Marinades, Sauces, Rubs & Salsas

Sweet Sesame-Soy Marinade

This marinade mashes up flavorings from several Asian grill cultures: soy sauce and sake from Japan; sesame oil and seeds from Korea; five-spice powder and oyster sauce from China; plus jalapeños from the United States. Put them together and you get a marinade that turns poultry, meat, seafood, and even tofu into championship Asian-style barbecue. To get the full effect, use dark nutty Asian-style sesame oil, made with roasted sesame seeds. Oyster sauce is a thick briny condiment available in Asian markets and many supermarkets.


Sweet Sesame-Soy Marinade


  • 1/3 cup Asian (dark) sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup sake, rice wine, or dry sherry
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 2 scallions (white and green parts), trimmed and minced
  • 2 strips lemon zest
  • 1 to 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese Five-Spice Powder

Recipe Steps

1: Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir or whisk to mix. Use within a few hours of making.