Sesame oil comes from sesame seeds. It is a unique condiment which no other oil can really substitute. Just a dash adds rich and nutty flavour to your dishes. In general, there are two kinds of sesame oil:-
White Sesame Oil 白ごま油 / Light
- Made from unrefined and unroasted sesame seeds.
- Produced by cold pressed method, hence greatly retained the real taste of raw sesame seeds.
- Clear in colour and has a mellow aroma which makes it suitable for salads, pan-fry dishes or even bakery.
- An excellent choice when making dip sauce.
Roasted Sesame Oil ごま油 / Dark
- 100% virgin oil being extracted from roasted sesame seeds.
- Has a stronger flavour and aroma compared to white sesame oil.
- Colour intensity depends on the amount of heat and number of hours used to roast sesame seeds. Roasting the seeds under high temperature over a long period of time will give a darker and more flavourful oil.
- Rather than a cooking oil, sesame oil is more like a finishing oil. Complete your dish by adding a little drizzle just before you serve.
- Suitable for asian salads and many stir-fry dishes.
I always try to keep these 3 kinds of sesame oils in my kitchen. I use white sesame oil when making Tamago-yaki (Japanese egg-roll). Though mild, it adds subtle flavour to the egg roll. Korean roasted sesame oil has a more intense flavour compared to Japanese roasted sesame oil. I would recommend you to stick to it whenever you need for your Korean dishes. Japanese roasted oil are for my Japanese or Chinese stir-fry dishes, eg. stir-fry beef slices with asparagus, Japanese nabe or yaki-soba. There are just to many ways to use sesame oil.
Also see Sesame seed, Go-ma ごま