Let’s start with an interesting fact, we have been using sesame oil for cooking for 2600 years now! The fact that this ingredient is still in demand is proof enough of its usefulness.
However, to be able to purchase the best sesame oil for cooking requires some subtle and nuanced understanding.
But, that can be hard to obtain without a little guidance.
So, we chose to create this guide as an attempt to nudge you towards the right direction. Enjoy the read!
Benefits Of Using Sesame Oil For Cooking
Rich With Natural Supplements
Sesame oils contain vitamins like A, C, and minerals like magnesium, calcium, and manganese. They also contain a phenolic compound known as Sesamol which is considered to be a powerful antioxidant. Therefore, using Sesame oil in cooking can have a beneficial impact on your health.
Provides An Authentic Asian Flavor
The application of Sesame oil in Asian cuisine can be dated back to as early as the 17th century. Specifically, many Japanese, Chinese, and Korean food strongly depend on the distinct flavor of either regular or toasted sesame oil.
So, if you want to level up your Eastern culinary game, having a quality sesame oil in your pantry is a must.
A Master of All Trades
According to most sesame oil for cooking reviews, it can be used for dressing, sautéing, marinating, cooking, and even as a dip. An oil with such versatile culinary use can always come in handy while you are at the kitchen.
Top 7 Sesame Oils For Cooking
1. La Tourangelle, All-Natural Artisanal Toasted Sesame Oil
La Tourangelle truly prepares its sesame with the passion of an Artisan.
The manufacturer chooses only grade-A seeds to slow roast using a low heat system. Then the seeds are put through an expeller press machine to bring out the sesame oil. The extracted oil is filtered multiple times to rid it of impurity. It is later bottled in a 250-millileter container, secured by a sealed cap.
The oil is free of Sodium, gluten, carb, cholesterol, and protein. It is also verified by the non-GMO project, meaning the oil is purely organic. It provides 130-calories per serving, while each serving measures to one tablespoon/15-milliliters.
The oil can be used for flavoring as well as marinating. It also easily mixes with rice vinegar, mustard, etc. for dressing a salad.
The product generally provides a shelf life of 18 to 24 months. However, once opened it should be used within half a year to get the most out of its flavor.
2. 365 Everyday Value, Organic Sesame Seed Oil
Being extracted from raw sesame seeds of Mexico and getting processed in the manufacturer’s own factory, the oil leaves no option to question its quality.
The seeds are put through an expeller press machine to ensure a fine extraction. The bright, Tuscany Yellow oil is contained in a 250-milliliter glass bottle, protected by a sealed screw cap.
The oil is certified by the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) to be purely organic. The Kosher oil is free of sodium, salt, carbohydrate, protein, and trans-fat.
Since it is not toasted, the delivered taste is quite subtle and offers a good alternative for people who aren’t comfortable with bolder tastes from a roasted sesame seed oil.
However, be careful not to overheat the oil for avoiding a burnt taste.
3. Kevala, Organic Sesame Tahini
If you love peanut butter yet can’t touch the thing because of allergy, we’ve got good news for you.
This Tahini is produced in a peanut free factory to provide you a healthier substitute. The carefully picked, capsuled seeds of Mexico goes through a unique manufacturing to ensure you no longer feel sorry for missing out on peanut butter.
First, the seeds are removed from their capsules using a machine instead of the regular salt-water method. They are then dry roasted minimally to keep a balanced flavor. Finally, Kevala uses stone grounding instead of expeller pressing to turn the seeds into cream.
The kosher Tahini is dairy and gluten free, while being verified by both the Non-GMO project and USDA. It comes in a 470-milliliter plastic jar, sealed by an ergonomic lid.
4. Kadoya, Pure Sesame Oil
Kadoya is regarded by some as the best sesame oil for cooking in the market, not only because of its signature flavor but also for the history and lineage that lie behind it.
Harvested from the Shodoshima island of Japan’s Seto inland sea, these black sesame seeds are manufactured in a process that dates back to the ancient Edo period (1603-1868).
The seeds are roasted comparatively stronger than other brands. They are later grinded and get turned into oil. The end product is a dark brown liquid containing a rich, nutty flavor of roasted sesame, complimented with the distinct fragrance of parched sesame.
The oil contains no trans-fat, sodium, carbohydrate, or protein. It is rich in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat, which are good for your heart and blood flow. It is held in a 327-milliliter glass bottle with a flip top.
5. Ottogi, Premium Roasted Sesame Oil
If you have a fascination with authentic Asian cuisine, there’s a good chance you’ve heard about this oil.
The product is prepared exclusively by Ottogi, one of the leading brands in South-Korean food industry. It is created by roasting sesame seeds of a light brown color.
The manufacturing process uses a triple filtration system. The oil is free of carb, fiber, trans-fat, sugar, cholesterol, sodium, protein, and even vitamin A, C, calcium, and iron. This shows you a little bit about how dedicated the company is towards conserving the purity of their product.
The nutty brown colored oil offers a distinct smoky taste that may feel overwhelming to some people. It also generates a strong and pleasant fragrance that can add an exotic flair to your meals.
The oil contains 120 calories per serving, which equates to a single tablespoon of oil. In terms of daily serving, it has 22-percent of total fat and 10-percent of saturated fat.
6. S&B Layu, Chili Oil
For all the adventurous culinary enthusiasts out there, we present to you a sesame oil with a little twist. Or, shall we say spice?
This product is a combination of red chili pepper extract, corn oil, and sesame oil, finished with a dash of coloring by paprika. Produced in Japan, the makers ground roast the chili to extract spice and later combines the ingredient with sesame oil.
However, along with delivering an unconventional yet creative flavor, it is also quite attentive towards providing a healthy condiment. The oil contains no cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrate, sugar, or trans-fat.
The oil has a noticeably red color. Consumers often praise the product as the best sesame oil for Chinese cooking due to its exotic fragrance. The condiment also provides a tangy spice (a flavor profile quite integral to Japanese, Chinese, and Korean cuisine) combined with a delicious sesame flavor.
It comes in a 33-milliliter glass container, sealed by a flip cap.
7. Chosen Foods, Toasted Sesame Oil
If you are looking for a wholesome sesame oil that’s large enough to not require a refill every 2 minutes, this product by Chosen Foods won’t disappoint.
It has a honey brown color and provides a light nutty taste along with a pleasant aroma. A 750-milliliter glass bottle protected by a long sealed cap is used to contain the liquid.
The manufacturers use an expeller press machine to extract oil from raw seeds, harvested from Mexico. The production process is kept free of contamination by not applying any solvents or artificial chemicals (e.g. hexane, which is commonly used to extract cooking oils such as soy, canola, etc.).
The oil offers a substantial amount of magnesium, manganese, and calcium. It is gluten free and has plenty of anti-oxidants. So, it can resist allergies caused by gluten along with protecting your cells.
How To Choose The Right Sesame Oil For Cooking?
Quality Of The Seeds
The standard of the oil largely depends on the quality of the seeds. We recommend choosing a sesame oil that uses custom picked, raw seeds that were grown organically.
You can check whether the oil is Non-GMO verified to make sure you’re using a product extracted from purely organic seeds.
The location from where the seeds were harvested can be a strong indicator of the extracted oil’s quality. We recommend buying oils that were produced from seeds harvested in the Asian, South American, or African region.
The Process Of Manufacturing
We recommend oils that were extracted through stone grounding as the process is able to retain more nutritive qualities than oils extracted through an expeller press machine.
However, if an expeller pressed extraction uses a multiple filter system, you may end up getting a sesame oil with a smoother texture.
Sesame oil can be quite beneficial to your health as it is abundant with vitamin, minerals, anti-oxidant, monounsaturated fat, etc. However, most oils generally have a calorie count of 120 to 130 per serving (meaning 1 tablespoon amount of that oil).
So, if you are trying to lose weight, make sure you don’t overuse the oil. Otherwise, it may increase your calorie intake and cause an unwanted weight gain.
Always check whether or not the oil is USDA and Non-GMO certified. This will help you pick out the best sesame oil for cooking with certainty through examining the product’s purity and organic authenticity.
If it comes in a plastic container, make sure that the container uses BPA-Free/food grade material.
History And Lineage
We recommend purchasing from manufacturers who have a reputable history and lineage of producing sesame oils. This way, you can be certain about the quality of the product.
Also, manufacturers like Kadoya often use processes and techniques that have been passed through generations to create a truly unique flavor that simply can’t be delivered by a newly established company or a supermarket chain.
However, buying from such manufacturers can also be quite costly.
So, in this case, you can keep a combination of oils, created with mid budget oils for regular use and artisan oils for special occasions.
Intention Of Use
This factor is particularly important in terms of sesame oils.
For example, if you intend to cook with the oil, buying a roasted sesame oil will result in a burnt tasting dish. On the other hand, regular sesame oil can be great for cooking but won’t work as well for sautéing or drizzling.
Thus, you must determine the purpose you for which you want to use the oil and make a purchase accordingly.
Sesame oil seems almost magical, if you think about how many benefits this one ingredient can provide. So, it’s ever rising popularity is quite logical.
However, the dark side of its reputation lies in the fact that many fake and harmful versions of this oil is being marketed. As a result, it has become a challenging task to pick out the best sesame oil for cooking out of the imposters.
So, we designed this guide to show you every pointer you’ll need to find your way to the real thing.
And we’re sure, you’ll get there.