3 Surprising Ways to Use Toasted Sesame Oil

It's time to step up your toasted sesame oil game.

Photo: Caitlin Bensel

If you've been using toasted sesame oil solely for finishing dishes, it's time to try it on more than noodles and rice. Just as toast offers more flavor than bread, toasted sesame oil (made from roasted sesame seeds) packs a richer flavor than the regular stuff. Whip it into a Caesar-inspired dressing, then drizzle it over grilled chicken or fish. Toss sturdy russet or sweet potatoes in salt, pepper, and sesame oil for steak fries you'll put on regular rotation. And for a protein-packed snack, make a creamy, garlicky cannellini bean dip, delicious with crunchy fresh veggies or rice crackers.

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Creamy Sesame Dressing

Caitlin Bensel

Once you get in the habit of making your own salad dressing, you'll never go back to the bottled stuff. This creamy dressing is a riff on homemade mayonnaise, but instead of neutral-flavored vegetable or canola oil, you swap in flavorful toasted sesame oil. Serve the creamy mixture with veggies for dipping or brush it on chicken breasts before broiling for a new take on chicken Dijonnaise. Squeamish about using raw egg yolk? Buy pasteurized eggs—the taste is the same, but they've been heated to kill any bacteria. Or simply swap in a hard-boiled egg yolk.

Get the recipe: Creamy Sesame Dressing

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Sesame Steak Fries

Caitlin Bensel

Roasted potatoes make a delicious weeknight side dish, but cutting them into thick wedges makes them feel like a steak house treat. Toss russet potato wedges with toasted sesame oil, season with salt, then pop them in a hot oven. Don't rush—it takes just about a full hour to get them golden and crispy on the outside and creamy and tender on the inside. Finish the fries with a drizzle of more toasted sesame oil for added flavor, then serve them alongside Hoisin Chicken Burgers or alongside these Korean-Style Lettuce Wraps.

Get the recipe: Sesame Steak Fries

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Spicy White Bean and Sesame Dip

Caitlin Bensel

In this preparation, nutty toasted sesame oil updates a classic white bean dip. Infused with garlic and spicy crushed red pepper, the dip comes together in a snap in the food processor. Creamy cannellini or navy beans work best for this dip since they're the most tender, but chickpeas, pinto beans or black beans work too (you might just need to add a little water to reach your desired consistency). Serve the dip with veggies, or spread it on toast and top with a fried egg. Believe it or not, it even makes a delicious sauce for soba noodles. Simply thin the mixture with a little hot pasta water until saucy.

Get the recipe: Spicy White Bean and Sesame Dip

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