Gochujang Chicken Drumsticks

Spicy Gochujang. Easy-to-love chicken drumsticks. Throw Gochujang Chicken Drumsticks in the oven for a simple, crowd-pleasing way to spice up dinnertime.

There’s something about drumsticks. They’re so easy to love. Maybe it’s the built-in handle that begs to be held. Or the petite size (compared to thigh or breast) that makes you want to eat just one more. Either way, it’s easy to fall under the spell of childhood nostalgia when eating drumsticks.

I like to serve chicken drumsticks as a casual, friendly option for dinner. They convince even the pickiest eaters that everything is all right. There’s nothing snooty or high brow about drumsticks. The spicy-sweet Gochujang glaze makes these especially irresistible!

What is Gochujang?

Gochujang is Korean fermented chili paste. It’s got a spicy, sweet flavor and tastes great as a sauce, marinade, or glaze.

Gochujang comes in a plastic tub and needs to be refrigerated after opening. The good thing about Gochujang is that it keeps a really long time, like ketchup or sriracha.

Gochujang also comes in varying degrees of spicyness. Look at the label and choose low, medium, or hot, depending on your personal preference. (I usually choose medium — you can add more spice but it’s hard to take it out.)

Gochujang can be found at most Asian grocers. I’ve even found Gochujang at regular grocery stores in the International/Asian food section but it really depends on individual stores. Even Amazon sells Gochujang now.

Here’s the method:

Whisk marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Reserve 1/3 cup of the marinade and set aside in a separate bowl. This will be used for the glaze later on.

Score chicken drumsticks and add to the large bowl (not the reserved marinade for later glazing). The scoring will ensure maximum Gochujang flavor!

Bake until chicken is halfway cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Using the reserved sauce from before, apply as glaze. Brush on the (halfway cooked) chicken every 5 minutes or so, until fully cooked — about 25-30 minutes in total. Then broil for 5 minutes to get those charred, crispy bits.

This recipe is very easy to double or triple for a larger crowd. And tastes great in lunch boxes the next day! Or better yet, bring these Gochujang Chicken Drumsticks to your next potluck or extended family dinner. Spicy-sweet, sticky bites of chicken — what’s not to love?

Gochujang Chicken Drumsticks

Spicy Gochujang. Easy-to-love chicken drumsticks. Throw in the oven for a simple, crowd-pleasing way to spice up dinnertime.   
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Marinating time (optional)15 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: Gochujang Chicken Drumsticks
Servings: 4
Author: The Subversive Table | Lis Lam


  • 8-10 chicken drumsticks about 2 lbs, depending on size
  • 1/4 cup Gochujang (Korean fermented chili paste)
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp mirin (or rice wine)
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 4 cloves garlic minced


  • Whisk Gochujang, soy sauce, mirin, sugar, sesame oil, and garlic in large bowl.  Using a measuring cup, scoop 1/3 cup of the marinade into a small bowl and reserve for later. 
    gochujang chicken drumsticks marinade in bowl with whisk
  • Score chicken with 2 or 3 cuts to each drumstick. Make sure not to cut down to the bone. Add to the marinade (not the reserved marinade) and mix well until chicken is fully coated. Turn on the oven to 350F/175C and let the drumsticks marinate while the oven preheats, about 10-15 minutes. 
    chicken drumsticks with score marks
  • On a parchment lined baking sheet, add chicken drumsticks in an even layer. Make sure not to crowd the pan so the skin gets crispy. Bake until halfway cooked through, about 15 minutes.
    chicken drumsticks with gochujang marinade on sheet pan
  • Using the reserved sauce from before, apply as glaze. Brush on the (halfway cooked) chicken every 3-5 minutes or so, until fully cooked — about 25-30 minutes in total. This will ensure a deeper-flavored, glazed coating vs. roasting alone. When the chicken is fully cooked, broil for the an additional 3-5 minutes to get those charred, crispy bits.
    Garnish with sesame seeds and green onion (optional). Serve immediately or at room temperature.  
    gochujang chicken drumsticks on sheet pan


*This recipes easily doubles or triples.  

Looking for ways to use up that tub of Gochujang?

Gochujang Roasted Carrots
Gochujang Roasted Carrots, sheet pan corner
Cheese Buldak
hand pulling cheese buldak from cast iron skillet
Instant Pot Gochujang Chicken
gochujang chicken on a black plate
Spicy Korean Pork
Spicy Korean Pork, platter
Or check out the Korean + Korean Fusion archives!
30 minutes, All Recipes, Chicken, Gochujang, Korean, Main, Popular Recipes, Potluck, Sheet Pan, Weeknight Meals


  1. Pingback: Kimchi Pancakes (Kimchi Buchim) | The Subversive Table

  2. Is the sauce the one we marinated the chicken in? Also for the cooking time after the first 15 minutes is it another 25-30 mins or 25 mins in total?

    • Oops sorry about the unclear directions. Thanks, I’ll make it more clear. It should be 25 min total. And yes, reserve 1/3 cup of the marinade at the beginning (before adding the raw chicken) and use it to brush on the chicken later.

      • Thank you for clarifying. I made this recipe last night and it was a hit! Tasted very good. Thank you!

  3. I’m so glad to hear that! My kids love this recipe so much!!

  4. What’s the temperature for the oven?

  5. Hi! I was going to make this and realized that I didn’t have any gochujang in my fridge!! What are your favorite brand(s)?
    Can’t wait to try!

    • I don’t have a favorite brand but I like Gochujang but I usually buy Sunchang Gochujang which is a gochujang made in a certain city. In general, look for gochujang that’s made in Korea or imported by a Korean company. Look at the label on the back and you should be able to see where it’s made. Also, check the spicyness level as there are usually 5 different levels!

  6. Looking forward to tasting this! What shall I serve this with?

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