5-Steps Delightful Sesame Chicken Sauce Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure policy.

In my kitchen, I aim to craft flavors that sing. My Sesame Chicken Sauce Recipe is a symphony of taste. It combines soy sauce’s richness with honey’s sweetness and a hint of garlic. A dash of sesame oil adds depth. The sauce thickens perfectly to coat tender chicken pieces. For a touch of elegance, I sprinkle toasted sesame seeds and green onions.

My quest for the perfect Sesame Chicken Sauce Recipe began during travels through Middle-Eastern bazaars and European bistros. However, it was a quaint Beijing restaurant that held the secret to a luscious sauce with a rich, nutty flavor.

Sesame Chicken Sauce Recipe

Back home, I struggled to find an authentic match. Frustrated but determined, I set out to recreate that enchanting blend of sweet and savory.

The result? A Sesame Chicken Sauce that embodies the heart of Beijing – a harmony of honey’s sweetness, soy sauce’s umami, and a hint of garlic, crowned with the warmth of toasted sesame.

This sauce doesn’t merely coat the chicken; it transforms it. Whether impressing guests or delighting family, this Sesame Chicken Sauce is your ticket to a remarkable culinary adventure.

What Is Sesame Chicken Sauce?

Sesame Chicken Sauce is a culinary delight transforming ordinary chicken into an exotic feast. It blends soy sauce, honey, garlic, and sesame oil, creating a rich, glossy concoction. A touch of vinegar balances the sweetness, while cornstarch ensures a thick, clingy texture. 

The sauce gains its signature nuttiness from toasted sesame seeds sprinkled on top. Perfect for stir-fries or as a glaze, this sauce is versatile.

It encapsulates the essence of Asian cuisine and is a staple for anyone aiming to bring authentic flavor to their kitchen.

History Of Sesame Chicken Sauce Recipe

The origins of Sesame Chicken Sauce Recipe trace back to Chinese cuisine, with its invention often credited to Chinese chefs who immigrated to America. It was in the bustling kitchens of Chinese-American restaurants that this sauce found its identity. 

Chefs aimed to cater to Western palates, blending traditional Chinese cooking techniques with sweeter, more palatable flavors. The result was a unique fusion: Sesame Chicken Sauce. 

It combined the umami-rich soy sauce of the East with the sweetness of honey favored in the West, all infused with the aromatic touch of sesame. This culinary innovation quickly became a staple in Chinese-American cuisine.

Interesting Facts About Sesame Chicken Sauce Recipe

This recipe is not all about eating; Here Are Some Interesting Facts

Cultural Fusion

Sesame Chicken Sauce is a testament to Chinese-American culinary fusion, blending Eastern and Western flavors.

Health Benefits

Sesame seeds, a key ingredient, are rich in beneficial minerals and antioxidants.

Variations Galore

The sauce has numerous variations, including spicy versions with added chili flakes or paste.

Global Popularity

It’s beloved not just in America but worldwide, adapting to local tastes.


Beyond chicken, it’s used with tofu, beef, and vegetables, showcasing its adaptability.

Sesame Symbolism

In Chinese culture, sesame seeds symbolize prosperity, making this sauce a favorite during celebrations.

Culinary Staple

Many households keep a version of this sauce ready as a quick flavor enhancer.

Jar And Ingredients

What Are The Regional Adaptations Of This Sauce?

  • North America: Often sweeter with added honey or maple syrup.
  • China: Uses dark soy sauce and incorporates more ginger.
  • Japan: May include mirin for a slightly sweeter, more umami flavor.
  • Korea: Gochujang replaces chili paste for a unique depth of spice.
  • Southeast Asia: Fish sauce is sometimes added for extra umami.
  • India: Spiced up with garam masala or cumin.
  • Middle East: Infused with pomegranate molasses and a hint of cinnamon.
  • Mediterranean: Enhanced with lemon juice and zest for a citrusy twist.
  • Caribbean: Mixed with tropical fruit juices like pineapple for a sweet-spicy flavor.
  • Europe: Often includes Dijon mustard for a tangy kick.

What Will Make You Love This Sesame Chicken Sauce Recipe?

  • Rich Flavor: A harmonious balance of sweet, savory, and tangy notes.
  • Versatility: Perfect as a marinade, stir-fry sauce, or glaze.
  • Easy to Make: Requires simple ingredients and just a few steps.
  • Customizable Heat: Adjust the chili paste to your preferred spice level.
  • Texture: The sauce thickens beautifully, clinging to your dishes.
  • Aromatic Experience: The fragrance of sesame and garlic uplifts any kitchen.
  • Healthier Option: This can be made with low-sodium soy sauce and less sugar.
  • Kid-Friendly: Mild versions are a hit with children.
  • Allergen-Friendly: Easily adapted for gluten-free and nut-free diets.
  • Global Appeal: Adaptable to various regional tastes and ingredients.
Bowl And Spoon

Ingredients List

Sesame oil1 tablespoon
Garlic cloves, minced2
Chicken broth½ cup
Brown sugar, packed½ cup
Soy sauce3 tablespoons
Rice vinegar1 tablespoon
Chili paste1 tablespoon
Water¼ cup
Cornstarch2 tablespoons

Ingredient Tips

  • Sesame Oil: Opt for toasted sesame oil for a deeper, richer flavor.
  • Garlic: Fresh is best. Minced garlic releases more flavor than pre-packaged.
  • Chicken Broth: Use low-sodium broth to control the saltiness of the sauce.
  • Brown Sugar: Pack it well for accurate measurement and a fuller sweetness.
  • Soy Sauce: Choose a good quality soy sauce; it’s the base of your flavor.
  • Rice Vinegar: Adds a subtle tang; don’t substitute with harsher vinegar.
  • Chili Paste: Adjust the amount based on your heat preference.
  • Water: Filtered water is preferable for a clean taste.
  • Cornstarch: Ensure it’s lump-free for a smooth, thick sauce.

What Are The Variations Of Sesame Chicken Sauce Recipe?

  • Spicy Version: Add extra chili paste or fresh diced chilies for a fiery kick.
  • Sweet Twist: Incorporate a dash of honey or maple syrup for added sweetness.
  • Vegan Adaptation: Use vegetable broth and agave syrup instead of chicken broth and honey.
  • Gluten-Free: Opt for tamari or gluten-free soy sauce.
  • Low-Sodium: Choose low-sodium soy sauce and broth to reduce salt intake.
  • Citrus Infusion: A zest of orange or lemon can add a refreshing twist.
  • Nutty Enhancement: Incorporate peanut butter or tahini for a creamier texture and nuttier flavor.
  • Herbal Touch: Garnish with cilantro or Thai basil for a fresh, herbal note.

Recipe Directions

Cooking Method

  • In a medium saucepan, heat the sesame oil over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and cook until it becomes fragrant, which should take about 1 minute.
  • Pour the chicken broth, packed brown sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and chili paste. Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil.

Ferment Method (Optional)

  • If you prefer a fermented flavor, let the mixture simmer on low heat for an extended period (30 minutes to 1 hour), stirring occasionally. This step is not typically part of the traditional recipe, so it’s optional.
  • In a separate bowl, stir the water and cornstarch until well combined. Gradually stir this mixture into the boiling sauce. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens, which should take about 2 minutes.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat. The Sesame Chicken Sauce is now ready to be served over freshly cooked chicken. Enjoy your flavorful creation!

Dive into the essence of Asian flavors with sesame chicken sauce, where each bite is a perfect harmony of sweetness and umami.

Scaling The Sesame Chicken Sauce Recipe

Scaling the Sesame Chicken Sauce Recipe is straightforward. For smaller servings, halve the ingredients; for larger groups, double or triple them. Maintain the ratios to preserve flavor balance. 

When increasing the batch size, adjust cooking times slightly. Larger quantities may take longer to thicken. Conversely, smaller batches thicken faster, so keep a watchful eye. 

If the sauce becomes too thick, thin it with a splash of water or broth. For thicker sauce, a slurry of cornstarch and water will do the trick. 

Sesame Chicken Sauce Recipe

Can This Sauce Be Used As A Marinade, Dipping Sauce, Or Dressing For Salads?

Yes, this versatile Sesame Chicken Sauce can be used as a marinade, dipping sauce, or salad dressing. As a marinade, it infuses the chicken with its rich flavors, making the meat tender and flavorful. 

If you aim for a dipping sauce, consider thinning it with water or broth for a more fluid consistency. For a salad dressing, you might want to increase the vinegar for a zesty tang. In each adaptation, make sure you adjust the seasoning to suit the dish. 

What Are The Best Dishes To Accompany Sesame Chicken Sauce Recipe? 

Stir-Fried Vegetables

The sauce complements the crunch and natural flavors of vegetables like broccoli, bell peppers, and snap peas.

Rice Dishes

Toss it with lo mein or rice noodles, adding a rich depth to these Asian staples.


Use it as a dipping sauce for potstickers or gyoza for a delightful flavor boost.


Marinate or glaze firm tofu for a vegetarian-friendly option that’s full of flavor.


Dress a crisp Asian slaw or a green salad with this sauce for a tangy twist.


Quinoa or farro bowls gain a nutty, umami-rich complement from this sauce.

Wraps And Rolls

It’s a fantastic addition to spring rolls, lettuce wraps, or chicken wraps, enhancing their taste profiles.

Sesame Chicken Sauce Recipe

What Are Some Classic Dishes That Feature Sesame Chicken Sauce Recipe?

  • Sesame Chicken: The quintessential dish where bite-sized chicken pieces are coated in a crispy batter, fried, and then drenched in the sauce.
  • General Tso’s Chicken: While not the same, it often incorporates a similar sauce, albeit with a bit more heat.
  • Sesame Noodles: Cold or warm noodles dressed in this sauce, garnished with sesame seeds and scallions.
  • Sesame Beef Stir-Fry: Tender slices of beef stir-fried with vegetables and coated in this aromatic sauce.
  • Sesame Tofu: A vegetarian alternative where tofu is the star, glazed, and served with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds.

What Are The Key Flavor Profiles And Taste Sensations That Sesame Chicken Sauce Recipe Offers?

  • Umami: Soy sauce and chicken broth provide a deep, savory base.
  • Sweetness: Brown sugar adds a comforting, caramel-like sweetness.
  • Tanginess: Rice vinegar introduces a bright, acidic note.
  • Spiciness: Chili paste contributes a warm, tingling heat.
  • Aromatic: Sesame oil and garlic offer a rich, nutty fragrance.
  • Complexity: The combination of flavors creates a multifaceted taste.
  • Satisfying: Leaves a lingering, palate-pleasing sensation.
  • Boldness: Distinct, assertive flavors stand out in any dish.
  • Harmony: Despite the complexity, all elements blend seamlessly.
  • Adaptability: This can be tweaked to suit various taste preferences.
Jar And Spoon

Can This Sauce Be Stored And Preserved For Future Use? What Is Its Shelf Life? 

Yes, this Sesame Chicken Sauce can be stored and preserved for future use. To ensure longevity, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If properly refrigerated, the sauce typically lasts for up to 2 weeks. 

For an extended shelf life, you might consider freezing the sauce. When frozen in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag, it can last for 3 to 4 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before use. 

What Are The Substitutes For Sesame Chicken Sauce Recipe?

  • Teriyaki Sauce: Offers a similar sweet and savory taste, though with less sesame flavor.
  • Hoisin Sauce: Richer and thicker, it provides a similar umami depth with a hint of sweetness.
  • Oyster Sauce: Though not as sweet, it adds a similar savory depth to dishes.
  • Sweet and Sour Sauce: Provides a tangy sweetness that can mimic the sesame sauce’s flavor profile.
  • Peanut Sauce: A thicker, nuttier option, great for dipping or as a dressing.
  • Plum Sauce: Sweet and tart, a good choice for dipping or glazing.
  • DIY Mix: Combine soy sauce, honey, vinegar, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds for a quick homemade alternative.
Sesame Chicken Sauce Recipe

How To Adjust The Consistency Of The Sauce?

  • Thicken: Add more cornstarch slurry (cornstarch mixed with water) in small increments.
  • Thin Out: Gradually stir in additional chicken broth or water.
  • Reduce: Simmer the sauce on low heat to evaporate excess liquid.
  • Blend: For a smoother texture, blend the sauce with an immersion blender.
  • Strain: Pass the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve for uniform consistency.
  • Cool Down: The sauce naturally thickens as it cools.
  • Refrigerate: Thickens further when stored in the fridge.
  • Stir Well: Ensure even consistency before serving or storing.
  • Balance: Adjust other flavor elements if consistency adjustments alter the taste.
  • Experiment: Find your preferred consistency through trial and error.

Should We Serve The Sauce Cold Or Warm?

The serving temperature of Sesame Chicken Sauce largely depends on the dish it accompanies. Traditionally, it’s served warm over dishes like Sesame Chicken or stir-fries, as the heat helps the sauce cling to and coat the ingredients more effectively. 

However, if you’re using it as a salad dressing or a dipping sauce for appetizers like spring rolls or dumplings, it can be served at room temperature or slightly chilled.

Ultimately, the best temperature for serving is the one that complements the dish it’s paired with and suits your personal preference.

Sesame Chicken Sauce Recipe

Nutritional Values

This Sesame Chicken Sauce is a flavorful condiment. Per serving, it contains approximately 120 calories, 2g of protein, 17g of carbohydrates, and 5g of fat. It also provides essential nutrients like vitamin C, calcium, and iron.

What Are The Total Calories In Sesame Chicken Sauce Recipe?

The total calories in the Sesame Chicken Sauce recipe involves summing up the caloric content of each ingredient. However, with the given ingredients, an approximate calculation would be:

  • Sesame oil: 120 calories
  • Garlic cloves: 8 calories
  • Chicken broth: 10 calories
  • Brown sugar: 415 calories
  • Soy sauce: 30 calories
  • Rice vinegar: 3 calories
  • Chili paste: 15 calories
  • Cornstarch: 60 calories

This totals approximately 661 calories for the entire batch of sauce. Each serving would contain roughly 165 calories divided into four servings. Please note that these are estimations, and actual caloric values may vary based on specific brands and measurements.

Sesame chicken sauce: a delectable fusion of sweet honey, savory soy, and nutty sesame, transforming chicken into a culinary masterpiece.

Dietary Restrictions Of The Sesame Chicken Sauce Recipe

  • Gluten: Traditional soy sauce contains gluten. Opt for gluten-free soy sauce or tamari for gluten-sensitive individuals.
  • Sodium: The sauce is relatively high in sodium due to the soy sauce. Consider low-sodium versions if on a sodium-restricted diet.
  • Sugar: Contains brown sugar, which might not be suitable for sugar-restricted or low-carb diets.
  • Vegan/Vegetarian: The recipe is vegetarian, but ensure the chicken broth is substituted with vegetable broth for strict vegetarians or vegans.
  • Allergens: Contains sesame oil, a potential allergen for some individuals.
  • Spiciness: Contains chili paste. Adjust or omit for individuals sensitive to spicy foods.

Nutrition Table

Nutrition TableNutrition TableNutrition TableNutrition Table

What Are The Common Mistakes While Making This Sauce? 

  • Overheating the Sesame Oil: Heating sesame oil too high can lead to a bitter taste. It’s best to heat it gently.
  • Burning the Garlic: Garlic can burn quickly, imparting a bitter flavor. Cook it just until fragrant.
  • Not Dissolving the Sugar: Ensure the brown sugar is fully dissolved before increasing the heat, or the sauce can become grainy.
  • Over-Thickening: Adding too much cornstarch slurry can make the sauce too thick. Add it gradually.
  • Rushing the Thickening Process: The sauce needs time to thicken properly. Rushing this can result in a sauce that is not at the ideal consistency.
  • Not Adjusting Flavors: Taste as you go and adjust seasonings, especially the sweetness and saltiness.
  • Skipping the Toasted Sesame Seeds: These add a crucial flavor and texture, so don’t omit them.

What Are Some Creative Uses Of Leftover Sauce?

  • Stir-fry Sauce: Toss it with vegetables, tofu, or your choice of protein.
  • Noodle Dressing: Mix it into warm noodles or a noodle salad.
  • Marinade: Marinate chicken, beef, or vegetables before grilling or roasting.
  • Rice Flavor Enhancer: Drizzle over plain rice or a rice bowl.
  • Dipping Sauce: Use as a dip for dumplings, spring rolls, or tempura.
  • Salad Dressing: Whisk with a bit of olive oil and drizzle over salads.
  • Vegetable Glaze: Brush it on roasted vegetables for added flavor.
  • Sandwich Spread: Spread a thin layer on sandwiches or wraps for a flavor boost.
  • Pizza Drizzle: Drizzle over your favorite pizza for a unique twist.
  • Savory Oatmeal: Add a dash of oatmeal with vegetables for a savory breakfast.
Sesame Chicken Sauce Recipe

Special Tools & Equipment Needed

  • Medium Saucepan: Essential for cooking and combining the sauce ingredients.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: For accurate measurement of ingredients.
  • Whisk: Helps to blend the ingredients smoothly, especially when incorporating the cornstarch slurry.
  • Garlic Press: Convenient for mincing garlic cloves quickly.
  • Spatula or Wooden Spoon: Useful for stirring the sauce and ensuring it doesn’t stick to the pan.
  • Stovetop or Cooktop: Required for cooking the sauce.
  • Storage Container: Airtight container for storing any leftover sauce.
  • Fine-mesh Strainer (optional): If you prefer a sauce without garlic bits.

Frequently Asked Questions  

Can I Make The Sesame Chicken Sauce Gluten-Free?

Yes, you can easily make this sauce gluten-free by substituting traditional soy sauce with a gluten-free soy sauce or tamari.

How Long Can I Store The Sesame Chicken Sauce?

The sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. Make sure it cools down before storing.

Is There A Way To Reduce The Spiciness Of The Sauce?

Absolutely. If you’re sensitive to heat, reduce the chili paste or omit it entirely. You can always add a bit more later to taste.

Can I Use This Sauce As A Marinade?

Yes, this versatile sauce works wonderfully as a marinade for chicken, beef, or vegetables. Marinate for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to infuse.

What Can I Use If I Don’t Have Rice Vinegar?

If you don’t have rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or white wine vinegar, make suitable substitutes. They both provide a similar tangy flavor profile.

5-Steps Delightful Sesame Chicken Sauce Recipe

0 from 0 votes
Recipe by Lana Rivera Course: Sauces


Prep time


Cooking time





Savor the harmonious blend of sweet and savory in this Sesame Chicken Sauce. Perfectly balanced with soy sauce, brown sugar, and a hint of chili, it’s an ideal addition to elevate your favorite dishes. Its robust flavor and silky texture make it a versatile kitchen staple.


  • 1 tablespoon 1 Sesame oil

  • 2 2 Garlic cloves, minced

  • ½ cup ½ Chicken broth

  • ½ cup ½ Brown sugar, packed

  • 3 tablespoons 3 Soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon 1 Rice vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon 1 Chili paste

  • ¼ cup ¼ Water

  • 2 tablespoons 2 Cornstarch

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Begin by gathering all your ingredients and measuring them out as listed.
  • Place a medium saucepan on your stovetop. Turn the heat to medium and pour in 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, allowing it to warm up but not smoke.
  • Take your minced garlic cloves and add them to the heated oil. Stir constantly with a spatula or wooden spoon to ensure even cooking. You’ll notice a delightful aroma after about 1 minute—this means the garlic is perfectly fragrant and ready.
  • Carefully pour ½ cup of chicken broth into the saucepan, followed by ½ cup of packed brown sugar. The sugar will provide a lovely sweetness to balance the savory elements of the sauce.
  • Build the flavor profile by adding 3 tablespoons of soy sauce for umami depth, 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar for a tangy kick, and 1 tablespoon of chili paste for a gentle heat to awaken your taste buds.
  • Stir all the ingredients together until they are well combined. Then, increase the heat to high. Watch as the mixture transforms, coming to a lively boil. The bubbling signifies that the flavors are melding together, and your sauce is developing its characteristic rich texture.
  • As the sauce reaches a boil, stay attentive. You’re crafting a culinary delight that will elevate any dish it graces.

Recipe Video


  • For a gluten-free version, use tamari instead of soy sauce.
  • Adjust sweetness or heat to taste by altering the brown sugar and chili paste quantities.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Apricot BBQ Sauce Recipe

This Apricot BBQ Sauce blends sweet apricot jam with tangy vinegar and a symphony of spices.

Lemon Pesto Sauce Recipe

Lemon Pesto Sauce Recipe is a vibrant and flavorful sauce that combines the zesty brightness of lemon with the herbaceous freshness of basil, rich almonds, and savory Parmesan cheese.

Creamy Leek Sauce Recipe

Indulge in the luxurious Creamy Leek Sauce Recipe, where the sweetness of leeks meets the richness of butter and cream.

Garlic Cream Sauce Recipe

Indulge in the rich and creamy goodness of our Garlic Cream Sauce Recipe, a versatile culinary delight that transforms any dish.

Leave a Comment

Author picture


Welcome, fellow flavor enthusiasts to the world of Sauce Chick, where every flavor tells a tale of creativity, passion, and the harmonious fusion of spices and sauces.

More About Me