The Common Oil and Its Not So Common Benefits
Sesame oil is an amber-colored, edible vegetable oil derived from pressed toasted sesame seeds. While South India uses it as cooking oil, other Southeast Asian, Middle Eastern and African countries employ it as an excellent seasoning and flavor enhancer. Sesame oil has a distinct nutty and buttery flavor and aroma. There is a lighter-colored version of sesame oil, made with untoasted seeds and sold in health-food or some Middle Eastern stores. Because its flavor is mild, it’s more suitable for cooking than dark sesame oil.
It is widely used in Korea, called chamgireum, a common ingredient in Korean cooking. it is used to make namul, a vegetable side dish, adding a glossy finish to it. The popular bibimbap also uses a big spoonful of sesame oil to add flavor. Salt and pepper are also mixed with the oil to make a dipping sauce for grilled meat, like pork and lamb, to reduce or mask the gamey flavor of the meats.
Koreans prefer the color amber sesame oil for stir-frying meats and vegetables, or for sauteing, or used in the final stages of cooking. They don’t use it for deep-frying as it burns easily owing to the oil’s natural antioxidants.
The impressive amount of vitamins, minerals, organic compounds, and other beneficial components in sesame oil is the reason why it is considered so healthy. It is a rich source of Vitamin E, magnesium, copper, calcium, and zinc. And unlike most oils, sesame oil is high the beneficial polyunsaturated fatty acid, Omega-6, which is known to lower blood pressure.
Heart-friendly, sesame oil contains a wide range of polyunsaturated fatty acids, keeping the cardiovascular system healthy, lowering cholesterol levels, reducing atherosclerosis. Rich in zinc, the oil increases skin elasticity and smoothness, helping to reduce the early signs of aging. It’s also be used as a sunscreen or may even treat skin fungal infections. It also retains the natural color of hair and minimizes hair loss.
Sesame oil’s significant copper content enables optimal production of red blood cells, life-giving to the different tissues and organs of the body. Copper is a natural anti-inflammatory agent reducing the inflammation and discomfort in gout and arthritis, swelling of joints and blood vessels.
On the other hand, the copper, zinc, and calcium combination in sesame oil promotes bone growth, regrowth and healing, hence delaying osteoporosis and other age-related weaknesses of the bones.
Healthy Flavor Enhancers in Seattle
Enjoy your favorite UW Korean restaurant favorites enhanced by the flavor and aroma of healthy sesame oil. For meals delicious and nutrient-rich, head no further than the Korean Tofu House.