Vegan Honey Garlic Sesame Sauce Recipe

This Vegan Honey Garlic Sesame Sauce is LEGIT! Indistinguishable from the original, this Chinese-style sauce is amazing on vegan cauliflower wings, on rice, and in wraps or sandwiches.

Video Tutorial for Vegan Honey Garlic Sesame Sauce


The inspiration for this Vegan Honey Garlic Sesame Sauce

During my senior year of high school and the year after (pre-vegan, obviously), I used to eat honey garlic chicken wings from one of two Hong Kong-style cafes near my school almost every weekday. That is not an exaggeration. Thinking back at my dietary choices, I often wonder how I’m still alive. That said, I still love the taste of that style of honey garlic sauce. And it’s actually really easy to veganize once you have your vegan honey aka apple syrup.

Vegan honey made from apple syrup, sugar and a touch of lemon tastes remarkably like the original. It also happens to be less expensive, making it idea to use in sauces such as this which use quite a bit of it.

How to Make Vegan Honey Garlic Sesame Sauce

Once you have your apple honey, simply combine it with garlic, ginger, a few other seasonings. Use Tamari instead of regular soy sauce if you’re avoiding gluten. Add sesame seeds if you like; raw or toasted, it’s up to you.

Dump in all the ingredients except fort the lemon juice and cornstarch.

Dump in all the ingredients except fort the lemon juice and cornstarch.

Add a cornstarch slurry made with lemon juice to thicken up the sauce and add some tang. If you want to make a orange sesame sauce, simply swap out the lemon juice for fresh squeezed orange juice.

vegan honey garlic sauce bubbling on stovetop

Heat the sauce to a boil then remove from heat and it’s done!

Let the mixture come to a boil and turn off the heat. And that’s it. This sauce should be done in five minutes or less. Your vegan honey garlic sesame sauce is ready to dress up crispy tofu, tempeh or veggies.

finished vegan honey garlic sesame sauce in mason jar

Try it with this Baked Crispy Cauliflower or my favourite way to eat cauliflower: Beer-Battered Cauliflower

Crispy Baked Cauliflower dipped in Vegan Honey Garlic Sesame Sauce

Vegan Beer-Battered Cauliflower tossed with Vegan Honey Garlic Sesame Sauce

Instead of apple honey, you can use other syrups like golden syrup and agave. However, the flavour will not be exactly the same. The apple honey really does make a difference. Consider making your own apple honey with apple juice, sugar and lemon juice. It can take only 15 minutes with this recipe.

Instead of adding regular granulated sugar, you can use other sweeteners such as date sugar, coconut palm sugar, or stevia. However, keep in mind that these sweeteners have different sweetness concentrations and you will need to adjust. Add alternative sweeteners at the end of the cooking process in order to adjust the taste. You can also simple replace the sugar with more apple honey. Add one third more apple honey and reduce the amount of water by the same amount.

To make Orange Sesame sauce, reduce the water by 2 tablespoons and swap out the lemon juice for 4 tablespoons of freshly squeezed orange juice. You can also add a quarter teaspoon of orange zest.

Printable recipe for Vegan Honey Garlic Sesame Sauce

Vegan Honey Garlic Sesame Sauce Recipe

finished vegan honey garlic sesame sauce in mason jar

This Chinese-style vegan honey garlic sauce uses apple "honey" as its base and is indistinguishable from the original. Try it on crispy tofu, tempeh or vegetables.


  • 1 cup water [237ml]
  • 1/2 cup vegan apple honey, recipe here (or see notes for substitutions) [118ml]
  • 1/4 cup sugar (see notes for alternatives) [50g]
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (use Tamari if gluten-free) [30ml]
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup [30ml]
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, raw or toasted, optional
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

For cornstarch slurry:

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (or tapioca flour)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice [30ml]


  1. In a pot over high heat, combine all the ingredients except for the cornstarch and lemon juice. Separately, mix the cornstarch into the lemon juice until completely dissolved.
  2. When the sauce starts bubbling, stir in the cornstarch mixture. The sauce should start to thicken. Allow the sauce to come to a boil, then immediately turn off the heat. The sauce is now ready to use! Enjoy!

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