Sweet and Silky Sesame Sauce


This is an especially versatile sauce—a silky, rich sesame blend without the stamp of garlic or coriander. It is more northern and less Szechwanese than the preceding sauce, with a more pronounced sweetness and a more subtle spiciness.

  • This is the one to choose for foods or people that would be overwhelmed by a hotter blend.


  • tablespoons Chinese sesame paste, drained of oil
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Chinese or Japanese sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon thin (regular) soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon black soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon wild-flower honey
  • 1 teaspoon hoisin sauce
  • ¾-1 teaspoon hot chili oil
  • about 2 teaspoons warm water, as required for a ribbony consistency


Add all the ingredients except the water to the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel knife. Process until completely smooth and emulsified, scraping down as necessary. Gradually add water as required to obtain a silky sauce that will fall in overlapping ribbons from a spatula, processing to blend.

Alternatively, mix the ingredients in a blender, or by hand until smooth and well blended.

For best flavor, put aside for several hours at room temperature or refrigerate overnight in a clean, airtight jar. Use at room temperature for full flavor and aroma.

Sealed and refrigerated, the sauce keeps indefinitely. If it thickens, blend with additional water as required.