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How to cook with sesame oil
Sesame oil is extracted from compressed sesame seeds and isn’t the easiest to extract manually. Therefore it is not commonly produced worldwide. Sesame oil dates back more than 5000 years. The sesame plant can grow where most plants cannot, and it can withstand long periods of drought.
Sesame seeds are amongst the first food items to be compressed and extracted for oil.
Sesame oil was first used by the Asian market. Asians have explored many ways of how to cook with sesame oil in the dishes they prepared. Now, it has gained in popularity worldwide. You can buy it in most local supermarkets today.
It is not only used when preparing Asian meals; it can be used in just about any dish, from meat to veggies, without overpowering the taste.
Don’t be mistaken by its bland appearance, as it can add a twist and make an already good dish even better. But sesame oil isn’t meant for everyday use; it is more expensive than most cooking oils on the market.
It also has a low tolerance for heat and burns quickly if the temperature is too high. However, this oil is excellent for marinades, salad dressing, and sauces.
Knowing the Different Types of Sesame Oil
There are two types of sesame oil which includes refined and unrefined.
- Refined oil is mainly used for cooking. It is light in color and is commonly found,
- Unrefined sesame oil is darker in color and is less commonly used or found in supermarkets.
Sesame oil usually has a long lifespan; it can be stored in a cool, dark place in your kitchen even after being opened.
You need to pop the lid back on and ensure its seal is tight to prevent air from entering the container.
Knowing how to cook with sesame oil is one thing but you also need to know how to store it.
Although some people store it in the refrigerator, it is not recommended as it may change the color. However, this will not change the flavor.
Dark sesame, regular sesame , what’s the difference?
What makes sesame different from other seed oils like sunflower seed oil and canola oil is that sesame oil comes from crushed seeds.
Regular sesame oil requires minimum refining to turn into edible oil. On the contrary, dark sesame oil needs to undergo additional processing before becoming edible.
This extra refinement involves heating the oil until it turns brown; hence why dark sesame oil is darker and thicker than regular sesame oil.
When cooking with oil you should always put a drop of water in the pan. It helps to prevent burning and maintain the optimal oil/water ratio.
The Advantages of Cooking with Sesame Oil
► Cooking with sesame oil has many advantages. They include lowering blood pressure and increasing heart health. It can also be used as a part of your beauty routine as it contains SPF and has anti-inflammatory agents.
►When consumed, sesame oil can prevent and help treat anemia. However, it is essential to remember that it’s not a cure.
►Sesame oil contains zinc, iron, and magnesium, which help improve blood circulation, bone density, and produce red blood cells.
It is packed with many more vitamins that help with your overall health. Sesame oil contains omega-3 and omega – 6 fatty acids, both essential in improving overall health.
The Disadvantages of Cooking with Sesame Oil
Just as with everything, sesame oil also has its disadvantages. Aside from being more costly than other cooking oils, there are some reported side effects.
Listed below are the disadvantages of using sesame oil :
► It has caused allergies in some people.
► Excessive use of the oil is not recommended for people with diabetes. If too much sesame oil is consumed, it can drop or raise the glucose levels in your body.
► Sesame oil can also bloat appendicitis due to the high fiber content in the oil. Consuming too much sesame oil can also cause weight gain.
► Just like most oils, sesame oil does take longer to digest.
There are many great substitutes that you can use if you are allergic to sesame oil. The commonly substituted oils are olive oil, peanut oil, grapeseed oil, walnut oil, and avocado oil.
What are the Other Uses of Sesame Oil ?
Sesame oil has several other uses aside from cooking. When used as a head massage oil, it promotes hair growth and prevents greys and hair loss.
You can also use it in the treatment of head lice. Here are a few steps that you can follow.
- When applying the oil to your hair, massage it into your scalp and the ends. The process will help to repair the damage.
- Let the oil soak in your hair for an hour before washing it out.
- When using this treatment in your hair, you should avoid using harsh chemical-based shampoos as they may combat the goodness of the oil.
- When used as a skincare product, this oil can fight damage caused by the cellular structure of your skin. It also doesn’t clog your pores and will keep your skin soft and hydrated.
- It’s always best to try the oil on a test patch area on your body if you have sensitive skin. Cover and leave the oil on the test area on your body for at least 24 hours. If you are allergic or
- sensitive to the oil, you should feel a burning or itchy sensation in and around the area.
- If it’s left alone for 24 hours and you don’t feel discomfort, you are probably not allergic to the oil, and it’s safe to use on your body.
The advantages of using toasted sesame seeds :
1. Toasting these seeds removes their bitterness and adds a distinct flavor. It gives a nutty taste when added during pasta creations.
2. It enhances the shelf life of any food. Since they oxidize very slowly at room temperature (up to eight months), they last longer, making them perfect for adding crunchy flavor to recipes.
3. They are rich in minerals and antioxidants that are vital for our immune system. 4. It enhances the nutritional content of foods since it’s free of cholesterol.
How to Use toasted Sesame Seeds:
Use these roasted sesame seeds for cooking pasta dishes along with veggies such as potatoes and carrots.
Mix it with peanut butter to create delicious savory snacks. Add them to bread toppings or use them in marinades.
Sprinkle some onto salads. Try them on pancakes or add them to sandwiches. You can also sprinkle them onto tofu dishes to increase the health benefits.
You can mix sesame oil with olive oil to make salad dressings. Add them to sauces or dips for a nutty sweetness.
Or, if you want to give your baked goods a crispy texture, try sprinkling them on top of muffins or cookies instead of sugar.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What does toasted sesame oil taste like ?
How do we know what toasted sesame is really supposed to taste like? Well, it should have a nutty flavor and a little sweet.
When to use sesame oil ? How often?
Use sesame oil anytime. Just make sure you don’t overcook it. Let it sit on the stovetop for 5 minutes before serving. In order to get rid of any impurities while using the oil, you need to strain them off after cooking. There are various ways to strain the oil. One such way is to drain off the excess oil after removing the seeds and add water until the level reaches half full. Once cooled enough, remove the sesame seeds and discard them. Then heat up the sesame oil once again and allow it to cool completely before storing in a glass jar. Storing your extra oil is advisable to prevent spoilage.
Is sesame oil good for kids ?
This oil can be used safely by all ages without any problem. However, remember that babies shouldn’t consume more than 2 tablespoons per day as they do not undergo proper digestion when compared to adults. Also, children under 4 years of age should only consume 3 teaspoons of sesame oil in one sitting.
How much sesame oil should put in my recipe ?
1 teaspoon -1 tablespoon
For how long can I store a bottle of sesame oil?
Best results when you store it in a dark place for 6 months
Can I substitute sesame oil for vegetable oil? What kind of recipes work well with sesame oil?
Yes you can but it depends upon type of food you're making. For example, you could use it in pasta sauce but not in salad dressings (it tastes too strong)
How hot does sesame oil burn?
According to research, it burns at about 450°F / 232°C
How to roast sesame seed?
Roasting sesame seed releases oil which gets absorbed into the seeds, giving them a milder flavour which goes well with rice and other dishes and adding richness to sauces since it has a higher smoke point than olive or sunflower oils. To prepare toasted sesame oil, first dry roast the sesame seeds in a pan over medium temperatures. When it starts smoking lightly, turn down the heat to low and let it sizzle for 10-15 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour the oil through cheesecloth over the top. Be careful not to inhale it directly because it contains sesameseed oil vapours. This method works perfectly with Asian cuisine
In a recent study conducted, it was found that sesame oil is excellent for treating second-degree burns. Sesame oil includes anti-inflammatory properties, reducing pain and inflammation when used as a massage oil. You can also use it to ease the pain of a toothache.
When ingested, the oil can reduce menstrual cramps and relieve mild constipation. Mix two tablespoons of sesame oil with water and drink it twice daily.
Additionally, sesame oil is also a great mouthwash when diluted with water. This process is called oil pulling.
It is an ayurvedic remedy that helps fight bacteria, fungus, and other harmful substances that should not be in your mouth.
Oil pulling has many other benefits, such as reducing bad breath, improving overall gum health, preventing inflammation, and strengthening teeth.
So, aside from cooking, sesame oil is a valuable ingredient to have around!
Photo Credits :
Sesame oil photo created by jcomp – www.freepik.com Sesame oil photo created by jcomp – www.freepik.com Sesame oil photo created by jcomp – www.freepik.com Woman in bed photo created by gpointstudio – www.freepik.com Avocado toast photo created by BalashMirzabey – www.freepik.com Sesame oil photo created by jcomp – www.freepik.com