Vietnamese-Style Fish Sauce Chicken Drumsticks

Made famous by the James Beard Award-winning chef Andy Ricker at his Asian hot spot, Pok Pok, this Vietnamese-style dish is completely magical.

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Dish Origin: Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), Vietnam

Made famous by the James Beard Award-winning chef Andy Ricker at his Asian hot spot, Pok Pok, this dish is completely magical. Fish sauce wings with a sticky glaze of fish sauce, sugar and crispy garlic are a street-food staple in Ho Chi Minh City. The technique used for the garlic is noteworthy, an example of making the most of a single ingredient. First, chopped garlic is soaked in warm water or broth, then strained. That garlic-infused broth is used as part of the marinade and the chopped garlic is slowly cooked in coconut oil, then strained again. The now-crispy garlic is tossed with the finished chicken, and the garlic-infused oil is reserved for future use such as sauteing vegetables and stir-fries. Instead of wings, we’ve opted for drumsticks, with a pile of quick-pickled vegetables or Vietnamese-style salad, which balances the flavor profile of each.

Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
30 min
75 min


  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth (TRY: Pacific Foods Organic Low-Sodium Vegetable Broth)
  • 4 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped (NOTE: Use a knife for this use rather than grating with a rasp or crushing.)
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tsp organic evaporated cane juice
  • 10 pieces chicken drumsticks (about 2 lb), skin removed
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 2 carrots, peeled and julienned
  • 1 8-inch piece daikon radish, peeled and julienned
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp sambal oelek
  • 1 cup lightly packed coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves, divided
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves, divided
  • 1/2 English cucumber, julienned


  1. In a small saucepan, bring broth to a boil. Remove from heat; add mushrooms. Soak for 30 minutes, until softened. Remove mushrooms from broth and dice. Reserve mushrooms and broth separately.
  2. To a small bowl, add garlic and 1/4 cup reserved broth; let stand for 3 minutes. Pour mixture through a fine sieve over a bowl, pressing garlic lightly with a spoon. Reserve garlic and garlic-infused broth separately.
  3. Add fish sauce and 1/4 cup cane juice to reserved garlic-infused broth; stir until dissolved. To a resealable bag or container, add chicken and half of fish sauce mixture, reserving remainder for sauce. Toss well and refrigerate overnight. Refrigerate all reserved ingredients until ready to proceed.
  4. In a small pan on high, add oil and reserved garlic. Reduce heat to medium low and cook until golden. Drain through a fine-mesh sieve into a heat-resistant bowl; reserve oil for another use (such as stir-frying or searing meats). Drain garlic on paper towel and set aside.
  5. Preheat oven to 425°F. In a colander, drain chicken, discarding marinade. Toss chicken in flour, shaking off excess, and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Mist with cooking spray; bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden. Turn and mist again; bake for 15 to 20 minutes more, until crisp and no longer pink inside.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare pickled vegetables: In a large bowl, toss carrots, radish, salt and remaining 1 tsp cane juice and set aside to soften, about 15 minutes. Add vinegar and toss. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
  7. Once chicken is baked, add remaining broth and reserved mushrooms to reserved fish sauce mixture. To a large nonstick skillet or wok, add fish sauce mushroom mixture and sambal oelek. Bring to a boil; cook for about 30 seconds, until reduced by half and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. To a large bowl, transfer drumsticks and add sauce, tossing gently to coat. Add 1/2 cup cilantro, 1/4 cup mint, reserved crispy garlic and toss again. Drain excess liquid from vegetables, mix in cucumber and remaining 1/2 cup cilantro and 1/4 cup mint. Serve alongside drumsticks.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 2 drumsticks and 1 1/4 cups salad
  • Calories 332
  • Carbohydrate Content 39 g
  • Cholesterol Content 120 mg
  • Fat Content 7 g
  • Fiber Content 4 g
  • Protein Content 27 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 2 g
  • Sodium Content 868 mg
  • Sugar Content 9 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 0 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 0 g

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