Chinese Sesame Paste

Chinese Sesame paste substitute

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Prep: 8 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 13 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yield: 1/2 cup
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
663 Calories
70g Fat
8g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 663
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 70g 90%
Saturated Fat 6g 31%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 4mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 316mg 24%
Iron 5mg 26%
Potassium 152mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Chinese sesame paste, made from toasted white sesame seeds, is a common ingredient used in noodle dishes, salads, fillings for buns, and dipping sauces for hot pots. The nutty, rich flavor of Chinese sesame paste makes it very popular in different regions of China, particularly in Sichuan cuisine. Most of the Chinese sesame pastes you’ll find in Asian/Chinese supermarkets are usually found in jars. The paste is pretty solid with some oil floating on the top and needs to be mixed evenly before using.

But instead of buying jarred sesame paste (which can be difficult to find), you can make your own Chinese sesame paste from scratch. It’s very easy and quick to put together—all you need are white sesame seeds, vegetable oil, the oven, and a food processor.


  • 1 cup white sesame seeds

  • 1 cup vegetable oil, or other light tasting oil

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  3. Pour the sesame seeds onto the baking sheet and shake the pan to get them in an even layer. Bake until fragrant and light golden brown, checking every 5 minutes and shaking the pan to make sure they're cooking evenly.

  4. After the sesame seeds are toasted, leave them to cool down a little bit, but not too much—you need to add them to the food processor while they are still warm.

  5. Add the seeds to the food processor and start processing them at medium speed. Once the sesame seeds have been crushed, turn the speed to low and slowly pour in the oil. Process until the mixture has reached the preferred density. (You may end up needing more or less of the cup of oil.)

  6. Store the sesame paste in a dry, clean, airtight jar in the refrigerator. It will keep for one month. 

Health Benefits of Sesame Seeds

Because these little white seeds are so small, you may not realize that they are quite good for you. Sesame seeds contain very high levels of quality protein as well as fiber. They also include plenty of magnesium which will help to lower blood pressure, improve respiratory health and prevent asthma, and ward off diabetes. (They can also help the body to generate plasma glucose in hypersensitive diabetics.) These seeds also are high in zinc which is very good for both your skin and bones. Due to the high levels of phytosterols, also known as plant sterols, sesame seeds can lower bad cholesterol.

Chinese Sesame Paste vs. Tahini

Tahini sauce, used in Middle Eastern cooking, is also made from sesame seeds. Although it tastes similar to Chinese sesame paste, it does not have the same depth of flavor since the sesame seeds in Chinese sesame paste are toasted while those in tahini sauce are simply added raw.