pm

    This is just perfect. I've been craving some type of baked chicken lately–the flavors here would really hit the spot. I'll take the skin! :)

    • Erin replies to Lemons and Anchovies
      April 8, 2013 @ 7:59 pm

      Hahaha. My husband always tries to take the skin off of mine and I yell at him, "NO!" That stuff belongs in the trash. ;)

  • Baltic Maid says
    April 7, 2013 @ 5:49 am

    These look so tasty! And like you said, I usually stay away from chicken wings because I never feel full after eating a whole bunch. This is the perfect solution :-)
    And to be honest, I have been living in the US for a while I still haven't gotten the whole March Madness thing yet… Maybe if people would be throwing parties and serve your awesome food I'd get more excited… :-)

    • Erin replies to Baltic Maid
      April 8, 2013 @ 7:57 pm

      Hahaha. Do people not do that? And yeah, I'm happy we all agree that chicken wings are useless. Stupid part of the bird! ;)

  • Anna {Hidden Ponies} says
    April 7, 2013 @ 5:23 am

    Love love love these flavours, and what stunning photos! I love picturing you trying to explain March madness to your German friends – totally makes it seem like madness I'm sure :)

  • Eat Good 4 Life says
    April 7, 2013 @ 3:32 am

    Wow, I need to make this for sure. My family would go bananas for them. We love anything Asian and this recipe seems fairly easy to put together. The fact that they are baked is also a plus. For sure keeping this recipe and pinning!! I want to make and soon.

    • Erin replies to Eat Good 4 Life
      April 8, 2013 @ 7:52 pm

      Thanks for pinning! I hope your family will enjoy them. They really are easy and tasty. Maybe you'll even like them, despite them being poultry and all. ;)

  • Bread and Companatico says
    April 6, 2013 @ 9:17 pm

    I truly love your food posts. also love your baking posts but you are a great cook not only a gifted baker. cheers to these scrumptious, shiny, chicken thighs…

    • Erin replies to Bread and Companatico
      April 8, 2013 @ 7:50 pm

      Aww, what a nice thing to say! Thank you. :) I often doubt posting stuff like this so your comment made me very happy!

  • Valerie says
    April 6, 2013 @ 3:27 pm

    You're so right about chicken wings, they're too tiny to justify any sense of satisfaction. These drumsticks, however, would leave my happily full! (They look scrumptious!!)

    • Erin replies to Valerie
      April 8, 2013 @ 7:48 pm

      Thanks, Valerie! And yeah… chicken wings. Blergh. It's a word. ;)

  • The Café Sucré Farine says
    April 6, 2013 @ 2:30 pm

    Erin, these look fantastic, I'm such a sucker for anything "Asian" inspired and your photos are VERY enticing!

    • Erin replies to The Café Sucré Farine
      April 8, 2013 @ 7:42 pm

      Why, thank you! And I felt silly calling them Asian inspired, but had no idea what else to call them. :)

  • Kristi @ My San Francisco Kitchen says
    April 6, 2013 @ 6:54 am

    WOW these looks amazing!!! Great job! I am dying to eat some with you! :)

  • Patty Price says
    April 6, 2013 @ 1:19 am

    Nothing like eating chicken and watching a game on TV…I'm all over these beauties Erin!

    • Erin replies to Patty Price
      April 8, 2013 @ 7:39 pm

      Hehe. So true! I'm very guilty of watching TV / videos while eating…

  • Cassie | Bake Your Day says
    April 5, 2013 @ 7:47 pm

    These are fabulous, Erin! I love the flavors and they are mouthwatering to look at!

  • Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today says
    April 5, 2013 @ 6:59 pm

    We should go one day to Poland to buy chickens, you'll love it. Delicious and juicy. And then we should definitely make this asian inspired chicken wings. It looks amazing and skin is just perfect.

    • Erin replies to Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today
      April 5, 2013 @ 7:08 pm

      Hahaha. "We should go one day to Poland to buy chickens."

      Probably the most amazing sentence to ever cross my blog. Thank you, Marta. You are the best. :) We can totally go to Poland and buy chickens! And blueberries. :D

  • amy @ fearless homemaker says
    April 5, 2013 @ 6:47 pm

    These sound awesome! And I agree – the regular wings are so tiny that I have to eat a thousand of 'em to feel full – these are SO much more my style. And I love the asian-inspired flavors!

    • Erin replies to amy @ fearless homemaker
      April 5, 2013 @ 7:10 pm

      I know! I just don't get the appeal. I guess if you like the skin, and most people do, but I just can't. And they're usually rubbery. Yuck. :(

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
    April 5, 2013 @ 6:16 pm

    Love the Asian flavors, these look like they'd be a hit at any party!

  • Kelly @ Hidden Fruits and Veggies says
    April 5, 2013 @ 6:12 pm

    I love the sound of that marinade! I might just have to use it on some tofu instead :-)

  • Meagan Wied says
    April 5, 2013 @ 6:11 pm

    Oh wow! These asian drumsticks looooook DELICIOUS!


Reply to Erin Cancel Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *


Comments are moderated. If you don’t see your comment immediately, don’t panic… it went through! Thank you so much for taking time to leave feedback!

Please help others by rating the recipe: