How to Toast Sesame Seeds

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Sesame seeds
Sesame seeds (Image: Gokhan Okur)

Toasting sesame seeds is a way to bring out their nutty flavor and is a great way to enhance any dish. Raw sesame seeds can be purchased in a supemarket and have a wide variety of uses. Many recipes call for toasted sesame seeds as well, but few will include instructions as to how to toast them. Toasting sesame seeds on the stovetop only takes a few minutes.

Things You'll Need

  • Skillet
  • Raw sesame seeds

Spread the raw sesame seeds out on a flat surface. Inspect the seeds for bad seeds, or other things like plant material that sometimes makes its way into the container.

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Make sure not to use too high of a temperature setting. Toasting sesame seeds does not take long, and having the heat too high can burn them.

Place the seeds in a single layer on the bottom of the skillet. You do not need to include oil. Sesame seeds contain oil that will prevent them from sticking, especially if you use a non-stick pan.

Let the seeds heat up until you begin to smell them toasting.

Gently agitate the skillet so that the sesame seeds turn over and begin to toast on the other side.

Remove the skillet from the heat when you see the seeds have achieved a light brown color and have a pleasant nutty aroma. This should take between three and five minutes, so make sure you watch them carefully to avoid over-toasting.

Allow the sesame seeds to cool on a flat surface. After cooling they can be placed in a container and stored until you use them.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can also toast sesame seeds in the oven. Follow the same steps, but put them on a baking sheet before putting them in the oven. At 325 degrees, it should take between 12 and 15 minutes to toast sesame seeds.
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