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3 pieces of soy sauce chicken sat on top of a bowl of rice with sauce drizzled on rice. chopsticks holding onto 1 piece of chicken

Soy sauce chicken

This homestyle soy sauce chicken is something I've been making at home for YEARS! And let me tell you, omg the FLAVOUR is AMAZING! It's rich, slightly sweet, sticky and tastes so good with a bowl of rice.
5 from 10 votes
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: chicken drumsticks, sticky soy
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 465kcal
Author: Genevieve


  • kg / 3 lbs chicken drumsticks or thighs, bone-in, skin-on (note 1)
  • 4 cm / 1½ inch ginger sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled, lightly smashed
  • 2 scallion/spring onion cut into 5cm/2inch long
  • ¼ cup dark soy sauce
  • cup light soy sauce
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup Shaoxing wine
  • 2 tablespoon neutral tasting oil such as canola or sunflower

Thickening mixture

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch/cornflour
  • ¼ cup cold water (note 2)


  • In a large skillet or pot with a lid, saute ginger, garlic and white parts of scallions until golden. Reserve green parts of scallions.
  • Add in chicken pieces and brown on high heat until skin golden and caramelised.
  • Pour in Shaoxing wine and allow it to reduce by half on high heat.
  • Pour in dark and light soy sauces, sugar, sesame oil and ¼ cup of water. Bring up to boil.
  • Reduce heat to low and put a lid on, simmer for 30 minutes. Turn chicken pieces over every 10 minutes to allow even seasoning.
  • Combine thickening mixture ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour into pot and stir through on low heat.
  • Sprinkle reserved green parts of scallions into the pot and mix through. This freshens up the dish.
  • Serve with rice and sauteed Asian greens!


Note 1. Chicken drumsticks /thighs the chicken pieces in my photos have been chopped with a Chinese cleaver. Unless you're experienced and are comfortable with handling a Chinese cleaver, it is not recommended to try that at home. Simply use whole drumsticks or chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on for this recipe. 
If chopping chicken drumsticks with a cleaver If you have a thick bladed cleaver and are comfortable/experienced with chopping through bones, chop drumsticks in half then chop off and discard the knee caps. Be careful and make sure to keep your other hand (that's not holding the knife) well away from the chopping board. That means your other hand isn't holding onto the chicken or on the kitchen counter when chopping. Just aim and chop with one hand. Chopped drumsticks add more flavour to the dish through the exposed bones. Be sure to strain the sauce after instruction step #5 to catch and discard any loose bones before proceeding to step #6. 
Note 2. Corn starch mixture make sure to mix corn starch with cold water and not hot. Hot water will clump up the mixture and you'll end up with lumpy bits in the sauce. 
Making ahead this dish tastes even better the next day! Okay to make1 - 2 days ahead and reheat on the day of serving. 
Tried this recipe?Mention @Casuallypeckish or tag #casuallypeckish!


Calories: 465kcal | Carbohydrates: 8.8g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 215mg | Sodium: 381mg | Potassium: 639mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 6.1g | Calcium: 38mg