Friday, August 7, 2009

Sesame Oil

sesame oil

I don't have a recipe to share today. Well, not directly anyway. I thought I'd write about an ingredient today. You know, just to shake things up. Sesame oil, an interesting oil to someone who grew up with vegetable oil (um, that would be me). So, I'm not going to write about the history or the 1001 uses (if there are that many) uses of sesame oil, just write a post about what I use it for and what I think of it.

Let me start of by saying that I don't LOVE sesame oil. In fact, it took me a while to get used to it. It has a strong smell and flavor. Heating the oil really brings out the smell! When I was first pregnant, my husband heated some sesame oil and the smell made me so sick that I couldn't use it again for a very long time! After time, though, I got used to it and do enjoy it from time to time.

The first recipe I used sesame oil was daikon soup. I'll have to share that recipe this winter! I also use it for goya champuru and tonjiru. And recently, I have been using this recipe for all the cucumbers coming out of our garden, yes with a healthy dash of sesame oil. (Thanks to anchan for directing me to the recipe, and thanks to Not Quite Nigella (and her mum) for sharing it!) Speaking of which, I used my pickling dish to make these pickles.

pickling dish

I combined the ingredients in the dish. Then added the cut up cucumber and gave them a stir.

cucumbers in the pickling liquid

After fifteen minutes (or so) i put the heavy lid on and put it in the refrigerator for an hour.

ready for the refrigerator

I put a dried pepper in it, but it didn't really make it any spicier. Soaking the pepper, taking out the seeds then cutting it into round slices works much better. My kids don't really like cucumber so I can make this as spicy as I like.

red pepper
(looks like a little dead fish in there, doesn't it?)

After an hour, the liquid from the cucumbers had combined with the rest of the ingredients and the cucumbers were deliciously pickled. My pickling dish is a little too small for this recipe, but I just kept adding cucumbers as they came out of the garden! Very delicious, even my PIL liked these cucumbers!

one hour later

So, don't be afraid to use sesame oil. At the top of this post I have a photo of a 'nice' sesame oil (read: somewhat expensive) but you can find all types of sesame oil with the other oils in your supermarket (in Japan. I'm not sure where you might find it in other countries. Sorry!) Sesame oil is 'goma abura' in Japanese. Get out there and experiment!


anchan said...

I looove sesame oil! I also love your pickling jar. I saw some on sale a few months back and resisted, now I wish I'd bought one! xxx

PS I didn't realise you had a cooking blog - only just found it!

illahee said...

that's ok, i sadly neglect this blog!!

i love the pickling dish, it's great for a bit of cucumber (just use salt, or salt and red pepper for spicy cucumbers), or even nasu, carrot, daikon.... i think the one i have was only 1000 yen or so.

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