Chinese Sticky and Crispy Sous Vide Chicken Drumsticks

Sharon Chen
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 2


  • Cast Iron Skillet
  • Sous Vide Immersion Circulator
  • Cooking Container


For the drumsticks

  • 2 lbs chicken drumsticks skin on
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • white sesame seeds garnish
  • green onions chopped, for garnish

For the Chinese sticky sauce

  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce or soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp sriracha
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tsp ginger minced
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 Bird's Eye chili chopped (optional)


  • Preheat water to 155°F using Anova sous vide precision cooker.
  • In the meantime, season chicken drumsticks with salt and pepper. Place chicken in the sous vide bag in one layer and seal using a vacuum sealer or a hand pump.
  • Once the water is ready, slowly lower the chicken into the prepared water bath. Make sure the chicken drumsticks are completely under the water. Cook chicken for 2 hours.
  • Once the chicken is done, remove the bag from the water bath and drop it into an ice bath to fully chill. (This step will help get extra-crispy skin when you sear it without overcooking the chicken underneath.)
  • Remove the chicken from the sous vide bag and scrape off any gelled juices using your fingers. (You may preserve the chicken juice for soups or other uses).
  • Pat the chicken with paper towels. Heat a nonstick pan or cast-iron skillet over high heat on the stove, sear the chicken for 1-2 minutes on each skin side or until the skin is golden brown and crispy. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
  • In the same pan, whisk all Chinese sauce ingredients over medium heat until well combined. Turn off the heat.
  • Stir in the chicken drumsticks and coat them with the Chinese sticky sauce. Dish and sprinkle with white sesame seeds and chopped green onions over. Enjoy!


  • This cooking method works for any parts of a chicken, especially dark meat such as chicken thighs or even whole chicken legs. The sous vide cooking temperature and cooking time remain the same.
  • If you’d like to cook chicken breasts using this recipe, set temperature to 147°F and cook for 2 hours.
Keyword chicken, Chinese, drumsticks, sous vide