Drums of Heaven are basically Chicken Lollipops tossed in a sweet, spicy sauce. The key to an amazing recipe is in the sauce which has to have the right balance of sweet and spicy! That's what I'm showing you here today - how to make crispy lollipops and getting that well balanced sauce.
Drums of Heaven are really an extension of Chicken Lollipops. And I love them just as much. There is something about a plate full of drums of heaven that you get through leaving only bones and sticky fingers at the end. Sooo good!
What you'll need for Drums of Heaven
- Fried Chicken Lollipops: I have a recipe for Chicken Lollipop here that uses simple ingredients available at home, no artificial food colouring and a really crispy batter!
- Ginger, Garlic, Green Chillies and Onions: All of these are chopped really finely so that after cooking, you don't really get these distinctly in every bite. You can use a vegetable chopper or food processor to get a fine chop
- Schezwan Sauce: Spicy schezwan sauce is key to a good sauce for these lollipops. You can use store bought or easily make a big batch at home and store it like I do.
- Soy Sauce: I use light soy sauce for that deep colour, and extra umami flavour
- Cornstarch or Cornflour: This is optional but a little cornflour slurry added to the sauce and cooked gives it a nice glossy finish and thickens it.
- Chopped Coriander (Cilantro) and Spring Onions: Coriander might seem like an odd ingredient in Chinese cooking, but it really adds flavour to this and makes it authentic Indo Chinese 😂if you know what I mean. So don't skip it. Chopped spring onions add freshness and a nice zing to this recipe.
Everytime I made chicken lollipops at home, I make sure to fry an extra batch so I can toss them up in some sauce too. That way we have two different appetizers from one recipe!
If you are missing Chinese food as much as I am, this Drums of Heaven recipe will take care of those cravings. And because you make them at home, you know exactly what's going into them; the lollipops remain crisp and there's no artificial food colouring in the sauce!
More Chinese Recipes:
- Easy Chinese Chilli Chicken Dry
- Crunchy Chinese Chicken Salad
- Chinese Potli Samosa Wontons
- Soya Manchurian
- Dragon Chicken
Watch How to make Drums of Heaven Recipe Video
Drums of Heaven - Spicy and Saucy!
For the Chicken Lollipops:
- 500 grams (1.1 lb) Chicken lollipop
- ¼ cup Soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Tomato ketchup
- 1 tablespoon Red chilli powder
- 1 tablespoon Garlic paste
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- ¼ cup Cornflour
- 2 tablespoon All purpose flour
- 2 tablespoon Rice flour
- 1 Egg
- 1 tablespoon Ginger paste
- Oil for frying
For the Drums of Heaven:
- 12-14 Chicken Lollipops Fried
- 2 tablespoons Oil
- 1 tablespoon Ginger finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon Garlic finely chopped
- ¼ cup Onions finely chopped
- 2 Green Chillies finely chopped
- ¼ cup Schezwan Sauce or Sriracha
- 1 tablespoon Light Soy Sauce
- 2 tablespoons Tomato Ketchup
- 1 teaspoon Sugar
- ½ teaspoon Cornstarch / Cornflour mixed in 4 tablespoons water to make a slurry
- 2 tablespoons Coriander finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons Spring Onions finely chopped (green part only)
For the Chicken Lollipops:
- Whisk together soy sauce, vinegar, tomato ketchup, red chilli powder, garlic paste, salt in a bowl and toss the chicken lollipops in it. Marinade for half an hour.
- In the same bowl, add cornflour, all purpose flour, rice flour, egg and ginger paste and mix well to create a thick batter and coat the lollipops in it.
- Heat about two inches oil in a wok or kadhai to 350F/ 176C. Add the battered lollipops one by one to the oil in such a way that the meat is at the bottom and the bone is on top (watch the video to see how I do it). Fry these on medium high heat till golden brown – approx 3-4 minutes.
- Take these out on a tissue paper to blot out any excess oil and set aside.
For the Drums of Heaven:
- In a wok or kadhai, heat oil and add ginger and garlic. Stir fry on high heat for a minute and add chopped onions. Keep stir frying till the onions soften and add green chillies. After a few seconds, add schezwan sauce, soy sauce, ketchup and sugar. Cook the sauce for 2 minutes, stir frying as it cooks.
- Add the cornflour slurry and keep stir frying till it thickens (approx a minute or so). Add the chicken lollipop and coriander and toss well. Top it with chopped spring onions and serve.
- Cutting chicken lollipop: Chicken lollipops are prepared using the middle segment of the chicken wing. You can watch this video to learn how to do this at home or just buy them pre-prepared from the store.
- Marinade: marinade for at least 30 minutes. For the best results, marinate the chicken in the refrigerator overnight. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator 10 minutes prior to frying.
- Oil temperature: Ensure the oil is at 350F/ 176C for frying the chicken. This temperature is ideal for perfectly cooked crispy chicken.
- Make these in advance: You can also make these ahead by frying them once and storing them for a couple of hours. When ready to serve, heat the oil to about 400F/204C and flash fry the lollipops for the second time for just a minute. This will give it a super crispy coating and you'll have hot chicken lollipops ready to go. Only do the Drums of Heaven stir fry when you're ready to serve.
- Storing: Drums of Heaven can't be stored for later as the chicken becomes soggy and the cornflour makes the sauce really thick. I recommend serving them immediately