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An A to Z guide to choosing, storing, preparing, and cooking fresh produce and recipe ingredients.

  • How to Choose Sesame Seeds
    Sesame seeds come in white, brown, or black varieties. White and brown taste similar; black seeds taste earthier and look more dramatic. Due to their high oil content, sesame seeds can turn rancid. For the freshest seeds, purchase from a reputable retailer where there’s a lot of turnover.

  • How to Store Sesame Seeds
    For best results, freeze sesame seeds in an airtight container; use within one year. Discard your seeds if you suspect they have spoiled; rancid seeds will smell musty or similar to paint thinner and taste overly bitter.

    How to Prepare Sesame Seeds
    Many recipes call for toasting sesame seeds to bring out their nutty flavor: Heat the seeds in a heavy frying pan over medium heat, tossing occasionally until they start to darken and release their fragrance. They can also be ground with a mortar and pestle or spice grinder.

  • How to Use Sesame Seeds
    Add sesame seeds to homemade breads and salad dressings. Sprinkle toasted seeds on your favorite vegetables. Crush the seeds, mix with a little sesame oil, press the mixture onto fish steaks, and sear.


    —Lori Baird

    Real Simple Sesame Seed Recipes:

    See all Sesame Seed recipes »

What's your favorite Sesame Seed recipe?

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