What Is Sesame Oil?
As the name suggests, sesame oil is made from sesame.
It’s said that the amount of oil contained per one sesame seed is larger than the other oil.
To get sesame oil, you need to roast sesame and apply pressure: by applying pressure, the sesame is ground and the sesame oil can be extracted.
Sesame oil is used in various dishes in Japan. You can use it while cooking to stir-fry and deep-fry ingredients. Also, you can just pour it on soup and salad as a dressing, etc.
By adding a fragrant sesame scent, those dishes will be even more delicious indeed!
But, the great flavor of sesame in sesame oil will be weak after heating. So, you should try pouring the oil right before eating dishes such as salad or soup once to feel amazing flavor.
In Japan, “Kadoya sesame oil” is the most famous sesame oil brand, by the way.
Good Substitutes for Sesame Oil
What to use if you have no sesame oil?
Here, you can find the best alternatives for sesame oil.
If you don’t want to buy a full bottle of sesame oil or can’t find any of it when making Japanese dishes, please refer to here!
Chili Oil + Vegetable Oil
Chili oil (ra-yu 辣油) is made from red peppers and sesame oil, so you can feel the great scent of sesame from chili oil too.
However, the difference is that it’s spicy even with a small amount of it. So, if you substitute chili oil for sesame oil while cooking, you should mix it with some vegetable oil.
By the way, Japanese often use it for the dipping sauce of gyoza (dumplings) or pour chili oil on various foods such as fried rice, soup, and ramen. Please have a try this way too!
Sesame + Vegetable Oil
Since sesame oil is made from sesame, you can substitute sesame for sesame oil. You can both use grind sesame and roasted sesame.
It’s generally said that grind sesame has stronger flavor, so it’s maybe better to use for substitute.
How to make sesame oil substitute (In either case: grind one and roasted one)
1. Dry roast the sesame in a frying pan
2. On the verge of burning, add small amount of vegetable oil
3. Leave it as it is for a while until it cools down
*If you don’t like the texture of sesame, filter it out before using it as sesame oil
*If you have sesame paste, it’s absolutely great substitute too. Sesame paste is usually very sticky, so please mix it with some vegetable oil to your liking. You don’t have to roast the sesame paste at that time.
If you need sesame oil in order to stir-fry something, you can substitute olive oil for it. Since the scent of sesame oil will be weak after heating, it’s totally fine to use other type of oil instead of sesame oil.
As you may already know, the flavor of each oil is totally different. So, just be careful about that especially when pouring it on foods right before eating.
Peanut butter seems to be completely different from sesame oil, but it actually could be good substitute.
Note that you should add it little by little especially when making salty dishes since peanut butter is usually very sweet.
I would say peanut butter is perfect substitute when making tantan noodle (noodles with a sauce made from sesame paste and chili oil). Peanut butter definitely improves the flavor of noodle soup and makes the taste mellow.