I love all things sesame. It is such a great flavor that adds so many dimensions to your cooking. Sesame Seeds are shown to prevent diabetes, cancer, heart disease and they have a high amount of calcium (277mg in 1oz) so they are great for bone health. Not to mention they are a healthy fat source! I love using sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds to bring my dishes up a notch, especially when I want something Asian-inspired. The great thing about sesame oil is that a bottle lasts awhile since you only need a small amount to get a ton of flavor. It has a very low smoke-point so sesame oil should only be used as a finishing oil or right before you remove your dish from the heat. Otherwise you could end up with an unpleasant bitter flavor. Sesame seeds on the other had should be toasted before going into a dish if you want to bring out their natural oils and wonderful deep sesame flavor. Just toss the amount you want in a small saute pan and heat then, stirring often, over medium heat until lightly golden brown and fragrant. Or you can go the cheater way like me and just buy a bottle of toasted sesame seeds 😉
My favorite dishes to flavor with sesame is always a veggie stir-fry or steam. This dish is totally adaptable to fit whatever veggies you can find, but no matter what it always comes our so good! The recipe below really isn't a stir fry, but a steam. It is full of Asian inspiration and sesame flavor.
Sesame Asian Veggie Steam
Ingredients: (makes 4 large side dishes)
+ 2 Medium Yellow Squash (sliced)
+ 1 Large Bunch of Bok Choy (chopped, including the white stems)
+ 1 Cup of Diced Water Chestnuts
+ 3 Cups of Chopped Veggies (I included Broccoli, Carrots, Mushrooms, Baby Corn Cobs, and Red Pepper. Other great options are snow or snap peas, onion, eggplant, celery, bamboo shoots, etc.)
+ 1 Cup Water
+ 1 TB Rice Vinegar
+ 1 Tsp Garlic Powder
+ 1 Tsp Onion Powder
+ ½ Tsp Ground Ginger
+ ¼ Tsp Black Pepper
+ 2 Tsp Sesame Oil
+ 1 TB Toasted Sesame Seeds
+ Chop and prepare all the veggies, then add them to a very large saute pan. Add the water and cover. Place on the stove on high for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to medium and cook for 10 to 15 more minutes.
+ Once the veggies and cooked but still have some crunch, remove from heat and drain any excess water. Place back on medium heat, uncovered, and add the rice vinegar, onion and garlic powder, ginger, and black pepper. Stir to combine.
+ Once the vinegar is absorbed and flavors combined, add the sesame oil and sesame seeds and stir. Remove from heat and serve! Top with additional sesame seeds (and raw unsalted cashews!) for a beautiful presentation.
So tell me:
Do you like Sesame? What is you favorite Sesame dish?
Have you ever used tahini? This is the one sesame product I have yet to try! I obviously have had it in hummus, but have never bought a jar on its own. I think I need to get some ASAP.