Homemade Sesame Paste from Scratch | Hong Kong Food Blog with Recipes, Cooking Tips mostly of Chinese and Asian styles | Taste Hong Kong

Homemade Sesame Paste from Scratch

Homemade Sesame Paste from Scratch

There is no sugar in my homemade sesame paste as I use it more often in savory than in sweet dishes.

Lately, I blended the paste with a few more seasonings for serving with cold noodles, a meatless style. Do not get me wrong that I do not like this paste to go with meats. I like Hand-pulled Chicken, another popular Chinese dish to serve with sesame dressing. I have to admit, however, most of the time I like to make dressings from this paste for more simple treats, like with vegetables (usually spinach), beans (as what you’ll see here), and even tofu (pan fried).

Thank you Helena, my reader, for asking me how this paste was prepared, and I’m happy to do it again and have it posted here. I make my paste from scratch, meaning, I fry the white sesame seeds in pan before grinding them with oil. You may certainly choose to buy the roasted ones and skip the step.

Homemade Sesame Paste from Scratch

Roasting white sesame seeds in a pan is easy, at least easier than the black ones. You may actually see them turning from pearl white to golden brown. But you need no oil in the pan for frying (the same way – white wok – as we prepared for the peppercorn salt and shrimp roe).

If you want to serve a portion of this sesame paste like a peanut butter, simply stir in some honey plus a pinch of salt to your taste.

Homemade Sesame Paste from Scratch

  • Ingredients
  • 200g white sesame seeds
  • 5-6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Homemade Sesame Paste from Scratch


You may or may not need to pick through and wash your white sesame seeds, but in case you have doubt if there is any dirts or impurities, clean it. That is, wash the seeds thoroughly in a fine sieve under running water. Or, nest the sieve in a large bowl, and wash seeds thoroughly in several changes of water.

Drain sesame seeds until no more water drips off or dry completely (frying very wet sesame seeds takes more efforts and time).

Heat a large heavy-bottomed pan over low to medium flame, without any oil (this is what we called ‘white wok’); put in sesame seeds, stirring constantly. As their color turns from pearl white to golden brown, about 10 minutes (when you shall also hear some crackling sound). Remove from heat, and let cool.

Put roasted sesame seeds in a food processor with two table spoons of olive oil. Process on medium speed, stopping the machine to scrap down the paste from the side in about 15 seconds. Add another spoon of oil and process again. You may again need to stop the processor every 5 to 10 seconds until it reaches your desired consistency (add 1 or 2 more spoons of oil if required), about a minute.

Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator . It should last a couple of months.

Another Recent Dish with Sesame Dressing
Boiled with some salt and oil, the beans are then served with a dressing as one with the cold noodles, vinegar excluded.

Homemade Sesame Paste from Scratch



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  1. Stephanie

    I love dishes with sesame! I didn’t know it was so easy to make the paste yourself. Now that I have a food processor I’ll have to give this a try

  2. Helena

    Thank you very much, for your recipe and kind words ! I’m flattered of being shown such a consideration, and glad to have contributed, if only a little, to this website 🙂 For someone like me, who’s passionated about asian (but not exclusively) food culture, this site is a reference. All recipes I tried (already a dozen, I think…) turned out successful, except water chestnut cake – but the flour had a weird smell. And furthermore, you had me liking century eggs !
    Sadly, I haven’t had the time to try your cold sesame noodles yet (all the more so I don’t own a mandolin, so it will my task to slice all the garnishes and I’m quite a slow cook !), but I’m eager to do so. Your sesame paste looks so smooth…! I think I won’t buy factory-made anymore.
    Hope you’ll be having a nice week.

  3. Helena

    By the way: I personally like using a sesame sauce as a dressing for steamed eggplant.

  4. noobcook

    I love sesame sauce, and your home-made version look incredible. Bookmarked to try, thanks for sharing.

  5. TasteHongKong

    Happy trying and enjoy!

  6. TasteHongKong

    I always enjoy hearing feedback. Yes, eggplants goes very well with sesame dressing – how could I have forgotten to mention it! I must have a bias, loving it with a silky smooth sesame paste (by adding more oil and straining it).
    Hope yourte could find time to enjoy the cold noodles soon. FYI, the water chestnut powder I used is Pan Tang brand, one in yellow packaging here.

  7. TasteHongKong

    Happy cooking and enjoy!

  8. Juliana

    I love this sauce…and glad that you are sharing the recipe…YUM!
    Again thanks for the recipe and hope you are having a wonderful week 🙂

  9. Mary Moh

    Oh wow…..you made your own sesame paste? Looks so good with vegetables. Thanks very much for sharing.

  10. Angie@Angie's Recipes

    I made sesame paste before, but not as fine as yours.

  11. Christine's Recipes

    Sesame paste goes so well with salad, adding extra fragrance.

  12. tigerfish

    It seems to require some patience to make this smooth and velvety sesame paste and your patience has paid off! I wish I had such patience.

  13. Asmita

    Your sesame paste looks amazing! Nothing is as good as home made.

  14. Yi @ Yi Resevation

    i’ve made some peanut butter at home but i didn’t think of making sesame paste. This is brilliant! Thanks for sharing it.

  15. Lucy L

    Looks amazing, will certainly be trying this at home and esp since it’s so simple! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  16. Julia {The Roasted Root}

    I love the flavor of sesame seeds and your homemade paste will be very helpful to me when I’m cooking up Asian-inspired dishes. Great thinking!

  17. Lena

    i didnt know it’s so easy, one day i would like to try too

  18. kristy

    Oh my oh my I must try to make this my own. sounds fantastic. Thanks so much for sharing it, dear.

  19. stella

    Hi, is this sesame paste can be dipping sauce for steamboat as well?
    cheers stella

  20. TasteHongKong

    To serve as a dipping sauce for steamboat (hot pot), this paste needs to be seasoned and thinned. Unluckily, I can’t tell you right away the exact amount of seasonings required, as it is often my taste that guides me. And it is usually the Japanese style, including mirin, sake, rice vinegar, sugar, salt, soy sauce, dashi (or water) plus sesame oil. Note sure if this helps.

  21. TasteHongKong

    Or, you may want to try out the sesame dressing here.

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  23. BabylonX

    Have you tried to process just the seeds? Sesame paste (or Tahini) is produced just by crushing the seeds in the east. This virgin byproduct contains about 75% fat, 15% carbs and 10% proteins. Ase you can see, the seeds are 75% pure, top notch quality fat! Why add another 100 ml of oil in this already fatty thing? Don’t get me wrong, I am a guy good with numbers, completely clueless when it comes to cooking and food processing. If it can’t be done with a food processor like that please forgive my cluelessness. But if it can be done and you haven’t tried it yet, then you should try it. Crush them seeds alone.

  24. TasteHongKong

    An average food processor, mine included, should not be powerful enough to pulverize sesame seeds into a creamy paste (but clumps) without the add of oil or liquid.

  25. nakul

    many thanks for the recipe. In the start of this post you mentioned using it with cold noodles. I once had a Chinese dish called La Pi, which is made of cold bean curd noodles.. is this the same dish you were mentioning about. If so can you please help me with the recipe for the same… I have been trying to find this dish everywhere but am unable to get it.


  26. TasteHongKong

    ‘La Pi’ doesn’t sound like a dish name to me, but you may click here for the cold noodle recipe.

  27. Pinky

    Hi thanks so much for this recipe!
    I am living in Korea and bought roasted (white) sesame seeds and blended it together with olive oil, as per your recipe. Unfortunately, mine turned out very bitter, and no matter how much sugar, the bitterness still remains. I chewed some sesame seeds and indeed there was a bitter taste on the inside… is there anyway I can get rid of this bitter taste? or prevent it?

  28. TasteHongKong

    Sounds like the sesame seeds might have been over-roasted, and you may need to toast yours from scratch.


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