Sesame Oil vs Toasted Sesame Oil: What’s the Difference?

Sesame Oil

If you have tasted Asian or Middle-Eastern cuisines, you must have noticed a unique taste and distinct aroma from it. However, do you know the reason behind it?

Most of these cuisines use sesame oil for preparation, cooking, and seasoning.

There are mainly two types of sesame oil used in these cuisines including untoasted or regular sesame oil and toasted sesame oil.

The main difference between the two is the flavor. Sesame flavor has a light neutral flavor, whereas toasted sesame oil has a nutty flavor.

Now you know the secret behind the flavorful cuisines you eat! If you want to know more about sesame oil and toasted sesame oil, read on.

What is Sesame Oil?

Sesame oil is an edible vegetable oil made from sesame seeds.

It is widely used in Asian cuisines for its rich aroma and delicate taste. In addition to it, there are several health benefits of sesame oil.

It prevents heart diseases, regulates sugar levels, etc. 

What is Toasted Sesame Oil?

On the other hand, toasted sesame oil is made by toasting sesame seeds.

The sesame seeds are heated at 360 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes before extracting the oil, giving it a red-dark brown color and a strong smoky flavor.

Sesame Oil vs Toasted Sesame Oil: Comparison Table


Sesame Oil

Toasted Sesame Oil 


Neutral and Light

Smokey and Strong


Cooking, Frying





Sesame Oil vs Toasted Sesame Oil: What’s the Difference?

Sesame Oil

So far, you know the basic difference between sesame oil and toasted sesame oil. In this section, I will delve into the details so that you are not confused about which oil to use the next time you cook.


As mentioned earlier, it is one of the most crucial distinctions between sesame oil and toasted sesame oil. Sesame oil is extracted from pressed raw sesame seeds which is why it offers a neutral or light taste like other cooking oils.

On the other hand, toasted sesame oil is made by heating the seeds at a high temperature. This changes its taste from neutral to nutty and smoky. 


Sesame oil is an all-purpose vegetable oil that you can use for cooking, shallow frying, or deep frying. On the other hand, toasted sesame oil is used in salad dressing, marinades, or seasoning.

Generally, it is drizzled on the top of the dish at the end of cooking to enhance the taste.

Shelf life

Many food lovers believe that regular light sesame oil has a longer shelf life if they store it in a cool and dark place in an airtight container.

However, compared to it, toasted sesame oil has a shorter shelf life which you can extend if you store it in the refrigerator.

Can I Use Sesame Oil Instead of Toasted Sesame Oil?

Most people use sesame oil for cooking and frying, whereas toasted sesame oil is used for seasoning. Since both of them are used for different purposes and have different tastes, it is not the best option to substitute sesame oil with toasted sesame oil.

However, you can prepare toasted sesame oil from your regular sesame oil. If you want to know how then read further to find the recipe.

What Can I Use in Place of Toasted Sesame Oil?

Due to its distinct taste, toasted sesame oil adds a beautiful flavor to the dishes. So, if you are out of toasted sesame oil, here are some alternatives to save you from bland food.

1. Neutral oil and toasted sesame seeds

This is the closest substitute for your toasted sesame oil. Just toast some sesame seeds in a pan and add them to light oils like canola oil or olive oil.  The best part about this is that you can decide the number of sesame seeds in your oil, ultimately determining how strong the flavor is.

2. Walnut oil

Just like toasted sesame oil, walnut oil is rich in antioxidants and has a nutty flavor. Thus, it is a good substitute for the toasted sesame oil for salad dressings and seasoning.

3. Roasted peanut oil

Finally, roasted peanut oil is a great substitute for roasted sesame oil. If you cannot find the roasted peanut oil, just buy peanuts, toast them, and mix them with any neutral oil.

How to Toast Sesame Oil?

Toasting the regular sesame oil before adding it to your dish can add better flavor to your dish. It is a straightforward process, so just follow the steps mentioned below.

  1. Take a stainless steel pan and put it on a medium flame. Put your hand a few inches above the pan and wait till you feel the heat radiating from it.

  2. Then, pour the regular sesame oil into the heated pan. Keep circling the oil with a handle to prevent it from burning.

  3. The oil is toasted when it changes color and smell. You can put it off the flame when it changes to a golden brown color, and you get a nutty aroma. 

  4. Finally, let it cool down and then store it in an airtight container. This way, your toasted sesame oil is ready.

Related Questions

Is sesame oil better than olive oil?

Both the oils are considered healthy, but olive oil is more nutritious than sesame oil. It has more calcium and choline. Moreover, you can have different varieties of olive oil, while sesame oil just has two types- regular and toasted. Therefore, one can say olive oil is better than sesame oil.

Do I need to keep sesame oil in the fridge?

Precisely, sesame oil can last longer if kept refrigerated after opening. For example, if you keep the opened bottle of sesame oil in the dark with an airtight lid, it can last up to six months. However, the same bottle lasts twelve months if stored in a refrigerator.

  1. I had a recipe that called for untoasted sesame oil which is hard to find, if you rely on labels. I found that even if it said just sesame oil on the label, it could easily be toasted, and one bottle I found had sesame oil on the front, and toasted sesame oil in the ingredients list.

    I found one bottle of untoasted sesame oil, Spectrum brand, in the exotic oil section, where avocado oil and similar products are found. Interestingly, I found a bottle of toasted right next to the Spectrum oil, go figure!

    My quick tip is that if you want toasted, it is likely in the Asian section, and if you want untoasted, it is more likely to be found in the exotic oils section of the grocery store.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like