Food blog

Elevate Your Salad Dressing: The Power of Toasted Sesame Oil

For a stronger tasting salad dressing, substitute toasted sesame oil for the olive.

When it comes to salads, a well-balanced dressing can take your dish to the next level. Not only do dressings enhance flavors, but they also contribute to the overall nutritional value of your meal. If you’re looking for a bolder flavor in your salad dressing, consider swapping olive oil for toasted sesame oil. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits and flavors of toasted sesame oil and how to incorporate it into your favorite salad recipes.

The Power of Oils in Salad Dressings

Before we get into the specifics of toasted sesame oil, let’s understand why oils play such an important role in salad dressings. Oils not only add richness and depth of flavor, but they also facilitate the absorption of essential nutrients. A study conducted by Iowa State University found that adding oil to salads increased the absorption of nutrients such as vitamin A, lycopene, and vitamin E.
While olive oil is a popular choice for salad dressings because of its neutral taste, there are times when you crave a stronger flavor profile. Adding more olive oil isn’t always the best solution, as it may not be healthy in excessive amounts. This is where toasted sesame oil comes in.

The nutty and fragrant flavor of toasted sesame oil

Sesame oil, especially the toasted variety, offers a unique flavor that can elevate your salad dressing. Made by toasting sesame seeds, toasted sesame oil has a stronger and earthier flavor compared to its lighter counterpart. It’s important to note that a little goes a long way with toasted sesame oil, as its intense flavor can easily overpower other ingredients in your dressing.
Aside from its flavor, toasted sesame oil is also rich in nutrients. It contains vitamin E, antioxidants, and phytosterols, which contribute to heart health, fight inflammation, and promote healthy skin and hair. With these added benefits, adding toasted sesame oil to your salad dressings becomes even more appealing.

Explore salad combinations with sesame oil

Now that we understand the qualities of toasted sesame oil, let’s explore some salad combinations where it shines. Sesame oil pairs exceptionally well with several Asian-inspired salads, such as Chinese chicken salad, Asian cobb salad, and sesame noodle salad. Its nutty flavor complements these dishes and adds an authentic touch.
For those eager to try a salad with sesame oil, some recommended options include Asian Cucumber Salad, Peanut Soba Noodle Salad, or a simple Sesame Noodle Salad. These recipes allow the flavors of sesame oil to take center stage and create a truly delicious and memorable salad experience.

Make Your Own Sesame Salad Dressing

If you’re ready to experiment with toasted sesame oil in your salad dressings, making your own sesame salad dressing is a great place to start. Here’s an easy recipe to get you started:

  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar or honey
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon mayonnaise for a thicker, creamier dressing


  1. In a bowl, whisk together the toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, brown sugar or honey, sesame seeds, and vinegar until well combined.
  2. If desired, add mayonnaise for a thicker, creamier dressing. Blend well.
  3. Taste and adjust seasoning to taste.
  4. Drizzle dressing over your favorite salad and toss to coat evenly.

Follow this simple recipe to enjoy a homemade sesame salad dressing that showcases the robust flavors of toasted sesame oil.

Bottom line

Substituting toasted sesame oil for olive oil in your salad dressings can provide a delightful change of flavor. The distinct nutty flavor of toasted sesame oil, coupled with its nutritional benefits, makes it a fantastic choice for those looking for a stronger and more flavorful salad dressing. Experiment with different salad combinations and enjoy the rich and bold flavors that toasted sesame oil brings to your meals.


Can I use regular sesame oil instead of toasted sesame oil?

While regular sesame oil can still add flavor to your salad dressing, the toasted variety provides a stronger and more distinct nutty flavor. If you’re looking for a bolder flavor profile, toasted sesame oil is recommended.

How much roasted sesame oil should I use in my salad dressing?

Toasted sesame oil has a robust flavor, so a little goes a long way. Start with a small amount, such as a teaspoon, and gradually increase to achieve your desired flavor. Remember, it’s better to add gradually than to overwhelm your dressing with too much oil.

Can I mix olive oil and toasted sesame oil in my dressing?

Yes, you can certainly mix olive oil and toasted sesame oil to create a unique flavor combination. Experiment with different ratios to find the balance that suits your palate. Keep in mind that toasted sesame oil has a stronger flavor, so adjust the ratio accordingly.

How long does toasted sesame oil keep in the pantry?

Toasted sesame oil, like most oils, has a relatively long shelf life. When stored in a cool, dark place, it can last from several months to a year. However, for optimal flavor, it’s best to use it within six months of opening the bottle.

Are there any health benefits to using toasted sesame oil in salad dressing?

Yes, toasted sesame oil has several health benefits. It is rich in vitamin E, antioxidants, and phytosterols, which contribute to heart health, fight inflammation, and promote healthy skin and hair. Incorporating toasted sesame oil into your salad dressings can be a tasty way to add these beneficial nutrients to your diet.

Can I use toasted sesame oil in non-Asian salad recipes?

Absolutely! While toasted sesame oil is commonly used in Asian cuisine, it can also enhance the flavor of non-Asian salad recipes. Its nutty and earthy flavor can add a unique and aromatic twist to a variety of salads, allowing you to experiment and create exciting flavor combinations.

Leave a Reply

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