Sesame oil is one of those Asian staples that has slowly and steadily sneaked into our kitchens.
This edible vegetable oil is one of the key ingredients in Chinese cuisine and is also found in Japanese and Korean recipes.
It adds a typical Asian flavor to recipes.
What is sesame oil?
Sesame oil is derived from sesame seeds. It is available in two varieties- Toasted and non-toasted. The toasted variety is light in color, while the non-toasted oil is rich and dark.
In recipes, toasted sesame oil is only used. The unique flavor and a nutty aroma of the toasted variety make it an essential part of Asian and Chinese cooking.
The non-toasted variety has a much milder flavor and is best used for sautéing.
Note: Toasted and non-toasted sesame oils are not interchangeable!
How to use sesame oil?
Because toasted sesame oil adds value to a recipe with its fragrance and sweet & nutty flavor, it is used in Asian cuisines for seasoning rather than cooking.
In most recipes, it is added towards the end of cooking or used in sauces, dressings, and marinades in vegetarian and non-veg recipes.
Also, it is expensive to cook with and has a robust flavor. This makes it unsuitable to use as all-purpose cooking oil.
What makes sesame oil popular?
In addition to its nutritional value, sesame oil has a diverse profile that makes it popular among food buffs. Let’s explore.
- Super seeds- Sesame oil is super rich in copper. it also has significant amounts of manganese, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, selenium, Vitamin E, and Vitamin B1.
- Fights disease- Sesame oil is rich in antioxidants. It is good for your cardiovascular health as it boosts HDL and lowers LDL. It controls high sugar levels and lowers blood pressure. It is believed to support bone growth.
- Good for skin and hair- Sesame oil contains high levels of zinc and this makes it good for topical application on skin. Sesame oil is also good for your hair. It nourishes hair and fights dandruff. Just massage your scalp with 1 to 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin sesame oil and leave it for 20 minutes before washing your hair.
- Used since ancient times- Sesame oil derived from sesame seeds is one of the oldest oils used in cooking. It is believed to have originated from India more than 3000 years ago. Indian people use it for cooking, health and beauty, puja rituals, and Ayurvedic medicine.
How to store sesame oil
Sesame oil is best stored in a cool and dry place. Because of its high antioxidant content, the oil has a long shelf life.
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