Sesame is a crop that is mainly grown for the oil in its seeds. It is native to tropical areas in Asia, Africa, and South America. There is a reason that sesame seeds have been farmed since prehistoric times; with their richness in protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, sesame seeds have health benefits that can positively change your life. Not only are there health benefits, but the nutty flavor and crunchy texture are perfect for spicing up lots of dishes. Continue reading for how to nurture your body and soul with sesame seed oil.
Health Benefits of Sesame Seeds
Sesame seed oil is known to lower your cholesterol through its plant compounds, such as lignans and phytosterols. Believed to enhance your immune response, phytosterols are also known to decrease the risk of certain cancers. With the highest total phytosterol content compared to the most commonly eaten nuts and seeds in the United States, they can also prevent high blood pressure. In addition, the sesame seed oil is also known to fight infections as they contain sesame and sesamolin, known for their antioxidant and antibacterial properties. The antioxidants that sesame seeds contain have additionally been proven to fight against strep throat, common skin fungi, and staph infections. Another benefit is that they can remove plaque on your teeth through an ancient practice involving swishing a tablespoon of sesame oil in your mouth in the morning. These are just a few of the many benefits of sesame oil.
How to Incorporate Sesame Seed Oil in Your Meals
Sesame seed oil is the perfect addition to several dishes for a twist in flavor that will tickle your taste buds. For recipes that will switch up your everyday meals, see below:
Sweet and Sour Sesame Seed Salad Dressing
If you’re looking to spice up your favorite spring salad, this tangy sesame seed oil dressing from AllRecipes is perfect. The combination of the sweet and sour dressing with the fresh ingredients of the salad will make for the perfect light yet delicious lunch.
- ½ cup of chopped yellow onion
- 1 ½ cups of white sugar
- 2 teaspoons of dry mustard powder
- 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons of soy sauce
- ⅔ cup of rice vinegar
- 2 cups of canola oil
- ¼ cup of toasted sesame seeds
- Puree the chopped onions in a blender until smooth.
- Strain the blended onions through a fine-mesh strainer.
- Reserve 3 tablespoons of the onion juice and discard the remaining pulp.
- Combine the sugar, mustard powder, and salt in an electric mixer.
- Use the paddle attachment to mix until the spices are evenly blended.
- Pour in the reserved onion juice, soy sauce, and rice vinegar.
- Mix for several minutes until the sugar has started to dissolve.
- Slowly drizzle in the canola oil with the mixer running at a medium-high speed.
- Add the toasted sesame seeds and continue mixing one more minute until combined.
If you’re looking for a delicious, protein-packed meal, this sesame chicken recipe from Jo Cooks is a fun way to spice up your next chicken dish.
Chicken and Marinade
- 1 1/2 lbs. of chicken breasts, boneless and skinless, cut into cubes (thighs will work as well)
- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce (low sodium will work if preferred)
- 3 cloves of minced garlic
- Whites of 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon of sesame oil (toasted sesame oil will add extra flavor)
- ½ cup of chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
- ¼ cup of honey
- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons of sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon of water
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds
Prep and Marinate Chicken
- Add all the chicken, soy sauce, minced garlic, egg whites, and one teaspoon of sesame oil to a bowl.
- Toss well to break up the egg white.
- Marinate for 10 minutes.
- In another bowl, combine the chicken broth, rice vinegar, honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, and whisk well.
Dredge Chicken Through Flour
- Add the flour to a shallow plate or bowl.
- Toss in the chicken pieces and the marinade, then use your hands to toss everything together.
- Add about a cup of oil to a wok or skillet and heat over high heat.
- When the oil is hot enough, add a few chicken pieces at once, shaking off any excess flour.
- Fry until golden and cooked through (about three or four minutes).
- Line a plate with kitchen towels and place chicken to drain.
- Repeat with the remaining chicken.
- In a clean wok, add the prepared sauce and simmer over medium-low heat.
- Form a cornstarch slurry by mixing it with the water, then pour into the sauce.
- Whisk the sauce and cook for another minute until the sauce has thickened.
- Add the cooked chicken pieces to the sauce in the wok and toss well until the chicken is evenly coated.
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.
Sesame Garlic Mushrooms
If you’re looking for a plant-based dish, this sesame garlic mushroom recipe from Real House Moms is a great vegan alternative for a tasty sesame dinner dish.
- 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons of toasted sesame oil
- 1 lb. of white button mushrooms cleaned
- 2 tablespoons of Mirin (Japanese rice wine)
- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add one tablespoon of the sesame seed oil and the mushrooms to the skillet.
- Sauté the mushrooms, occasionally stirring for about 8-10 minutes on medium-high heat.
- Stir in minced garlic, sesame seeds, mirin, soy sauce, and honey.
- Continue to cook for another 3-5 minutes.
- Serve warm.
Add some variety to your pasta nights with a delicious dish the whole family will love. This sesame noodle recipe from Gimme Some Oven is simple but exciting.
- 1 pound of uncooked linguine pasta (any type of pasta will work)
- 1/4 cup of low-sodium soy sauce (regular soy sauce alternatives will work too)
- 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar (you can substitute red wine vinegar)
- 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon of chili garlic sauce or sriracha
- 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/2 cup of thinly sliced green onions
- Optional: toasted sesame seeds, extra green onions, and extra black pepper to taste
- Cook pasta of choice until it is al dente (following package instructions).
- As the pasta is cooking, whisk the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, chili sauce, garlic powder, and black pepper together in a small bowl until combined.
- Once the pasta’s ready to go, drain it completely.
- Add the green onions and the pasta to the sauce and toss.
- Taste and add any additional toppings you prefer
- Serve warm or cold.
Sesame seed oil is a delicious and healthy oil option believed to help support healthy cholesterol levels. There are a variety of delicious and exciting recipes you can try using sesame seed oil.