6 Ways to Make the Most of Toasted Sesame Oil
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This powerful flavor booster adds a touch of umami to everything. You can even use it on ice cream (we're serious).
Most people know of toasted sesame oil as a common ingredient in Asian-style cuisine, but this nutty, roasty condiment is so much more. I use it constantly as my secret flavor.
If your frame of reference for cooking oil is the workhorse canola or peppery extra virgin olive oil, your world is about to be turned upside-down.
Eating healthy should still be delicious.
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Toasted sesame oil is made from toasted or roasted sesame seeds. It’s darker in color than regular sesame oil (typically labeled just “sesame oil”), so don’t make the mistake of swapping them. The toasted variety does cost more, but it’s potent and each drop is packed with a wallop of flavor—so you can get more mileage out of less.
You won’t want to cook with toasted sesame oil. It has a low smoke point, which means that it burns and turns rancid-tasting at a low temperature. But here are a handful of ideas to make you fall in love with this superhero condiment. Ready, set, open sesame!
1. Drizzle it on soups
Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez
Instead of topping a soup with heavy cream or yogurt, add a swirl or toasted sesame oil to the bowl after serving. It will add a depth of flavor and creamy texture when stirred in. For crunch, add a sprinkle of sesame seeds, too. Double the sesame, double the fun, right?
2. Whisk it into vinaigrette
If you’re already in the habit of making your own salad dressings, you know how easy it is to customize a basic template. When I’m bored by balsamic, I add a little toasted sesame oil to my vinaigrettes to boost the flavor. To keep from walloping everyone over the head with flavor, use the sesame oil in just 1/3. For example, if your dressing calls for 3 tablespoons of oil, use 1 tablespoon of sesame.
This goes amazingly well with rice vinegar. For extra umami, add a few drops of umeboshi vinegar (made from fermented plums) or tamari (wheat-free soy sauce). If adding the umeboshi or tamari, don’t add salt—both condiments are very salty!
3. Hit a stir-fry
Although you won’t want to use toasted sesame oil to cook your tofu, meat, or veggies (remember that smoke point), it is genius when added at the very end of the recipe. As soon as you take the pan off the heat, drizzle in a little sesame oil and toss to coat. The heat will make the oil even more fragrant, signaling to everyone that dinner is ready to be devoured.
4. Use it to coat noodles
Need a break from marinara? Whisk a little peanut butter, toasted sesame oil, ginger, and tamari together, then add it to cooked, strained rice noodles. (Buckwheat or udon noodles would also work). Add a bright, fresh note with a shower of freshly chopped chives, mint, or cilantro.
5. Dress up popcorn
Better than butter? You bet. Hit those popped kernels with some toasted sesame oil, sesame seeds, a little salt, and nutritional yeast. You’ll want to make a double batch of this one.
6. Drizzle it over ice cream
Sounds crazy? Trust me on this one. A little toasted sesame, some crushed peanuts, and green tea ice cream. It’s an unexpected flavor roller coaster that’ll make you forget all about hot fudge.
Deliciously Easy Chinese Sesame Noodles
Easy Sesame Noodles are even better than takeout. They’re quick to make and have a short ingredient list.
They are flavored with toasted sesame paste, toasted sesame oil, fresh garlic, fresh ginger, and an optional dollop of chile crisp or chili oil. They are always a crowd-pleaser!
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This easy sesame noodles recipe takes just about 20 minutes to make. You can easily make it into a full meal by adding vegetables like broccoli or snap peas. You can even use a bag of frozen stir-fry vegetables.
How to Cook with Sesame Oil Every Night of the Week
Molly Yeh's Ginger Glazed Salmon, as seen on Girl Meets Farm, Season 2.
Photo by: Chantell Quernemoen
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Sesame oil might not be a staple in your pantry, and we can't help but wonder WHY? A little goes a long way in giving your favorite dishes — think salmon, pasta and even vegetables — an irresistible, nutty flavor. And we'd be remiss if we didn't mention it'll make your kitchen smell like a 5-star restaurant while you're cooking, too.
Molly Yeh's sweet and sticky glaze for this crowd-pleasing recipe comes together with pantry items you shouldn't be without. The finished dish is impressive enough for a holiday table yet so easy that you could serve it on a busy weeknight.
- ½ cup rice vinegar
- 5 tablespoons honey
- ⅓ cup soy sauce (such as Silver Swan®)
- ¼ cup Asian (toasted) sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons Asian chili garlic sauce
- 3 tablespoons minced garlic
- salt to taste
- 8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
- 1 tablespoon chopped green onion (Optional)
Whisk the vinegar, honey, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, chili garlic sauce, garlic, and salt in a bowl until smooth. Pour half the marinade into a large plastic zipper bag retain the other half of the sauce. Place the chicken thighs into the bag containing marinade, squeeze all the air out of the bag, and seal. Shake a few times to coat chicken refrigerate for 1 hour, turning bag once or twice.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
Pour the other half of the marinade into a saucepan over medium heat, bring to a boil, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring often, to thicken sauce. Remove the chicken from the bag discard used marinade. Place chicken thighs into a 9x13-inch baking dish, and brush with 1/3 of the thickened marinade from the saucepan.
Bake 30 minutes, basting one more time after 10 minutes an instant-read thermometer inserted into a chicken thigh should read 165 degrees F (75 degrees C). Let stand for 5 or 10 minutes meanwhile, bring remaining marinade back to a boil for 1 or 2 minutes, and serve chicken with marinade. Sprinkle with green onions.
Keto Oils to Avoid
Keto diet is a road trip with fat acting as fuel for your car! However, not all fats are created equal.
Since we have talked about the best oils for keto cooking, it’s time we also discuss the worst ones!
- Corn oil
- Soybean oil
- Safflower oil
- Grapeseed oil
- Rice bran oil
- Sunflower oil
- Cottonseed oil
- Canola oil
- Vegetable oil
(PS: High-oleic variants of sunflower oil and safflower oil fit well into the keto diet as they have more than 80% monounsaturated fats.)
- In a mixing bowl combine broth, honey, tamari, rice vinegar, sesame oil, cornstarch, garlic and sesame seeds. Whisk until combined and set aside.
- Then in a large bowl beat the whites until frothy. Whisk in the cornstarch, a pinch or two kosher salt and white pepper. Add in the diced chicken and use tongs to toss and combine.
- Spray a large 12 inch non-stick skillet or wok with olive oil spray and heat over medium-high heat. Once hot add in the peppers and onions with a pinch of kosher salt and cook for 4-5 minutes until slightly softened. Remove to a plate.
- In the same skillet heat up 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Work in batches, adding in the half the chicken and cook for 5-8 minutes until golden and fully cooked. Repeat adding the remaining teaspoon of oil.
- Return the peppers and onions to the skillet and pour in the sesame sauce. Bring to a bubble and simmer until thickened.
- Stir and serve over prepared white or brown rice. Sprinkle with extra sesame seeds and sliced green onions.
Cornish game hen – six ways
Cornish game hen is one of the most succulent of birds to eat, particularly if you use your fingers to peel away the tender, flavorful meat from the bone. Being diminutive, Cornish game hen is also quite elegant to serve for a special occasion, yet it can also be quickly cooked on the grill for a casual weekend meal. Here are just a few delicious ways to prepare this small, yet delectable bird.
Grilled Cornish Game Hen
Serves 4With warmer weather arriving, this Cornish game hen on the grill is a must. Not only do you get the zesty flavor of the marinade in the meat, the lightly grill-charred skin adds a smoky taste and crisp texture. Be sure to give the hens time enough to marinate for all the flavors to develop.Ingredients:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 teaspoons dried lemon thyme
Pinch of crushed red pepper or more to taste
4 small garlic cloves, minced or pressed
Zest (chopped) and juice from one orange
Zest (chopped) and juice from one lemon
1 tablespoon agave or honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 Cornish game hens, halved lengthwiseDirections:
1. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, mustard, thyme, red pepper, garlic, zest and juice from the orange and lemon, agave or honey, and salt and pepper. Place hen halves bone side down on a cutting board, cover with a sheet of plastic, and pound gently with the flat side of a mallet to slightly flatten.2. Rub hen halves with marinade and use your fingers to rub marinade under the skin, directly against the flesh (this helps infuse the finished hen with flavor). Place hens in a baking dish and set aside for 1 hour to marinate. You can also marinate them overnight in the refrigerator.3. Preheat grill to medium heat and rub grate with oil. Grill hens for 10 minutes, flip and grill for another 10 to 15 minutes or until cooked through and the skin is slightly charred. Transfer to a plate and tent with foil for 5 to 10 minutes to allow juices to redistribute. Serve warm with your favorite spring or summer vegetable side-dish and grilled garlic bread.
Sesame Ginger Cornish Game Hens
Serves 4An Asian-inspired marinade melding toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger and a bit of molasses creates a succulent hen that pairs well with stir-fried vegetables and rice.Ingredients:
Zest (chopped) and juice of an orange
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced fresh gingerroot
1 teaspoon molasses
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 small Cornish game hensDirections:
1. In a small bowl, whisk together orange zest and juice, sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, molasses, cilantro and black pepper. Place hens in a small roasting pan. Pour marinade over hens and use your fingers to rub marinade underneath the skin and in the cavity of the hens. Set aside to marinate for 1 hour, turning and recoating hens every 20 minutes.2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cover roasting pan with aluminum foil and place in oven. Roast for 30 minutes, baste with pan juices, and place back in oven uncovered. Roast for another 15 minutes. Pierce a thigh to see if the juices run clear. If they do, hens are done. If not, baste again and place back in oven for another 15 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Be sure to pour pan juices over hen after plating.
Italian-style Cornish Game Hens
Serves 4Serve these flavorful birds with a light salad drizzled with a balsamic vinaigrette and a side of polenta or risotto.Ingredients:
4 small Cornish game hens
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 lemons, quartered
4 fresh rosemary sprigs
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 teaspoons dried oregano
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup chicken brothDirections:
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Season the outside and cavity of hens with salt and pepper. Place 2 wedges of lemon and 1 rosemary sprig inside cavity of each hen. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, oregano and garlic. Rub olive oil mixture on the outside and under the skin of each hen.2. Place hens in a roasting pan, breast side up, and cover with foil. Roast for 25 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F. and remove foil. Pour wine and broth over hens and roast for another 25 to 30 minutes or until cooked through, skin is crisp and juices run clear when a leg is pierced. Transfer hens to a serving platter, tent with foil and let sit while you make the sauce.3. Pour pan juices into a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and let reduce until juices thicken, about 5 minutes. Cut hens in half, if desired, and spoon sauce over before serving.
Sesame Oil in Cooking
Sesame oil is referred to by culinary experts as the “Queen of Oilseeds” because of its variety of uses—medicinal, culinary, and cosmetics.
Derived from sesame seeds, this oil has a distinct nutty aroma that adds flavor to many cuisines, particularly Asian dishes.
Aside from enhancing flavor, it adds fragrance to meals and boosts the nutritional value. Most of the time, this oil can be added to stir-fried noodles, salads, soups, and even desserts.
There are times when you only need to use a few teaspoons of this oil, hence, making a substitute is great to save money on huge bottles.
Because let’s be real: in cooking, you want to save a few bucks on ingredients. Finding a substitute for some ingredients is the key to saving money.
If you are making an Asian dish that requires a dash of it, don’t stress out. Before jumping to your car and driving all the way to the grocery store, you might have other ingredients at home that can make homemade sesame oil.
The good news is, you can prepare the substitute in minutes, without much effort.
6 Tasty Grain Bowl Recipes
Packed with protein, whole grains, and veggies, grain bowls are the fastest, easiest healthy meals you can make. Scroll down for simple instructions on how to cook eight different grains, plus, 6 unbelievably tasty grain bowl recipes for every meal of the day.
Sunrise Millet Bowl
PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES
TOTAL TIME: 25 MINUTES
Pomegranate, citrus, and coconut deliver a flavor punch that slashes the need for added sweeteners. Bonus: Millet's high magnesium content actually helps curb sweet cravings.
¾ c canned light coconut milk + more for serving
½ c millet
1 grapefruit, peeled and sliced
1 orange, peeled and sliced
¼ c pomegranate arils
2 Tbsp coconut flakes, toasted
2 tsp honey
COMBINE coconut milk, millet, ¾ cup water, and a pinch of salt in medium saucepan and cook millet according to package directions.
DIVIDE between 2 bowls and drizzle each with a bit more coconut milk.
TOP each with grapefruit, orange, pomegranate arils, coconut flakes, and a drizzle of honey.
NUTRITION (per serving) 408 cal, 7 g pro, 72 g carb, 9 g fiber, 18 g sugars, 11 g fat, 7.5 g sat fat, 161 mg sodium
Bacon, Egg & Kale Bowl
PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES
TOTAL TIME: 40 MINUTES
This bowl is high in protein to boost energy and rev metabolism as you start your day. Plus, antioxidant-rich kale and brown rice provide a heart-healthy way to get your bacon-and-eggs fix.
2 slices bacon, chopped
2 c packed torn kale
2 lg eggs
1 c cooked brown rice
1 ripe avocado, diced
1 Tbsp chopped chives
Hot sauce, for serving (optional)
COOK bacon in large skillet over medium heat until crisp, 8 minutes.
ADD kale season with salt and pepper.
COOK, stirring, until kale wilts, 2 minutes. Transfer to bowl.
WIPE and lightly coat skillet with cooking spray.
COOK eggs to desired doneness.
DIVIDE rice between 2 bowls and top each with kale mixture, avocado, and egg.
TOP with chives and season with salt and pepper.
SERVE with hot sauce, if desired.
NUTRITION (per serving) 381 cal, 16 g pro, 37 g carb, 8 g fiber, 0 g sugars, 20 g fat, 4.5 g sat fat, 480 mg sodium
Waldorf Chicken Salad Bowl
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES
TOTAL TIME: 40 MINUTES
This combo of sweet and savory leaves no craving unsatisfied. Plus, the loads of fiber (more than 30% of your daily value) from hearty wheat berries will keep you full for hours.
1½ c cooked wheat berries
4-6 leaves butter lettuce
2 Tbsp fat-free Greek yogurt
1½ Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp chopped tarragon + leaves for garnish
1½ tsp Dijon mustard
¼ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp black pepper
1 c cubed cooked chicken
½ c chopped apple
½ c chopped celery
½ c halved grapes
¼ c chopped pecans
¼ c chopped red onion
DIVIDE wheat berries and lettuce between 2 bowls.
WHISK yogurt, lemon juice, oil, tarragon, mustard, salt, and pepper drizzle some over each bowl.
TOP each bowl with remaining ingredients.
GARNISH with tarragon leaves and drizzle with remaining dressing.
NUTRITION (per serving) 486 cal, 32 g pro, 52 g carb, 9 g fiber, 12 g sugars, 18 g fat, 2 g sat fat, 415 mg sodium
Greek Salad Bowl
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES
TOTAL TIME: 25 MINUTES
Antioxidant-rich veggies, high-protein chickpeas and feta, and fiber-packed bulgur make this a vegetarian meal that doesn't disappoint.
1 c cooked bulgur
¼ c chopped mint + leaves for garnish
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ c canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
½ c chopped cucumber
½ c chopped red bell pepper
½ c halved cherry tomatoes
¼ c chopped red onion
2 Tbsp chopped pitted kalamata olives
1 oz crumbled feta
FLUFF bulgur with fork and stir in mint, vinegar, and oil.
DIVIDE between 2 bowls and top each with remaining ingredients.
GARNISH with mint leaves.
NUTRITION (per serving) 338 cal, 10 g pro, 39 g carb, 9 g fiber, 4 g sugars, 16.5 g fat, 4 g sat fat, 503 mg sodium
Loaded Taco Bowl
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES
TOTAL TIME: 35 MINUTES
By ditching the tortillas in favor of quinoa and swapping beef for turkey, this bowl cuts your intake of refined carbs and saturated fat while delivering 34 g of filling protein.
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 lg scallions, sliced (white and green parts)
1 clove garlic, minced
½ red bell pepper, diced
½ lb lean ground turkey
½ c frozen corn kernels
4 tsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 c cooked quinoa
½ c halved cherry tomatoes
¼ c cilantro
¼ c fat-free Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp pepitas
½ jalapeno, sliced
Lime wedges, for serving
HEAT oil over medium-high in large skillet.
COOK white parts of scallions, garlic, and bell pepper until soft, 4 minutes.
ADD turkey and cook until browned and cooked through, 5 minutes. Stir in corn, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper.
REMOVE from heat.
DIVIDE quinoa between 2 bowls and top with turkey mixture and remaining ingredients.
SERVE with lime wedges.
NUTRITION (per serving) 473 cal, 34 g pro, 42 g carb, 6 g fiber, 6 g sugars, 20.5 g fat, 4 g sat fat, 607 mg sodium
Asian Salmon Bowl
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES
TOTAL TIME: 1 HOUR 5 MINUTES
This dish has all the Chinese take-out flavor you crave for a fraction of the calories and sodium. Plus, each bowl contains 700 mg of anti-inflammatory omega-3s&mdashabove and beyond what you need in a day.
4 tsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp miso paste
2 tsp less-sodium soy sauce
½ tsp grated fresh ginger
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1½ c cooked wild rice
1 can (6 oz) salmon, drained
½ c frozen shelled edamame, thawed
½ c shredded carrots
½ c snow peas
1 lg scallion, sliced
½ tsp sesame seeds
Red-pepper flakes, for garnish
WHISK vinegar, miso, soy sauce, ginger, oils, and 1 Tbsp warm water.
DIVIDE rice between 2 bowls and top each with salmon, edamame, carrots, and snow peas.
DRIZZLE with dressing and top with scallion and sesame seeds.
GARNISH with red-pepper flakes.
NUTRITION (per serving) 494 cal, 26 g pro, 47 g carb, 7 g fiber, 6 g sugars, 23 g fat, 3 g sat fat, 719 mg sodium
The Ultimate Guide To Grains
Here are eight of our favorites&mdashplus easy instructions for cooking them. Start each batch with 1 uncooked cup.
Compared with the refined grains found in many breads and pastas, whole grains are richer in fiber, keeping you fuller longer.
Perks: Gluten-free millet is high in minerals, such as magnesium, which helps maintain nerve function and curb sugar cravings.
To Cook: Add to pot with 2½ cups water. Bring to a boil, then simmer 25 to 35 minutes. Makes 4 cups.
Perks: Unlike refined wheat flour, wheat berries contain the bran, germ, and endosperm of the wheat kernel, so they take longer to digest and are less likely to spike blood sugar.
To Cook: Soak overnight. Add to pot with 4 cups water, bring to a boil, then simmer 45 minutes to 1 hour. Makes 2½ cups.
Perks: Not technically rice, this wild grass seed has twice the protein and fiber of brown rice.
To Cook: Add to pot with 3 cups water. Bring to a boil, then simmer 45 to 55 minutes. Makes 3½ cups.
Perks: It's high in beta-glucan, a type of fiber shown to cut cholesterol and control blood sugar.
To Cook: Add to pot with 3 cups water, bring to a boil, then simmer 45 to 55 minutes. Makes 3½ cups.
Perks: Some ancient forms of wheat, including farro, contain more antioxidants than modern wheat.
To Cook:Add to pot with 2½ cups water. Bring to a boil, then simmer 25 to 40 minutes. Makes 3 cups.
Perks: Bulgur has more heart-healthy fiber than quinoa, oats, millet, buckwheat, or corn.
To Cook: Add to pot with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then simmer 10 to 12 minutes. Makes 3 cups.
Perks: The protein in quinoa is considered "complete," meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids that our bodies can't produce on their own.
To Cook: Add to pot with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then simmer 12 to 15 minutes. Makes 3 cups.
Perks: Rice is one of the most easily digested of all grains, so it's ideal for people who have IBS or gluten intolerance.
To Cook: Add to pot with 2½ cups water. Bring to a boil, then simmer 25 to 45 minutes. Makes 3 cups.