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Sesame Garlic Wings with an Instant Pot

If you liked the Instant Pot® Barbecue Chicken Wings, you’re going to love these Sesame Garlic Wings! I love the combination of sweetness from the honey and kick from the fresh ginger, mingled with the always yumminess of garlic.

Sesame Garlic Wings with an Instant Pot

Sesame Garlic Wings

Sesame Garlic Wings with an Instant Pot

Course Appetizer
Cuisine Chinese
Keyword Asian Cuisine, barbecue, bbq, wings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes
Natural Release Time 10 minutes
Total Time 36 minutes
Servings 4


  • Instant Pot®


  • 4-4½ lbs. chicken wings
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup water
  • White sesame seeds for garnish

Sesame Garlic Sauce Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
  • 3 Tablespoons honey preferably fresh and local
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger very finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder


Cook the Wings

  • Season wings lightly with salt and black pepper.
  • Place the metal trivet inside Instant Pot® and add one cup of water.
  • Arrange seasoned wings on top of the trivet before securing the cover in place. Switch the vent to “Sealing” and set the “Manual” setting to 8 minutes.

Sesame Garlic Sauce

  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir together the soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, butter, ginger, and garlic powder. Cook, stirring frequently until butter is melted and the mixture is thoroughly combined. Remove from heat and set aside.


  • When cook time on Instant Pot® is complete, allow pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes, then do a quick release for any remaining steam.
  • Remove lid and transfer wings to a large bowl. Set aside and cool slightly.
  • Meanwhile, position the top oven rack in the top position and pre-heat the broiler to high.
  • Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire cooling rack on top. Set aside.
  • Pour 1/3 of the sesame garlic sauce on top of the wings and toss to coat.
  • Transfer the wings to the wire rack on the prepared baking sheet and place under the broiler for 3-4 minutes or until the wings start to get crispy and develop some color.
  • Turn the wings and repeat on the remaining side.
  • Remove from the oven and toss the wings with half of the remaining sesame garlic sauce.
  • Sprinkle with white sesame seeds and serve immediately with the remaining sauce on the side.

Working with Fresh Ginger

Giger root can be tough to work with, but there are a few ways you can make it easier.

  1. Freeze it. Frozen ginger root is much easier to work with, and both cuts and shreds a bit easier than fresh. However, it doesn’t keep in the freezer long, so if you don’t use it a lot, this isn’t a great option.
  2. Store it in the ground. This one sounds weird at first, but when I tried it, it really worked. I purchased a ginger root at the grocery store, and a nice pot, and some potting soil at a garden store. And then I buried the root in the pot and kept the pot on my kitchen counter. When I needed some ginger, I dug it up, cut off what I needed, and then re-buried it. This kept the root fresher longer. In fact, it even started to grow!
  3. Buy pre-frozen and grated ginger. Dorot makes a fresh frozen crushed ginger product that is very easy to use. I’ve reviewed it on the blog before.

Why the sesame garlic combo?

Sesame garlic noodles. Spinach with sesame and garlic. Why does sesame go with garlic so well? I did some digging and here’s what I found out:

First, sesame has a stronger affinity with soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil, honey, scallions, and rice vinegar than it does with garlic. Good thing many of those are in this recipe, eh?

Why … no one would tell me!

So I got logical.

The flavor profile of the sesame seed is mild, sweet, and nutty. The flavor profile of garlic is pungent with slight sulfurous notes. Interestingly enough, I discovered that sweet and pungent are two of the five tastes identified in ancient Chinese tradition, the others being bitter, salty, and sour. Each taste maps to an element and sweet maps to earth, which pungent maps to metal. Where does one find metal? In the earth!

So there you have it! Sesame garlic go together because earth and metal go together! How’s that for a scientific answer to your question.

Creative Cooking Tips Banner

I’ve got a different idea for unleashing your kitchen creativity today: A Honey Experiment. Go to your local Farmer’s Market and buy several different kinds of local honey, from the light to dark varieties. Then make these wings with each kind and see if you can taste the difference!

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About the author

Carma Spence has been experimenting in the kitchen since she was four years old and loves trying out new recipe ideas. She is the author of Bonkers for Bundt Cakes and Your Perfect Pie, as well as author and contributor to several more non-food-related books. With Carma's Cookery, she is taking her passion for empowering people and blending it with her passion for cooking, gift-giving and entertaining.

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