Another snow day here.  It felt cold and uninviting outside.  Any home made comfort food would help to bring some sunshine to these days.  So I decided to make Chinese Lo Shui Chicken Drumsticks.  Lo Shui literally means old water if I translate it.  It is the same thing as braising except the sauce get reused.  If you cook the meat or tofu or whatever in the sauce (or lo shui) for the first time, the meat absorbs the taste of the sauce, the sauce also absorbs the flavor of the meat or whatever you put in the pot.  When you reuse ths sauce or lo shui the second time for cooking, it adds extra flavor to the meat you are going to cook.  See how it works?  See why it is called old water?  I don’t  know how many times you can repeat this. I usually repeat it two or three times. Then I use the leftover sauce as seasoning for stir-fried or soup noodles. Try it, it’s really yummy. BTW, making Lo Shui dishes is so easy.  You put everything in a pot, set your timer, stir it occasionally. That’s it.  I enjoy any one-pot cooking.  That’s the lazy Fatty speaking. LOL.  But seriously, who has time for crazy preparation these days?

Star Anise Powder, add a nice aroma to the dish
Star Anise Powder, add a nice aroma to the dish
Making Lo Shui Chicken
Chinese Lo Shui Braised Chicken Drumstricks
Chinese Lo Shui Braised Chicken Drumstricks

Ingredients (Serves 2):

  • Chicken drumsticks, 6 (slightly more than a pound)
  • Garlic, 1 clove
  • Ginger, 2 slices (Optional)
  • Soy Sauce, ¾ cup
  • Chinese cooking wine, 1 Tbsp
  • Dark Soy Sauce, 1 tsp (Optional if you have it, it would give a nice darker color for the sauce)
  • Oyster sauce, 1 Tbsp
  • Star Anise, 4 pieces or 1/2 tsp if you use the powder
  • Chicken powder. 1 tsp (or chicken bouillon, 1 cube)
  • Sugar, 1 Tbsp
  • Water, 4 cups


  1. Cut garlic into small pieces.
  2. Add all ingredients to a pot, including the chicken.  Make sure there is enough sauce covering the chicken.  Add more water and soy sauce if needed.
  3. Use high heat.  Bring it to a boil.
  4. Turn the heat down to medium low.  Cover it with a lid and let it cook for 40 mins.  Turn the chicken occassionally so that all the sides are cooked with the sauce.  

I highly recommend this dish.  They are so good, they fall off the bone!

You can put the sauce or lo shui in the refridgerator/freezer and save it for next time.  BTW, you can lo shui a lot of things other than chicken, such as pork, beef, tofu, or eggs.  When you reuse the sauce for the second time, there may not be enough sauce, so you can add a little bit more of each ingredient and water.  Trust me, the same dish tastes and looks even better the second time.