Have you encountered the two kinds of sesame oil varieties, toasted sesame oil and sesame oil? Do you wonder which one goes better with fried rice?
As an indecisive person, I always struggled between choosing toasted sesame oil vs sesame oil for fried rice.
I finally took matters into my own hands and cooked fried rice with both oil varieties to compare. To my surprise, the results were pretty different!
Both sesame oil and toasted sesame oil impart a distinct nuttiness to fried rice due to the presence of sesame seeds. Yet, toasted sesame oil is better as it introduces a richer and deeper taste than untoasted sesame oil. It also enhances the dish’s aroma by adding its toasted fragrance.
Comparison Table: Toasted Sesame Oil Vs. Sesame Oil for Fried Rice
|Category||Toasted Sesame Oil||Sesame Oil|
|Flavor||Nutty with a defined flavor of sesame||Mildly nutty with a slight sesame taste|
|Amount Required||Half a teaspoon or one teaspoon per cup of fried rice||One to two tablespoons per cup of fried rice|
|Purpose||Used only as a seasoning or drizzling at the end||Used for stir-frying and sautéing rice|
|Ingredients||Consists of toasted sesame seeds||Consists of raw, pressed sesame seeds|
Toasted Sesame Oil or Sesame Oil for Fried Rice: What Is the Difference?
Asian cuisine has certain staple ingredients that you’ll find in many dishes. Sesame oil is one such ingredient, as it’s used in sushi, meat marinades, and even fried rice.
Sesame oil is available in two varieties – simple and toasted sesame oil. You can use either in your fried rice to impart a lovely, nutty flavor.
However, the question is, how do they differ when you use them with fried rice? After trying both oils out, I’ve found the answers.
Aroma and Flavor
The main difference you will notice after adding sesame or toasted sesame oil to your fried rice is the overall flavor.
As sesame oil contains raw sesame seeds, its taste is mild. So, you will only taste a slight nuttiness if you’ve used plain sesame oil. The aroma is as subtle as the taste.
On the other hand, toasted sesame oil packs a bunch of flavor! The nuttiness is so pronounced and deep that you will taste each sesame seed. It may also have a slightly smoky smell to it due to the presence of toasted sesame.
I recommend using toasted sesame oil when you want sharper flavors. However, if you don’t want the other ingredients in your dish to get overpowered, opt for plain sesame oil.
You should always add toasted sesame oil judiciously, as it has a strong taste. I stick to half or one teaspoon for one cup of fried rice so as not to overpower the dish.
Sesame oil has a more neutral and lighter flavor. Therefore, you can easily use one to two tablespoons for one cup of fried rice.
How you use sesame oil and toasted sesame oil with fried rice is different.
Sesame oil has a high smoke point, so you can use it for cooking or stir-frying purposes. For instance, you can add two tablespoons of sesame oil to stir-fry vegetables and rice.
On the other hand, toasted sesame oil has a low-smoke point. Therefore, you cannot use it for stir-frying the rice and vegetables. Instead, you must use it as a seasoning by drizzling it on top of cooked fried rice.
I accidentally stir-fried my rice and vegetables in toasted sesame oil once. Trust me, the final result was disastrous, as the fried rice tasted bitter and smelled like burning coal!
How to Make Homemade Toasted Sesame Oil?
Whenever I go grocery shopping, sesame oil is usually available in bulk. Yet, I never find toasted sesame oil.
Instead, I tried this perfect homemade toasted sesame oil recipe. It tasted as good as the store-bought one!
All you need is sesame seeds and vegetable oil. You will find both white sesame seeds and black sesame seeds in the store. Always opt for white sesame seeds, as they are milder. Black sesame can get overpowering for mild dishes like fried rice!
Step 1: Toast the Sesame Seeds
As the name suggests, start by toasting the sesame seeds.
- Take half a cup of sesame seeds and add to a non-stick pan.
- Toast the seeds at medium-high heat for three to four minutes.
- Stir the sesame seeds frequently to ensure that they don’t burn.
- Remove the seeds from the pan once they turn slightly golden brown.
Step 2: Add the Sesame Seeds to a Blender With Vegetable Oil
After toasting the sesame seeds, transfer them to a bowl and let them cool for five to ten minutes.
1. Once the sesame seeds have cooled, add them to a blender.
2. Add one and a half cups of neutral-flavored oil, like vegetable or canola oil, to the blender.
3. Blend the toasted sesame seeds and oil at high speed for two to three minutes.
Ensure that you blend the toasted sesame seeds and oil until no whole seeds are left.
Step 3: Strain the Toasted Sesame Oil
The last step is using a strainer or fine mesh cloth to strain the blended toasted sesame oil.
Don’t skip this step; it will help remove any whole sesame seeds or large pieces. Once done, you will get a clear oil that you can use for fried rice!
You can also follow this alternate method of preparing toasted sesame oil at home.
Fried Rice Recipe With Toasted Sesame Oil
Toasted sesame oil can uplift even the most basic fried rice recipe with its nutty and intense flavor. If you’re unsure how to use it with fried rice, I’ve got a mouth-watering recipe for you!
- One cup of cooked and refrigerated rice (basmati or jasmine works best)
- Two tablespoons of vegetable oil
- One diced carrot
- Two diced chilies
- Two to three finely chopped garlic cloves
- One tablespoon of soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon of toasted sesame oil
- Optional: extra garnishing (spring onions, toasted sesame seeds)
Steps to Follow
1. First, heat a wok on medium-high heat for two minutes, then add two tablespoons of vegetable oil.
2. Add finely chopped garlic cloves and chilies and stir-fry them on medium-high heat until the garlic turns golden brown.
3. Next, add all the diced vegetables, like carrots and bell peppers, to the wok. Sauté the vegetables until they turn slightly tender.
4. Add one cup of rice to the wok and combine it quickly with the other stir-fried ingredients. Sauté everything for a minute or two.
5. In this step, add any sauces that you want. I added one tablespoon of soy sauce and mixed it well with the stir-fried rice and veggies.
6. Finally, drizzle half a teaspoon of toasted sesame oil on the fried rice. Sauté everything for two to three minutes on medium-high heat.
7. Once the fried rice develops a smoky aroma, transfer it to a bowl and garnish with spring onions and toasted sesame seeds!
If you ask me whether I would use toasted sesame oil or sesame oil for fried rice, my answer will always be toasted sesame oil!
I didn’t notice much difference in my fried rice when I used sesame oil. However, toasted sesame oil was a game-changer as it lent its complex flavor to complement all the other flavors in the dish.