tahini in chinese
In one of my chinese cookbooks it calls for sesame paste. Is that the same as Tahini? Also, if I use some of a can of tahini how long will it last in the fridge?
Chinese sesame paste is NOT the same as tahini. It's toasted, dark brown, and has a more intense, less chalky flavour. When you open a jar of it, the aroma is wonderful! I love it and have started using it in lieu of tahini or when I want to push the sesame flavour in a recipe.
By all means, check out your local asian market and see if you can find the real stuff. I don't know the name of the brand that I prefer, but it is from Taiwan and comes packaged in an opaque white plastic jar, about 4" high, with a bright ultramarine blue label. There is some pink and black on the label as well.
I disagree with the former poster. I've bought sesame paste aka tahini in Chinese markets, and used it perfectly in middle eastern cooking. I guess it depends upon whether it's been "toasted" or not, but I've found plain sesame paste in Chinese and other asian markets before. It is typically canned rather than jarred, but it's the same stuff.
I've seen "tahini" sold in Asian grocery stores (particularly Roland brand), but agree that sesame-paste-from-China is different. I guess I've never found a fresh jar, they've always smelled nastily rancid so I use tahini with a little sesame oil instead. But if the sesame for tahini is toasted, it's toasted only very lightly.