In Korean cuisine, there are many delicious dishes that can’t miss rich toasted sesame oil such as “namul” and “gimbap”.
Recently, the health benefits of sesame seeds have been getting attention, and you may be one of them.
Today, I would like to tell you tips on how to choose sesame oil and the popular sesame oil products I have.
Now, here, 3 tips you should know about choosing your sesame oil.
- The Level Of Roasting
- Processing Methods
- Proper Size Of The Bottle
The Level Of Roasting
There are various types of sesame oil, from colorless to dark brown.
The color, aroma, and flavor of sesame oil depend not on the type of sesame, but on the temperature at which the sesame is roasted and the method of pressing.
Choose your sesame oil based on the level of roasting.
Sesame oil used at home can be roughly divided into three types:
roasted sesame oil, low-temperature roasted sesame oil, and untoasted sesame oil.
TOASTED SESAME OIL
The fragrance and color of the toasted sesame oil differ depending on the level (and the temperature) roasting process as I said.
The toasted sesame oil which is roasted at low temperature has a light golden color and mild, sweet, and nutty aroma, on the other hand, one roasted at high temperature has a dark golden color with a rich aroma.
If you’ll change your toasted sesame oil depending on the dishes, it can enhance each benefit in flavors.
For example, the low-temperature toasted sesame oil (light-golden color) brings the dish light and refreshing and goes great with light crisp deep-fry dishes such as tempura or fritters, or vegetable dishes such as fresh and marinade salads.
The sesame oil roasted at high temperature (with a deep color) is ideal for flavoring a sauce, soup, or stir fry.
UNTOASTED SESAME OIL
Untoasted sesame oil is not roasted, has a fresh aroma and mild light flavor.
Untoasted sesame oil is almost colorless and transparent without the distinct scent of sesame oil. Indeed, it is also a versatile oil that can be used in a wide range of dishes from any dishes to sweets.
Just switch the oil you always use to white sesame oil.
Also, it can be used for salads and soups, or as a substitute for butter for making sweets and bread.
SESAME OIL FOR STOVETOP COOKING
Rich in flavor and often used in Chinese cuisine, we often throw sesame oil in a skillet as the first step for stovetop cooking, especially, for making Asian food, but, technically, it may not be the best way to use sesame oil.
Indeed, it brings a savory natty Asian-fusion fragrance to the room that makes us hungry.
There is nothing wrong with using sesame oil, yet, it is better to use other kinds of vegetable oil, then drizzle the sesame oil as a finish to enhance the attractive flavor and aroma of the sesame oil.
Additionally, sesame oil is rich in linoleic acid, which is known for lowering blood cholesterol, and this linoleic acid is sensitive to heat.
Since dark Toasted sesame oil has a rich strong sesame aroma and flavor, it’s perfect for adding a savory finish to your dishes such as stir-fry, sauces, and soups.
Low-temperature toasted sesame oil has a nutty sweet flavor with a less characteristic sesame oil aroma so it is perfect to use in dishes freshly eaten such as salads, sashimi, or carpaccio.
It’s easy to remember to use low-temperature toasted sesame oil like when you use extra virgin olive oil.
Untoasted sesame oil is rich in umami flavor without distinct habits. There is almost no scent peculiar to sesame oil.
Besides cooking, it is also used for self-massage, mouth rinse, and skin care.
You can choose your sesame oil by looking at the pressing method.
Generally, it is better to choose the sesame oil processed with the “pressing oil method” as known as “cold-press”.
Oil pressing is applying pressure to the sesame seeds to squeeze out the oil which is a widely used method.
It takes time and effort to press out the oil from the seeds without using solvents, and it is in rich fragrance and nutrients.
Choose ones that say “pressed” or “cold-pressed” on the label.
Additionally, there is “Tama Shibori” process which is the traditional oil mill process to produce super-high-quality sesame oil in Japan.
This centuries-old method produces sesame oil with a fresh, nutty aroma and flavor.
REFINED AND UNREFINED
Looking at the definition of “refine”: to make something pure or improve something, especially by removing unwanted material. (*https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/refine)
Therefore, speaking of sesame oil for cooking use, the commercial products are under processing to remove unpurified substances like filtration twice or three times can be more, to provide safety oil, so “refined sesame oil” is not a bad thing.
It is not necessary to care about being “refined” or “unrefined”, you should care about the oil you’re going to buy how it is produced (pressing or using solvent) and wether it is added artificial additives or it is combined with other vegetable oil.
MY SELECTED PRESSED PURE SESAME OIL
Kuki Yamashichi Genuine Sesame Oil (Japan)
Founded in 1986. Pure sesame oil is manufactured with a traditional pressing method that brings out the original flavor of sesame.
Kuki Yamashichi Genuine Sesame Oil has a mellow and delicate aroma and taste.
Recommended for rich umami flavoring to any dishes.
Finishing with Kuki Yamashichi genuine sesame oil adds a rich aroma and deep flavor, making NIKUJAGA dish even more delicious.
Kadoya Pure Sesame Oil (Japan)
This popular sesame oil is often found in any country, KADOYA high-quality sesame oil is fragrant- roasted and carefully press the oil.
Rich and tasty, mild and light, it can be used in a variety of dishes, from Asian cuisine to your favorite cooking.
Maruhon Pure Sesame Oil (Japan)
It is the high-end toasted sesame oil for the first timer to enjoy sesame oil more. For those who want toasted sesame oil with a mild fragrance and refreshing but mellow sesame oil taste.
Since it has a clear and light aftertaste, it perfectly works for any dish.
[OTTOGI] Premium Roasted Sesame Oil (Korea)
For those who are obsessed with strong rich sesame oil, you don’t have any other choice instead of this Korean sesame oil.
It is a popular product with the top market share in Korea-This genuine Korean sesame oil has a deep color and rich fragrant flavor, made by carefully pressing carefully selected sesame seeds after roasting them.
Richer flavor and aroma than those Japanese products.
You can’t go back to any other product once you taste this sesame oil.
Proper Size Of The Bottle
Sesame oil basically does not spoil, but oxidation may cause deterioration in color, odor, and flavor.
It is recommended to choose the volume of the sesame oil that can be used up within ideally 1 month since the sesame oil oxidizes and loses flavor quickly.
The expiration date of sesame oil is about 2 years if it is unopened and about 1 month if it is opened but depending on the bottle material. (*the unopened plastic bottle…for about 1.5 years)
Also, it is easy to oxidize if stored improperly.
HOW TO STORE THE SESAME OIL
Generally, sesame oil slowly oxidize compared with other vegetable oil, but, you can proceed its oxidization when storing with improperly way.
Basically, store the sesame oil in a dark cool dry place.
Also, it is better to choose a glass bottle with a tight seal.
Indoor lights also emit ultraviolet light, so store it in a cool and dark place.
Close the lid tightly since exposure to air will accelerate oxidation.
Avoid storing the sesame oil in the refrigerator or freezer since the sesame oil is stored in a cold place of 39 F or less, a white sediment will form and become cloudy and harden.
Yet, when the room temperature is relatively high, store it in the crisper.
In the unlikely event that white precipitate forms or hardens, soak it in warm water and slowly warm it to return to its original state.