Anyone familiar with Asian and Chinese cuisine has stumbled upon sesame oil at some point in time. It is an Asian staple that has been slowly creating its place in your mainstream cooking recipes over the decades. It is quite an expensive oil to cook with. So, it is usually used to season, dress, and garnish food along with some occasional use in stir-frying.
As it doesn’t come cheap, seeking the best sesame oil is a wise choice. When used in seasoning and dressing, it gives the dish a rich and strong nutty flavor that elevates the dish to the next level. But do note that, if you are not careful in choosing the right sesame oil, you may end up ruining the dish too. So, choosing the right sesame oil for your seasoning, dressing, and garnishing perfection are important.
So, without any further ado, let’s dip into our top picks.
After analyzing the products, we had concluded that the best pick out of these 10 sesame oils would be Kadoya Sesame Oil. It checks almost every box that an ideal toasted sesame oil should have. It has an outstandingly good aroma, amazing health benefits, quality assurance, the authenticity that it offers surpasses its competitors. In short, this is the best one that you can pick right now if you intend to grab some toasted sesame oil.
If you are a little short on cash, you cannot go wrong with picking our best budget pick La Tourangelle Toasted Sesame Oil. It offers almost the same level of quality and everything but at a much more reasonable price. From delivering a strong authentic and traditional flavor to being super economical, this oil covers all the criteria it needs to. Moreover, it comes in a tin can which only a very few brands offer.
Quick Comparison: The 10 Best Sesame Oil
|Kadoya Sesame Oil||22.1 Fl Oz||A+|
|La Tourangelle Toasted Sesame Oil||16.9 Fl Oz||A+|
|Ottogi Premium Roasted Sesame Oil||10.82 Fl Oz||B+|
|Kevala Organic Toasted Sesame Oil||8 Fl Oz||A-|
|Happy Belly Toasted Sesame Oil||16.9 Fl Oz||B|
|Holy Natural Organic Sesame Seed Oil||33.81 Fl Oz||B|
|Napa Valley Naturals Cold Pressed Organic Sesame Oil||12.7 Fl Oz||A-|
|Eden Foods Toasted Sesame Oil||10 Fl Oz||A-|
|Onetang Organic Toasted Sesame Oil||8 Fl Oz||B+|
|Natural Earth Toasted Sesame Oil||8.45 Fl Oz||A-|
1. Kadoya Sesame Oil
First on our list comes a product from the mainland of Japan, the Kadoya Sesame Oil.
With heritage and authenticity going in its favor, it is probably the best sesame oil that your money can buy considering the oil’s excellent taste and quality.
The smell of Kadoya Sesame Oil is banging right on point. As soon as you open it, you will be greeted with the perfect aroma of it. It maintains a good consistency and is not overpowering by any means.
Garnish your favorite recipes with a little bit of it and mark our word that you will be delighted with the outcome.
No Room for Allergies
Had an allergic reaction to any sesame oil before? It will not be the case with this one. This sesame seed oil simply does not trigger any allergic reaction and is 100% safe to use.
Many consumers back this oil as the best sesame oil as it is reliable and consistent with its result.
Excellent Yet Not Out of Reach
It may seem to be priced on the heavier side to some consumers. However, the quality and versatility of this oil justify its pricing.
It can be used in almost any kind of recipe without any second thought. Its perfect consistency triumphs the dishes.
Product of Japan
Japan being the masters of their craft has a glorious recognition for providing consumers with the best quality product.
Coming straight from the mainland of Japan, Kadoya Sesame Oil is no exception. It maintains top-notch quality and ensures the best health for its consumers.
What We Liked: The overall quality and design of the tight flip-top cap have impressed us heavily. It is quite efficient as you do not need much oil to dress your dish.
Along with these, the reliability and health benefits ticks every box that as a consumer you would expect from it.
What We Didn’t Like: The plastic bottle the oil comes in may degrade over time, thus making it a less obvious choice if you are looking for something with a very long shelf-life. Also, the raw oil tends to taste a bit bitter at first.
2. La Tourangelle Toasted Sesame Oil
Next up is an award-winning toasted sesame seed oil that brings out the best of Asian heritage with its complex yet amazing flavors, La Tourangelle Toasted Sesame Oil.
Master of Traditional Touch
Though the seeds from which the oil is made comes from South Africa, the oil is carefully crafted in California and France, using 150-year-old French contemporary practices.
However, it maintains the authentic characteristics of its Asian origin. If you want to add a distinct taste to your recipes, you cannot go wrong with its burst of flavors.
Commitment to Sustainability
The manufacturers are quite concerned about sustainability issues. Hence, the oil is crafted with extra cautions. It is kosher, expeller-pressed, and non-GMO. No extra preservatives or chemicals are used in the process of making the oil.
The oil contains very strong flavors. So, only a little bit of it is enough to help you give your recipe a signature touch. In addition to that, it is quite wallet-friendly. It comes at a comparatively very low price than its rival brands.
Avoiding plastic bottles and opting for a can is a great choice when you want a better shelf life.
The quality of the sesame oil can be better maintained when stored in cans. It keeps the oil in better condition for an extended amount of time as there is less chance of degradation.
What We Liked: The quality of the oil is excellent for the price it comes in. It’s not only affordable but also economical and flavorful. The fact that it is GMO-free and packaged in a can gives it an edge while comparing with other brands.
What We Didn’t Like: As it has quite a strong flavor, many customers may not be a fan of it. Also, the packaging is not on the favorable side for pouring the oil due to its centered top cap. You need to be extra careful if you don’t want to spill it
3. Ottogi Premium Roasted Sesame Oil
Yet another budget-friendly option to consider! Ottogi can deliver you a balanced flavored premium roasted sesame oil without costing you much of your money. It is the best Korean sesame oil that you can find on the market.
The oil’s balanced flavor profile makes it one of the great choices if you intend to incorporate sesame oil in various types of food.
From seafood to noodles to fruits like avocado, you can easily use this oil in any of your preparations and worry less about the overpowering flavor.
Ottogi offers quite a premium deal with their sesame oil. It doesn’t fall under the general misconception of reasonably priced products not being good.
Though they keep the product price low, they don’t compromise with the quality of their oil at all.
Ottogi Premium Roasted Sesame Oil has received two prestigious awards. These awards scream the quality of their top-notch sesame oil.
“The Best Sesame Oil You Can Buy” award from The Business Insider in 2018 and the “Best Toasted Sesame Oil” award from Cooks Illustrated in 2020.
Though the oil comes in a plastic bottle, the shape and bottle size make it very easy to handle. The bottle feels ergonomic in the hand thus eliminates any chance of uncomfortable mishandling.
However, a can could have been a better option than a plastic bottle.
What We Liked: The oil is filtered at least three times and doesn’t contain any preservative, additive or artificial coloring.
The flavor is not overpowering at all and the price is very reasonable considering how good it is in taste and quality. It has quite a nice aroma to it.
What We Didn’t Like: On occasions, it might give the food a smoky flavor which has the potential to alter the food experience. And, it comes in a plastic bottle which again is prone to degradation over time.
So, refrain from buying in bulk if you don’t need them regularly.
4. Kevala Organic Toasted Sesame Oil
If you are very focused on the health benefit attributes of sesame oils, Kevala Organic Toasted Sesame Oil has the potential to be your best pick.
The oil comes in a glass bottle that is perfectly packaged in a peanut-free facility in the USA. However, it is a product of Mexico.
USDA Organic Certified
The oil has the USDA Organic certification which means it is pure and authentic. No additive or chemical substances were used in making this oil.
To acquire USDA certification, a must adhere to a completely organic and sustainable process. Introduced to certify food safety and security, this recognition proves that Kevala sesame oil has superior quality.
Non-GMO Project Verified
No genetically modified organism (GMO) is used to produce this oil. The Non-GMO Project verification advocates that in favor of Kevala. This means the product is made from all-natural ingredients.
High Smoke Point
This sesame oil has a higher smoke point than most of the sesame oils out there in the market. Thus, it is more suitable to use in cooking and baking activities.
However, that doesn’t mean it cannot be used for seasoning and garnishing. It is more or less on par with others on this list.
Kevala Toasted Sesame Oil is cholesterol-free. It is rich in nutrition, sesamin, sesamol, and antioxidants. Thus, it is very healthy to consume regularly and a great option for health-conscious people.
What We Liked: The oil is truly versatile due to its high smoke point. All the certification and verification ensure that it is organic and safe to consume. It is rich in nutty aroma and has an intoxicating flavor to it.
All the health benefits it contains make it one of the top choices on this list.
What We Didn’t Like: It tends to have a very overpowering taste as well as smell. This overpowering nature can be tough to neutralize. So, many customers may find it a bit too much.
5. Happy Belly Toasted Sesame Oil
The next sesame oil brand on our list is ‘Happy Belly’. Its toasted sesame oil is currently ranking at no.4 bestseller under the sesame oil category.
The oil comes in a very attractive black bottle. Although the bottle may seem like a glass one in its Amazon listing, it is plastic.
Many of the oil found on the market features an overpowering taste. However, this oil is comparatively less powerful in terms of aroma and flavor.
It tries to keep a balanced flavor profile. The oil complements the Asian cooking style perfectly without feeling like too much.
The oil comes with a satisfaction guarantee. It claims to be having the best quality sesame oil that you could find on the market.
If the customers are not satisfied with their products, ‘Happy Belly’ would refund them. However, that should be within one year of purchase.
It specializes in elevating your recipe by providing a good experience. This oil is mainly made keeping seasoning, dressing, and garnishing in mind
On the packaging itself, they recommend you to use it happily in the three best use cases. You may use it to saute over medium heat, whisk it into dressings or marinades, and drizzle it over a finished dish.
The packaging it comes in stands out from the rest. Though the bottle is made of plastic, it is easy to handle and looks great.
The slender bottle has a narrow opening on the top that makes it easier to pour. Also, due to the shape, it fits perfectly in any limited kitchen shelving.
What We Liked: Overall the balanced flavor profile and the guarantee of satisfaction are the most impressive things about this oil. It has got a good aroma and a nice touch not so overwhelming taste which is a major plus.
What We Didn’t Like: Because of its balanced profile, it may not seem appealing to many customers. The aroma and flavor may strike as weak if you are used to a strong and smokey flavored sesame oil.
6. Holy Natural Organic Sesame Seed Oil
The Holy Natural Organic Sesame Seed Oil is the second USDA Organic certified sesame seed oil on our list.
Loaded with essential nutrients, this oil is deemed as one of the healthiest sesame oils available on the market right now.
The oil is made from all-natural ingredients. It is a non-GMO product that claims to be halal and made under a GMP facility.
It features unrefined and untreated sesame extra virgin sesame seeds. It is made in a cold-pressed way to maintain its quality.
This oil is a powerhouse of nutrition. It contains many essential nutrients which make it a very good option to consider.
Holy Natural sesame oil is loaded with vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E, zinc, magnesium, copper, iron, and calcium.
Master of Asian Cuisine
With a very delicious and aromatic nutty flavor, this oil gives your recipe a good touch of Asian cuisines. It perfectly blends in a variety of food with gives it extra versatility.
You can add it to salads and marinades, pickles, sauces, or dips to enrich their flavors.
As it is very healthy and got the necessary vitamins and minerals, it can be incorporated into diets as well. Depending on your taste, you may add 1-2 tablespoons of sesame oil to your diet.
However, the human body reacts differently to different types of sesame oil. So, it will be recommended to monitor how the oil affects your body and calibrate the dose.
What We Liked: It is rich in health benefits and easy to cook with. Its all-natural ingredients give it a good overall flavor that is not at all overwhelming.
It is versatile and can be used in different cuisines other than Asian. It maintains a good consistency throughout.
What We Didn’t Like: The oil doesn’t contain a strong flavor. So, it may seem very bland and flavorless to people who are a fan of a strong nutty flavor. So, try avoiding it if you fall under that category.
7. Napa Valley Naturals Cold Pressed Sesame Oil
Coming in a wine bottle, the Napa Valley Naturals sesame oil offers a great deal of enhancing your dishes. It is cold-pressed organic sesame oil that has multiple uses.
However, it is ideal to use for dressing, sauces, and marinades.
Napa Valley Naturals Organic sesame oil sits on a perfect equilibrium. It has got a subtle flavor that is neither overpowering nor underwhelming.
Using a bit of it in your stir-fry dishes can give it a burst of flavors. It is very good for making popcorn as well. You can even replace the butter with it while preparing popcorn. The oil gives them a nice smell and flavor.
This oil can be used to get multiple things done. Not only in cooking but Napa Valley Naturals Organic sesame oil also has a great reputation for being a massage oil.
It can be convincingly used for oil pulling. Apart from that, I can also be used to treat dry mouth, stuffy nose, and even dandruff.
The oil comes in a functional wine bottle. It gives the product a touch of premium-ness, at the same time makes it easy to handle.
The glass bottle has its distinct benefits as well when it comes to storing oil. Plastic bottles may experience degradation over time which glass bottles don’t face. Thus, the oil stays in a better condition for an extended period.
Napa Valley Organic Sesame Oil is USDA Organic certified. Thus, there is no question about its authenticity and safety. It has also won multiple awards as a part of the Stonewall Kitchen family of gourmet foods.
What We Liked: The oil is pure, organic, and multipurpose. It can be considered as one of the bests if not the best sesame oil for oil pulling. The flavor of the oil has some consistency to it and it comes in a great-looking bottle.
What We Didn’t Like: The oil doesn’t have the pungent sesame flavor or smell. It smells somewhat like corn. If that is a deal-breaker for you, you may choose any of the other ones from our list.
8. Eden Foods Toasted Sesame Oil
Eden Foods is a trusted name in the Grocery & Gourmet Food industry. Apparently, they also have their line of sesame oil products.
It is manufactured by United Natural Foods, Inc. On the packing label, it says ‘Product of Japan’. Japan has a reputation for making the best sesame oils.
The oil is mostly used as a finishing oil. You cannot cook with it as the oil will burn quickly. It has a relatively low smoke point.
So, it is by specification best suited to be used as an after-cooking dressing and finishing oil. However, you can use it to stir-fry too at a lower temperature.
Eden Foods slowly roasts the whole sesame seeds in a rotary kiln. Then they are expeller-pressed. Slowly roasting the sesame seeds brings out the perfect flavor and aroma.
It is a fully chemical-free mechanical process that extracts the oil from the seeds. So, you can be assured of its purity.
Amber Glass Protected
The unrefined oil is bottled in an amber glass bottle. The dark amber glass bottles help the oil to improve its shelf-life and maintain the correct consistency.
This Asian-inspired oil has a nutty flavor and a slightly sweet aroma. It can be a great addition to almost any type of food and make that delicious.
This oil can go your peanut sauces, dips, stir-fries, salads and make them a lot better with its flavor. It is very versatile and high-quality.
What We Liked: The oil is expeller-pressed. So, it doesn’t come in contact with any chemical, hence can be trusted. It comes in an amber glass bottle which means it will have a longer shelf time compared to the plastic bottled ones.
What We Didn’t Like: It has a balanced flavor which can be a deal-breaking factor if you are a lover of strong-flavored sesame oil. You may find the flavor mild and less tasty.
9. Onetang Organic Toasted Sesame Oil
A product of Sungiven Food, Onetang Organic Toasted Sesame Oil is a healthy and delicious addition to this list. It is an all-natural, non-GMO, organic sesame oil that deserves some attention.
The oil is extracted from the finest of sesame seeds that are carefully selected. No hexane, additives, or solvent is used in this process which ensures purity.
The premium oil is extracted using the cold-pressed method which retains most of the antioxidants present in the sesame.
Unrefined and Aromatic
To keep the nutrition value intact and eliminate the use of chemical substances, the oil is kept unrefined. This allows the raw flavor and aroma of sesame seeds to be empowered.
Tasty Asian Flavor
The nutty and tasty flavor of organic sesame of this oil can give any dish a signature Asian kick. You can enjoy the flavor in a variety of dishes, including sauces, salads, pickles, dips, or marinades.
Some health benefits are also associated with sesame oil. They are a good source of heart-healthy fats which take care of your heart. Moreover, it has the power to combat inflammation and is effective in protecting your skin from sun damage.
Onetang Organic Toasted Sesame Oil retains all of those health benefits along with making food delicious.
What We Liked: The oil has a rich intensity flavor that gives a subtle Asian kick to the dishes. It comes in a canned package which indicates a higher shelf life.
What We Didn’t Like: The can is not ergonomic. The centered cap at the middle of the can top makes it harder to pour the oil. Some customers may consider it bitter due to the intense flavors.
10. Natural Earth Toasted Sesame Oil
The final sesame oil on our list comes from a brand named Natural Earth. The oil brand assures you to elevate your contemporary dish to culinary art with its rich flavors.
Natural and Hearty
The oil is extracted from all-natural ingredients through the cold-pressed process. The color and quality of the oil have a premium vibe to it. It is a non-GMO product and certified kosher.
Healthy and Rich
It is made from carefully picked sesame seeds that are rich in oil. It is a combination of polyunsaturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids.
Artisanal Asian Taste
This oil can be used in grilled meat, stir-fries, noodles, all kinds of salad, dips, dressings, etc. dishes. It has got a unique and rich Asian flavor that can take over and make the food insanely tasty.
It gives the authentic character of sesame to homemade dishes of Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and various other Asian cuisines.
The oil comes in a glass bottle that will keep the oil fresh for a long period. The glass bottle keeps and doesn’t cause any sort of micro contamination that a regular plastic bottle might do.
What We Liked: The oil tries to replicate the pure Asian sesame oil taste. It has quite a rich aroma to it. It is a USDA Organic and non-GMO product that advocates its purity. It didn’t cheap out on its packaging.
What We Didn’t Like: As it has that pungent kick to it, it may overpower the flavor of dishes sometimes. So, it is not for the people who are trying to find a balanced flavor in their sesame oil.
What is Sesame Oil Actually?
Extracted from sesame seeds, sesame oil is an aromatic and nutty flavored vegetable oil heavily used in Asian and Chinese cuisine. It has a strong flavor to it, so we don’t see much use in regular cooking.
Sesame oil comes in various types. However, the most common and heavily recognized varieties of sesame oil are toasted and cold-pressed.
Toasted Sesame Oil vs Other Vegetable Oil
There are some key differences between toasted sesame oil and other vegetable oils. Let’s have a look at some of them.
As the name suggests, toasted sesame oil is pressed from toasted sesame seeds. On the contrary, your regular vegetable oil may be the extract of soybean, mustard, sunflower, soy, etc.
Toasted sesame oil has a nutty aroma and strong flavors. Whereas, other vegetable oils don’t have such overwhelming flavors.
The regular vegetable oils are used in cooking, frying, baking, and other food preparation techniques that we frequently use. However, toasted sesame oil specializes in dressing, garnishing, seasoning, stir-frying, etc.
Regular vegetable oil has a lot higher smoke point compared to toasted sesame oil. Oils with low smoke points burn easily while frying or cooking. Hence, toasted sesame oil isn’t recommended to cook with.
Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Sesame Oil
Finding the right sesame oil brand for you can be a tedious job when there is a lot of options to choose from. However, if you can set the priorities right, finding a good sesame oil becomes easy.
To help you navigate through options and find the best sesame oil for you, we have compiled some things to look for. So, here we go-
The choice of flavors would be different based on the type of sesame oil. For plain pressed seed oil, the flavor should not be too strong. As the main purpose of this oil is cooking, it should have a mild or neutral flavor.
So, if you want the sesame oil to be used in cooking, go with the plain pressed seed oil. It will serve you the best.
On the other hand, toasted sesame seed oils have a pungent flavor to them. It is usually used for seasoning, dressing, garnishing, and occasional stir-frying. So, if that’s something you are looking for, go on with it.
However, you need to check if the flavor of the oil is too strong or not. If it has a very strong flavor, it can overpower the flavor of your dish and make it worse. So beware!
As the origin of sesame oil is likely to be Asia or East Africa, the sesame seeds from these regions are considered better. So, a good brand of oil that sources its seeds from these regions should be a good choice.
However, that is not it. You also need to consider if the oil is organic and non-GMO or not. A good way to ensure that is to check for mentions of these in the product packaging.
In the US, USDA Organic certification and Non-GMO Project verification ensure the quality and safety of the sesame products.
Depending on what you plan to do with the sesame oil, you need to look for the smoke point info.
For instance, if you want to cook or bake with sesame oil, you will need an oil with a high smoke point. Otherwise, it will burn while you try to cook or bake with it.
On the contrary, you may just want to season, dress or drizzle your dish with sesame oil. In that case, the oil with a lower smoke point will work just fine for you.
Usually, plain pressed seed oils have a higher smoke point and toasted seed oils have a lower smoke point.
Though sesame oils are generally a bit expensive, price is completely a relative thing. If you can afford some slacks, there are great options to choose from. However, there are cheaper brands too who don’t cheap out on the quality.
Here, a piece of general advice would be, only go for a larger volume if you will be using the oil regularly. They may be price-efficient in that case.
The best packaging material for sesame oils would be a tin can or a glass bottle. These packaging materials do not degrade over time. Thus, they keep the sesame oil in a better condition for extended use.
However, if the plastic container is BPA-free then it should not be a worrying fact. Unfortunately, most of the plastic bottles in which sesame oil comes are not BPA-free.
So, tin cans or glass bottles are more preferable to plastic packaging. Sesame oil coming in cans and glass bottles have a longer expiry period too.
The size of sesame oil that you should choose must commensurate with your use frequency. It is completely up to how much oil you plan to use. But refrain from excess buying if you are not cooking with it.
Sesame oil comes in multiple sizes and the higher quantity one is usually more cost-effective. However, sesame does not stay the same for a long time. Depending on the packaging it expires within 1.5-2.5 years.
As the price of sesame oil is on the higher side, buying the size that would last you for 2-3 months is recommended.
Q1. How can I use sesame oil to season?
Usually, seasoning, dressing, marinating is done with toasted sesame oil. So, you will be needing some toasted sesame oil. Depending on the dish, you can drizzle the oil over the food or you can whisk it into the food.
If it is a finished food then, drizzling over that would be the better option. And, if it is a dressing or marinade, you can simply whisk the sesame oil into it.
Q2. Can I use sesame oil for baking purposes?
Yes, you can. However, for that, you will need plain pressed sesame oil as it has a higher smoke point. Toasted sesame oil burns too easily thus not recommended for baking.
However, some toasted sesame oils have a high smoke point. You can use those too if you want a stronger flavor of sesame.
Q3. How to store sesame oil?
If it is a plain pressed or light sesame oil, you can store it at room temperature. Just leave it on a shelf, closing the lid tightly in the container it came in. That should be just fine.
But if it is toasted or dark sesame oil, then it should be stored in a cool and dark place for extended use. The best practice will be to close the lid very tightly and put it in the refrigerator.
Q4. How long does sesame oil last?
Depending on the packaging material the expiry time of the sesame oils vary. The oil lasts the longest in a tin can, the shortest in a plastic bottle due to the degradation.
For Plain Pressed/Pure (Light) Sesame Oil
Canned: 2 years; Glass bottled: 1.5 years; Plastic bottled: 1 year
For Toasted (Dark) Sesame Oil
Canned: 2.5 years; Glass bottled: 2 years; Plastic bottled: 1.5 year
Sesame oil is a great flavor enhancer. It naturally comes with the versatility to complement dishes from many cuisines and make them taste better. However, picking the best sesame oil for your tastebud is a quest itself.
Each of the top sesame oils that we have mentioned here has some distinct characters to them. We are confident that you won’t be disappointed with the recommendations. So, pick up whichever suits your taste the most!