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Should I always use sesame oil with my stir frys?

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I always use sesame oil with my stir fry at the end is this right?

Are there some instances where sesame oil should never be used with certain ingredients?

Some recipes I see never use it others always do there seems to be no rule that I have discovered so far.

Look forward to your input Thank you. :rolleyes:

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I've never heard for any "rules" for the addition of sesame oil at the end of a stir fry. IMHO, it's strictly a matter of taste. My own personal preference (and it's just that, a preference) is to use it with chicken and pork, but not duck, lamb or beef. I also might (but not always) omit it if I'm going with hot oil. I also might avoid it with more delicate veggies, but probably not with "meatier" ones, like eggplant, though with a light touch. I might also use it with some fish and shellfish dishes, depending on my mood and the fish. Yes with batter-fried fish/seafood stir fry, no with any scallop or clam dish.

But again, it's just a matter of taste, i.e., personal preference. The rules are what you make them.

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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I'm going to assume you are talking about toasted sesame oil.

If that is the case, then you should at it near the end of your stir-fry because sesame oil has a relatively low smoke point. If you add it too early, there is a possibility it can burn.

As for rules concerning its use, I don’t believe there are any. I find it goes well with just about everything, but I don’t use it on everything, because then everything would taste like sesame oil.

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It seems as though you're talking about Western stir fries, which are amalgams of vegetables and proteins cooked quickly at high heat. If you're merely seeking tasty dishes, then go with your gut (and tongue). Since you're not following rules, don't worry about them.

However, use of sesame oil within regional Chinese cuisines varies widely, including "stir fry" dishes, and that use is governed by real care -- like the use of strong flavors in all carefully codified cuisines. If you're interested, I'd urge you to pick up The Breath of the Wok by Grace Young. In it, you'll see a wide variety of flavorings and aromatics besides sesame oil, which is used quite sparingly in Chinese cooking. The book includes traditional home-cooked recipes as well as some more innovative twists on classics, and is good for someone fiddling with stir fries.

Good luck!

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I have toasted sesame oil

I have only ever had london chinatown food & various local takeaways & am not sure how authentic they are but they tasted good.

I no longer live there so I am trying to recreate the tastes I enjoyed.

Thanks for your advice.


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My family and I are from the western and northern region of Wuhan and Shangdong. We hardly ever use sesame oil.

We will use it in sesame noodles, dumpling and bao fillings, and some soups. For stir fries we would only use it in certain recipes like 3 cup chicken or in sauces for seafood and dumplings.

All in all, if you like the taste of sesame oil, then use it right before the food comes out of the wok. That way it retains its flavor because the more you cook it, the strength of the oil decreases.

In authentic cooking, you won't really use sesame oil in most homestyle everyday dishes.

But if you like it, use it! :)

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  • 7 months later...
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