Kung Pao Turkey Drumsticks

Turkey legs have become a staple of music festivals. These have a sticky ginger glaze. Pairing Suggestion Spicy Alsatian Gewürztraminer.

Kung Pao Turkey Drumsticks

Photo by Nick T.

  • Prep Time


  • Total Time


  • Servings



  • ⅓ cup honey

  • ¼ cup minced fresh ginger

  • 1 quart plus 2 tablespoons canola oil

  • 1 medium shallot, minced

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 tablespoons mirin

  • 3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

  • 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce (or kecap manis)

  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

  • 1 tablespoon sambal oelek or other Asian hot sauce

  • 4 small turkey drumsticks (about 12 ounces each)

  • ¼ cup salted roasted peanuts, chopped

  • 2 scallions, minced


In a small saucepan, bring the honey and 1 tablespoon of the ginger to a simmer. Let cool, then strain the honey into a bowl. In a medium saucepan, heat the 2 tablespoons of canola oil. Add the shallot and cook over low heat, stirring, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and the remaining 3 tablespoons of ginger and cook over low heat until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the mirin and vinegar and simmer until slightly reduced, 2 minutes. Add both soy sauces and the hoisin and simmer just until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Stir in the sambal oelek. In a large, deep skillet, heat the 1 quart of canola oil to 350° on a deep-fry thermometer. Add the drumsticks and fry over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until crisp and golden and an instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone registers 160°, 20 to 25 minutes; be sure to maintain the oil temperature at 350°. Drain the drumsticks and blot with paper towels. Transfer the drumsticks to a large bowl and toss to coat with the sauce. In a pie plate, combine the peanuts and scallions. Roll the turkey legs in the peanut-scallion mixture, drizzle with the ginger honey and serve.


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