The delightfully nutty flavor and aroma of toasted sesame oil is a distinctive characteristic of Asian cooking. Like other oils, toasted sesame oil seals in nutrients and prevents burning when sautéeing, baking, and pan-frying, but its appetizing fragrance and rich taste make this oil most highly prized as a seasoning.
Use a small amount of toasted sesame oil in marinades, vinaigrettes, sauces, and dressings. Toasted sesame oil will enhance the flavor of fried noodles and sautéed or stir-fried dishes. Add about 10 percent toasted sesame oil to the oil used for tempura or deep-frying. This will give the cooking oil a rich background flavor. In sautéeing, toasted sesame oil may overpower some mild-flavored vegetables if used alone, but it is delicious when used in combination with another vegetable oil, such as light sesame or canola.
The easiest way to take advantage of sesame oil's rich flavor is in braised vegetable dishes. Simply sauté a few thin slices of ginger in two or three teaspoons of toasted sesame oil. Add vegetables such as broccoli, kale, or cabbage and a pinch of salt. Sauté briefly, then add a little water. Cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender.