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Tahini vs. Chinese sesame paste... same?

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I just bought some tahini, and trying to figure out what to do with it all (bought it for shawarma sauce). Having never bought the Chinese sesame paste/sauce, just wondered if someone knew offhand if they are the same and can be used interchangeably. That would allow for a lot more recipes to use up this jar (can only find dressing recipes for tahini)

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  1. As I understand it, Chinese sesame paste is made from toasted sesame seeds and tahini is made from raw. Have both and they seem pretty different taste-wise. But maybe you could doctor tahini with toasted sesame oil to get more of a Chinese sesame paste taste..?

    Not sure where you stand on hummus, but you can use up quite a bit of tahini that way -- 3 Tablespoons tahini to one jar of chickpeas -- plus other ingreds.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bite bite

      Yes, this is correct and they do taste completely different! I never sub one for the other and I think that anyone w/a discerning palate would be put off by a sub. How 'bout a whipping up a nice big batch of hummus w/your leftovers?

    2. I don't know whether it's just a difference between raw and toasted, or what, but the flavor is very different IMO. Since I'm used to the tahini type, I can live with it in Chinese cooking, but would find the Chinese more or less unpleasant in Eastern Mediterranean sorts of dishes.

      1. I haven't tried Chinese sesame paste yet, but tahini is available in both raw and toasted forms from many suppliers e.g. Maranatha.
        IMO the raw version is TERRIBLE - it has almost no flavor. You will use far less of the toasted version in hummus to get that great nutty taste; the raw version will require darn near all you have to no good end except for fat calories.

        1 Reply
        1. re: DiveFan

          I understand the FDA has issued a recall on some of the Maranatha tahini. I don't use it but you might want to check out the FDA web site to be sure.