Using toasted sesame oil can add a delightful new flavor to many different dishes, and even provide some health benefits along the way. Some people are confused by the difference between toasted and regular sesame oils, and they are not the same thing, in terms of appearance, flavor and nutritional composition.
What is Toasted Sesame Oil?
- Toasted sesame oil is sesame oil that has been made from toasted sesame seeds.
- Toasted sesame oil has a very low smoke point, ranging from 300-330 degrees Fahrenheit, so it is not typically used as a cooking oil for frying or sautéing. When an oil with a low smoke point is used, it can burn and ruin the flavor of the meal.
- Toasted sesame oil tends to be dark in color, and has a rich, woody flavor that makes it an ideal ingredient in sauces and dressings, as well as final glazes for meat dishes.
- This toasted variety is also quite good for you, as it retains many of the beneficial fatty acids present in regular sesame oil.
Toasted Sesame Oil vs Sesame Oil
While these two oils can be easy to mix up, there are some clear differences. Regular sesame oil is produced from seeds that have been heated rapidly at approximately 250-300 degrees Fahrenheit. After heating the seeds for a few minutes, the seeds are pressed and crushed to extract the oil, resulting in a lighter-colored product with a relatively high smoke point of 410 degrees Fahrenheit. This oil is known to detoxify the body and improve the metabolism, while also serving as a great topical remedy for the skin, hair, and scalp. In terms of cooking, you can use sesame oil for sautéing and frying, whereas you cannot use the toasted variety for those culinary purposes.
How to Make Toasted Sesame Oil
To make toasted sesame oil, one must heat the seeds to approximately 360 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-30 minutes. Following this, the oil can be pressed and extracted from the seeds. This is a rather intensive process, but it is possible to simply toast regular sesame oil by adding 2-3 tablespoons to a frying pan and cooking it on medium heat, carefully rocking the pan so the oil continues to move as it cooks and darkens. As the oil toasts, it should smell strongly of sesame seeds, but be sure not to overcook the oil!
Toasted Sesame Oil Uses
The best ways to use this oil in our diet is in the form of marinades, sauces, and dressings since you don’t need to heat the oil. Also, you can braise vegetables with this oil, and even mix a small amount in with regular sesame oil to enhance the overall flavor of a dish.