Sticky Chicken Drumsticks in Chinese Plum Sauce

Slathered in the most incredible Chinese Plum Sauce, these Sticky Chicken Drumsticks are absolutely and utterly irresistible. Whether you’re 7 or 70 – and everyone in between! Super simple to make with just a handful of ingredients, plus it doesn’t even need marinating time!
Today’s recipe is brought into this world with many thanks to Fountain Sauces, without whom these gloriously sticky chicken drumsticks with the most incredible Chinese Plum Sauce glaze might not have been discovered and we may have forever been deprived.

Some days, nothing goes right.
I’ll have 3 recipe fails, I’ll be unhappy with all the photos, and a certain giant furry dog will bump the tripod while filming a video, resulting in 5 minutes footage of an empty (dirty) kitchen counter. I’ll stamp my foot (yes I do – go ahead and judge me), flop on the couch, huff and puff with annoyance. Most especially because I know dinner that night will not be enjoyable (because a recipe fail has to be seriously inedible to throw it out or donate it to said giant furry dog).
And other days, everything just works. Such was the day when I went to create a recipe using Fountain Plum Sauce. Usually when I create a recipe from scratch for the first time, I won’t plan to photograph it because I assume the recipe will need tweaking. But the moment I took these sticky, sticky drumsticks out of the oven, they were everything I envisioned them to be. 

The fragrant smell of plums. Sweet with a touch of tartness. Golden brown and oh-so-sticky. And that moment when you grab one of those sticky chicken drumsticks (knife and fork?? What’s that?) and you bite into the tender juicy chicken flesh and get that glaze all over your mouth face…
Now THAT is the kind of food I’m all about!!!

So what did I do? Well, this will come as no surprise to regular readers and my friends who know me so well…. in my excitement (and not wanting to lose my mojo), I dashed out to the store, purchased more drumsticks and made it again. Just to make sure – and to take photos.
Yup, just as good as Batch #1.
Any guesses what I did next? Yup, another mad store dash. Batch #3, coming right up. Triple testing and for the recipe video.
Oh boy. The homeless guy at the dog park had this 3 days in a row. As did I. No complaints from either party. Or Dozer. – Nagi xx

  • 1.2kg / 2.4lb large chicken drumsticks (8 drumsticks)

  • 3/4 cup / 185ml Fountain Plum Sauce (Note 1)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar (can reduce to 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (all purpose or light, not dark soy sauce)
  • 2 tbsp Hoisin Sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp ginger, minced
  • 1/2 tsp Chinese Five Spice Powder (Note 2)

  • Sesame seeds
  • Finely chopped scallions


  1. Place Marinade ingredients in a ziplock bag (or bowl) and mix. Add chicken and massage to coat in the Marinade. Refrigerate for 1 hour (see Note 3 for skipping this).
  2. Preheat oven to 180C/350F (all types).
  3. Line a tray with baking paper / parchment paper (or foil then spray with oil).
  4. Transfer chicken to tray, shaking off excess marinade. RESERVE Marinade.


  1. Bake chicken for 20 minutes.
  2. Remove from oven. Spoon / slather / brush with reserve marinade (generously!) (Note 4). Bake for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from oven and TURN chicken. Baste again using tray juices and reserved marinade. Bake for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and baste again (very generously!) using tray juices and reserved marinade. Bake for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove chicken from oven and scrape/brush tray juices onto chicken (don't waste free flavour!).
  6. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and shallots/scallions if using. I served it with rice and steamed broccolini.

Recipe Notes:

1. I created this recipe especially for Fountain Plum Sauce which is sold at all major supermarkets in Australia (Woolies, Coles) for the bargain price of around $2.50. If you are in Australia, I urge you to use Fountain Plum Sauce because I can confidently guarantee that you will be in sticky Plum Sauce heaven and what you taste is how it is supposed to be. However, if you are unable to find it, then it can be substituted with other Plum Sauces.
2. Chinese Five Spice Powder is a mix of (5!) spices that can be found at supermarkets in the spice section. It costs the same as other standard spices. It's fabulous!
3. In all honesty, the glaze is so tasty that if you slather it on generously at the end when it has finished cooking using the tray juices, you can skip the marinating.
The alternative to infuse flavour into the flesh is to cut 2 shallow gashes on each side of each drumstick (i.e. 4 in total) then add to the marinade. Then proceed with the recipe. Make sure you baste well!
4. If using a brush, kind of DAB the marinade on, not brush it, that way you get more on the chicken. If using a spoon, spoon it down the centre of the drumstick then use the back of the spoon to spread it on the sides. Don't forget to use all those tray juices around and under the chicken - they are the BEST!
5. Make ahead /freezing: To prepare ahead, pop the marinade + chicken in a ziplock bag and freeze straightaway. Then as it thaws in the fridge, the chicken will marinate. The marinade will be more watery (from ice + salt extracting liquid from chicken due to longer time in marinade) so just be very generous with the basting so you end up with that nice sticky finish. 
Though I haven't tried it, I am sure the cooked drumsticks will be great for freezing and reheating because drumsticks are a juicy cut. Scrape any remaining juices on the tray into the container/bag with the chicken then freeze. To reheat, thaw then microwave.