Sesame seeds are pretty awesome little critters, especially when they’re toasted. They’re packed with flavor, copper, manganese, calcium, iron, and so much more. They can be used in anything from stir-fry, to bread, to smoothies. You’ve probably noticed them all over in Asian-themed foods and in salads.
As with most seeds, sesame seeds can also be toasted. It’s super fast and easy to do and it brings out their nutty side. Puns aside, toasted sesame seeds provide a deep nutty, buttery flavor to your foods. They can be used in sauces, salads, baking—anywhere that a little extra crunch or flavor is wanted. They pair tremendously well with butter, honey, and vanilla. I like using a frying pan for small batches because it’s faster.
Toasting Sesame Seeds
Heat a 10″ frying pan over medium heat. Add a single layer of sesame seeds to pan (~2 tablespoons), and stir occasionally. Seeds are done when they’re browned, about 2-4 minutes.
As sesame seeds heat they produce their own oil, so there’s no need to add any butter or oil to the pan. Keep an eye on your seeds or they’ll burn. Depending on your pan’s temperature, it may take a little more or less time. Resist the temptation to do something else or walk away because sesame seeds have a tendency to go from 0 to 100 in a blink of an eye.
I personally like toasting mine to a medium-dark shade. I like their flavor best that way. Another tip is to not over-fill your pan with seeds. If they can lay flat on the bottom of the pan when you first put them in, you’ll achieve a more even browning. The seeds will expand slightly after being introduced to heat.
After toasting the sesame seeds, I add them to a bowl or container by first placing the toasted seeds on a sheet of regular paper, aluminum foil, or parchment paper. I then hold up opposite ends of the paper to form a thin pouring mechanism that will let the seeds fall into a smaller container.
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