Sesame Oil


The intense flavor found in sesame oil partners well with roasted or stir-fried vegetables and cool pasta salads.

Sesame oil is an extract of the seeds, which are usually toasted. It is one of the most-used ingredients in Asian dishes, most often as a dressing or marinade. The oil is high in polyunsaturated fats along with an antioxidant known as sesamol.

This oil is also known as sesame seed oil, roasted oil, and Tahina.


Among the various brands, you’ll find light sesame oil and Chinese oil, which is darker in color and has a stronger flavor.

Sesame oils are produced from either roasted or unroasted seeds and will be labeled accordingly. Roasted oils have a stronger sesame taste.

Buying Tips

Look for unrefined oils if you want full-bodied flavor.

Semi-refined sesame oil has a high smoke point (450 degrees). It is not technically a cooking oil due to the intense taste. The price may also make frying prohibitive.

Storage Tips

Sesame oil should be stored tightly sealed, away from sunlight and heat or it will turn rancid. However, due to the ingredient sesamol, it does have an extended shelf life. This same quality applies to foods that are fried in the oil.

Refrigerate if desired, but only in a container that protects from light exposure.

Usage Tips

• A little of this oil will go a long way, so use with restraint. You will still have plenty of rich flavor.

• Darker oils will break down when heated and should be included only for flavoring salads, dressings, dips, and pre-cooked or grilled foods.

• Lighter oils, when used for sautés or stir-frying are typically added in the final minutes before serving.

• Fresh basil is the preferred herb to use with oil-infused dishes.

• Fold a little oil and herbs into butter to make a sesame spread.

Substitution Tips

Use equal amounts of olive oil.


Try one of our favorite sesame oil recipes:
Easy Chicken Stir-Fry
French Beans with Sesame Dressing
Honey Sesame Tenderloin

Suggested Pairings

Chicken, fish, pasta, pork chops, rice, salads, vegetables