Asian-Style Braised Chicken Drumsticks

I realized that it’s been awhile since I posted a recipe.  So now my goal is to try to post at least 2 recipes each week!

Although I don’t solely eat Korean cuisine, it is hands down my go-to, comfort food.  As I’ve mentioned before, my mom is a phenomenal cook!  Her recipes are out of this world, but being the health conscious freak that I am and an RD in the making, I’m afraid there are some things that need to be tweaked.  Good thing she doesn’t read this.  She’d be offended, and I’d like to avoid that at all cost!

One of my ultimate comfort meals is her braised chicken legs.  If you want to experience that fifth mysterious taste, umami, this one is for you!  I decided to do a little experimentation.  I opted to substitute soy sauce with Braggs Liquid Aminos.  I also minimized the amount.  I normally use low sodium soy sauce, but I thought it’d be fun to test whether or not the latter really does hold up to its claim of being a perfect, gourmet substitute for soy sauce.  I also replaced corn syrup with honey.

Additionally, I’ve tried the recipe with chicken breasts before, but it just wasn’t the same.    A lot of people stay away from dark meat, but it’s actually not as unhealthy as you might think.

Yes, the dark meat contains more fat and calories, but the differences are relatively small.  Just remove the skin, and you are good to go!   Some of the benefits of dark meat – it’s rich in myoglobin (white meat contains none) and contains more zinc, iron, amino acids, and B vitamins (specifically B6, B12, thiamin, and riboflavin) as compared to the chicken breast.  This just reiterates the fact that there are no “bad” foods.  It’s all about moderation.  Now, I’m not trying to get you to eat more dark meat, but I do want to open your mind to the possibilities.  Did I succeed? 😉 In fact, you could’ve considered me a member of the white meat mafia for many many years, until I learned this mind-altering piece of information at school.

Asian-Style Braised Chicken Drumsticks

Serves 4 people | Prep time: 15 min | Cooking time: approx. 30 min.


  • 3 Ibs. skinless drumsticks
  • 1 cup leek, rinse well and chop in chunks
  • 3 cups water
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup baby portobello mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
  • 1 Tbs toasted slivered almonds
  • 1 Tbs toasted pine nuts (I used sunflower seeds)


  • 1/3 cup Braggs Liquid Aminos
  • 1/3 cup sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 Tbs garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs mirin (or wine)
  • 1/2 Tsp black pepper


  1. Combine all seasoning ingredients and set aside.
  2. Remove skin off drumsticks and rinse with water.
  3. Put meat in a saucepan, add 3 cups water, garlic cloves, and leek.  Cook approx 15 min.
  4. Remove chicken, reserve 1/2 cup of broth, and discard the rest.
  5. In another pot, place chicken, mushrooms, broth, and seasoning mix.
  6. Cook under med-high heat for approx. 20 min. or until the liquid’s mostly absorbed.
  7. Garnish with sunflower seeds, almonds.
  8. Don’t be shy…Grab a leg! :).

Suggestion: serve with brown rice.

seasoning ingredients

Step #3

My verdict?  I was pleasantly surprised!  To be quite honest, I was a lil’ nervous about the outcome.  I always thought soy sauce was its own beast, and the idea of it being replaced was unfathomable.  However, Braggs Liquid Aminos held up to its claim, in my opinion.  I will say, though, that there was a very slight, subtle difference in flavor – not as robust and rich.  Overall, a success!

I like that Braggs Liquid Aminos is certified non-GMO, gluten-free, and without chemicals, preservatives, and artificial coloring.  However, if your main focus is on lowering sodium intake, you’re better off using the low sodium soy sauce.  1 Tbs of Braggs has 960mg sodium while Low Sodium Kikkoman soy sauce has 575 mg.

This being said, I’m absolutely certain that  Braggs doesn’t have a chance in making it into my mom’s kitchen.  She’s very adamant about her soy sauce.  I can’t even convince her to switch to low sodium soy sauce!   As for me, I can see myself using the two interchangeably!  I’m chill and flexible like that :).  Hope you give this recipe a try!

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14 Responses to Asian-Style Braised Chicken Drumsticks

  1. Hey Min! Thanks for your comment on my blog- glad you did as it enabled me to find your blog :)! I really enjoy Korean food (especially kimchi and bbq’d chicken) but don’t think I’ve ever cooked it at home- thanks for the recipe! Love your outlook towards “bad” food- all in moderation!

  2. Min says:

    Welcome, Khushboo! I’m actually working on my kimchi post so stay tuned for that :). Yup! That realization didn’t come easy..but I’m so thankful that I’ve learned to embrace it over the years.

  3. This looks SO good! For some reason, I really don’t like dark meat – it’s just a weird phobia! I’ve cooked drumsticks before though – are they always dark meat? If so, I didn’t notice when I cooked them!

    • Min says:

      Yup! Drumsticks are always dark meat. I never ate dark meat before bc I always thought they were so fattening. I’m glad I got over that fear.

  4. This looks so good! I like using dark meat for a bit of variety and I think it tastes good! 🙂

    • Min says:

      I know! It’s so succulent and moist! Although I still eat predominantly white meat, it IS nice to mix it up a lil’ ;).

  5. eatpraytri says:

    totally agree with your statements about there being no “bad foods”…It really is all about moderation.
    Where do I get this braggs? I’ve heard about it on a couple of blogs now. Just at the local grocery store? What section would it be in?

    • Min says:

      I actually bought it at Sprouts couple of days ago bc it was on sale. I’m not sure if Sprouts is in Seattle, but I’m pretty sure Whole Foods will carry it. It should be in the aisle with vinegars and oils. Hope this helps!

  6. I love Braggs – great substitution idea.

    Your mom’s cooking sound fantastic… I wish I could show up at her dinner table!

  7. Carol says:

    Mmmm Mmmm Mmmmm!

  8. Min says:

    🙂 Hope you’re having a fabulous friday, Carol!

  9. Pingback: When I Lived in Hawaii.... | I Love Crackers!

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