Go Back

Grilled Harissa Sesame Beer Chicken with Lemon Cilantro Tahini

Servings 4 servings


For the chicken:

  • ¼ cup (7g) chopped green onions
  • 4 cloves garlic grated with a microplane
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ginger grated with a microplane
  • 2 tablespoon (32g) harissa paste *
  • 3 tablespoon (48g) soy sauce low sodium
  • 2 tablespoon (25g) brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (14g) honey
  • 2 tablespoons (28g) sesame oil
  • ½ cup (115g) pale ale
  • 8 chicken thighs skinless and boneless
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds toasted

For the sauce:

  • 1 cup (224g) tahini (stir the jar well beforehand)
  • ¼ cup (58g) fresh lemon juiced
  • 2 tablespoons (27g) beer (or water)
  • ¼ cup (58g) water (plus additional as needed)
  • 2 tablespoons (27g) olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves rough chopped
  • ¾ cup (18g) chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup (7g) chopped green onions
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sumac** optional
  • 1 ½ teaspoons (9g) kosher salt


  • In a large bowl stir together the green onions, garlic, ginger, harissa paste, soy sauce, brown sugar, honey, sesame oil, and beer.
  • Sprinkle the chicken on all sides with salt. Add the chicken to the marinade, cover, and refrigerate for at least two hours and up to 24.
  • In a blender, add the ingredients for the sauce, blend on high until well combined. Add additional beer or water to thin to desired consistency.
  • Preheat the grill to medium-high.
  • Add the chicken to the grill, brushing with marinade after turning, grilling until cooked through (do not brush with marinade after removing from grill, the heat of the grill will kill harmful bacteria from the raw chicken juices that are still in the marinade but brushing after removing from the grill won’t).
  • Sprinkle with sesame seeds after removing from the grill.
  • Drizzle with sauce prior to serving.


* Harissa is a North African hot chili pepper paste, usually found near the Moroccan food in the grocery store. You can also make it yourself, link below.
**I love sumac, but if you don’t have it on hand don’t feel the need to run out and find it. This sauce is great even without it.