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Feb 23, 2010 04:47 PM

New to using Sesame Oil, how should it taste, how and how much to use?!

I purchased an 'Asian Family' brand sesame oil as my first trial, but returned it as it tasted not so much toasted as charred. Reading CH and a recommendation at the Asian supermarket brings me to Kadoya sesame oil. Kadoya also has a pronounced smokiness, but not like my first trial. Do all sesame oils share this smokey quality? Is there such a thing as untoasted sesame oil that can also be used as a condiment/flavouring? And finally, any recipes featuring the best of sesame oil CHers care to share? Thanks all!

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  1. Sesame oil should taste roasted, and a small amount goes a long way. Store in the fridge, or it will quickly go rancid. I use it in many dishes. It makes a lovely salad dressing: mayo thinned with soy sauce, rice vinegar, and a splash of sesame oil. (If you have some miso, throw a little of that in, as well.)

    1. Even though you are supposed to refrigerate it, I keep it at room temp. I like to drizzle sesame oil directly on things like tofu, marinated nori, chow mein, daikon and radish salads, soups, etc., so I like to have it at room temp and not cold when I use it.

      I've never had problems with it going rancid, although admittedly I generally use up the bottles I buy within a month or so.

      Try not to buy more than you'll need for a couple months, this way you won't have problems with rancidity.

      And, yes, sesame oil should have a nice strong toasty element to it. It has very prominent flavor profile so use sparingly. Best for garnishes and not as a cooking oil generally.

      1. Regarding untoasted sesame oil, you can certainly buy untoasted sesame oil but it's not intended to be used as a condiment or flavoring like the toasted oil - it is generally flavorless.

        As to recipes, check out the home cooking board. But generally toasted sesame oil is a flavoring component added at the last moment - cooking it diminishes the flavor, so I believe most uses you'll find include it either as part of a dipping oil (like for dumplings or noodles), or dressing (salads or noodles), or drizzled on meats, stir-fries, and the like, after cooking.

        1. In southern India, unroasted sesame oil, also called gingelly or til oil, is the oil of choice for frying. Toasted/roasted sesame oil has a much lower smoke point and, as others have said, isn't generally used for cooking or frying, although it is sometimes added to stir fries. I lke to drizzle a little on green vegetables like spinach and asparagus. Kadoya is a very good brand.

          1. You could use a large part of it to make Korean Bulgogi. The recipes I have call for cups of it at a time...

            1 Reply
            1. re: xIcewind

              Yep. My recipe calls for equal parts sesame oil and soy sauce, along with heapin' helpins of minced garlic, scallions, black pepper and red pepper flakes.

              And I simply love the flavor of sesame oil in general. May try it as a "secret" ingredient in a batch o' chili one of these days.