Spicy Chinese BBQ Sauce

This spicy Chinese BBQ sauce recipe mixes Asian ingredients (like fish sauce, soy sauce, and Chinese five-spice powder) with smoky chipotle in adobo sauce. It’s a unique smoky, sweet, and exotic flavor that couples just as well with fried rice as it does simple grilled chicken or pork.

One of my favorite uses for this sauce is as a marinade for delicious spicy kebab skewers. Marinate the meat overnight in this sauce, grill with your favorite vegetables, and enjoy! It also works well as a dipping sauce with a twist for chicken fingers and other fried foods.

Spicy Chinese BBQ sauce poured into a bowl

The sauce will not store well, so it’s best if used immediately. If you do decide to refrigerate this sauce for future use, it will turn jelly-like but it’s easy to restore. To bring it back to life simply heat it in the microwave, stir in a tablespoon of water, then use as normal.

Want your spicy Chinese BBQ sauce extra fiery? You could add more chipotle in adobo, but that will also enhance the smokiness even further. If you’d prefer simply more heat, try adding 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder to the recipe. It adds the spark without the smoke. Plus, it’s a spice rack staple, so you likely have it in hand.

Spicy Chinese style BBQ sauce

Spicy Chinese-Style BBQ Sauce

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Servings 16 servings
Calories 31 kcal



  • Place a small sauce pan over a medium heat and add the butter until melting.
  • Add flour and stir quickly to avoid lumps.
  • Add the remaining ingredients to the pan and stir to combine.
  • Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 8 minutes stirring consistency and add a splash of water until desired consistency is reached.
  • Serve immediately with fries or rice.


Calories: 31kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 203mgPotassium: 18mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 60IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 7mgIron: 1mg


Keyword Cayenne Pepper
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UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on May 15, 2021 to include new content. It was originally published on May 12, 2021.