While sesame has been a popular ingredient all over the world for many years, here in the U.S. we’ve been relegating it to top our hamburger buns. No more! Sesame and all the ways to use it are here to stay.
What is Sesame?
Sesame is a small edible seed that is grown in pods. Used in many different cuisines, sesame is either eaten as a whole seed or ground into a thick condiment known as tahini. Many compare the flavor of sesame to peanuts, and so tahini is often a stand-in for peanut butter. Sesame seeds are also transformed into rich oil used for cooking, especially in Japanese cuisine.
How to Enjoy Sesame
You can buy sesame as whole seeds, which come in a variety of colors, in the spice aisle, bulk section or international foods section of the store. Look for sesame oil in the international foods.
My preferred way to use sesame is in the form of tahini. I’ve been using the spread in everything, and I especially love it in salad dressings like this Creamy Sesame-Garlic Dressing. You can usually find tahini in the same section as the peanut butter.
Here are some wonderful ways to enjoy sesame’s nutty flavor:
Swap in tahini for peanut butter in these mini sesame chocolate chip cookies.
Add toasted sesame seeds to your favorite stir-fry or noodle salad.
Use seeds to make a crunchy coating on meats like this sesame beef.
Add sesame seeds to your favorite baked goods for crunch.
Sprinkle sesame seeds onto ice cream or frozen yogurt.
Use tahini in place of butter or milk to make creamy dairy-free mashed potatoes.
The next time you need an idea in the kitchen, just say, “Open, sesame!” (Or maybe just whisper it to yourself.)