[Flavor Friday] Sesame Seeds

Updated: Mar 2

What is Sesame?

Sesame is a flowering plant (Sesamum Indicum) that is usually grown in tropical and temperate regions worldwide. The seed of Sesamum Indicum is commonly used in cooking, baking, and known for the health benefits it can provide. The seed has high oil content and is commonly made into a different form for consumption (i.e. sesame oil, paste, roasted seeds, and ground roasted seeds).

What does it taste like?

Different colors of sesame seeds tastes differently and the form that it gets extracted into also changes the taste a bit. Sesame seeds are commonly seen in two colors, white and black. In general, sesame seeds are rich in flavor, very aromatic, and contains nutty flavor. For white sesame seeds, they are a bit more subtle; whereas, black sesame seeds are slightly stronger in flavor because it still contains the hull.

Commonly Used Cases

Three common forms that people use sesame seeds for in cooking/baking are in: paste, roasted seeds, and oil.

Paste: Very strong in aroma and rich in texture and is easy to find either black sesame or white sesame paste. Usually, it can be found in small glass jars in an Asian supermarket. Before incorporating sesame paste into a recipe, stir well to recombine the oil with the paste.

Roasted Seeds: Commonly used to sprinkle on top of dishes, rich, etc. The roasted sesame seeds are usually found in the spice aisle and packaged in either a glass jar, plastic jar, or in a small bag. Normally, it is more common to find white roasted sesame seeds in Asian supermarkets.

Oil: Very aromatic, easy to add a few drops into savory dishes which creates another layer of flavor. Usually used at the last stage of cooking and added right before serving. It is recommended not to cook it over high heat to avoid bitterness.


Sesame pastes noodles, black sesame panna cotta, sesame oil chicken, sesame rice balls.

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