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Can tahini be subsituted with Chinese sesame paste?

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I want to make some hummus from scratch and the recipe calls for tahini but I don't have it and don't know where to get some. I do have Chinese sesame paste which is black sesame seeds ground up. It's slightly sweet and the consistency is like peanut butter. Can I use it instead of tahini?

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  1. If my memory serves me correctly, sesame paste and tahini are not interchangeable. You should be able to find tahini in a good health food store nearby- I'd try a Whole Foods or Wild Oats first; they both carry quite a wide stock of goods.

    1. I don't think you can - I believe Chinese sesame paste has a different flavor because it's made with toasted sesame seeds while tahini is made with untoasted sesame seeds.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Rubee

        hmm, glad I asked then. I will try to look for real tahini. Thanks!

      2. i got a recipe from the food channel website for hummus that used peanut butter because i too could not find hummus. don't do it!! it came out awful!

        3 Replies
        1. re: tonya casmo

          Was that Alton Brown's recipe? I saw it on Good Eats, and then about a week later decided to try it because I also didn't have any tahini on hand. It seemed a little strange at first bite, but then it grew on me. I think if you've got enough garlic and lemon juice, you can't go wrong. :-)

          1. re: LisaPizza

            i think so- maybe i couldn't get past the initial strangeness- i was looking for regular hummus but you're right if you added enough other stuff it would probably be ok. i used the natural peanut butter which has a strong taste. maybe i should have used less or used plain old regualr skippy. you?

            1. re: tonya casmo

              Just Laura Scudder's for me. You could try adding a little less peanut butter. Or maybe a little extra lemon/garlic/olive oil? I thought it came out nice and light, too, not heavy like some hummus I've tried. But maybe I just whipped the heck out of it in the food processor.

              The thing is, I would have made it the traditional way, but I really didn't see the need to have a full-size jar of tahini in the house. I know it lasts forever, but I'm out of work and on a TIGHT budget right now, and hell, just couldn't justify buying the tahini! Maybe you want to give it another try?

        2. Chinese sesame paste works fine...just use less.