Toasting Your Own Sesame Seeds Is Almost Too Easy

Sesame seeds offer extra flavor to plenty of dishes, and when they're toasted, it brings a nuttiness and added crunchiness to every bite, elevating what could be an otherwise bland dish. While you can purchase a bottle of toasted sesame seeds in the spice aisle of your local grocery store, it's easy to toast them at home yourself, ensuring you get the freshest flavor and perfect level of toastiness.

If you want to toast your sesame seeds at home, you should know that they are packed full of fats and oils, so any additional cooking oil isn't necessary. You can simply toss the seeds into the skillet or onto a baking tray, and you won't have to worry about them sticking. While toasting sesame seeds is easily done in both a skillet and an oven, using a pan will allow you to have a little more control over the toasting process.

Both methods are quick and easy

To toast sesame seeds on the stovetop, you'll want to heat your pan over medium heat. Preheating the skillet or pan will ensure every seed gets even heat. Then, pour the seeds in and allow them to rest on the heat for about 30 seconds. You can then begin to stir them with a spatula. The seeds will generally be done toasting after just a few minutes and should be removed from the pan to cool down.

The sesame seeds can also be toasted in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 F, then spread the sesame seeds on a baking tray. They can be toasted in the oven for 5-6 minutes, but you'll want to mix them about halfway through to ensure they get cooked evenly.

Once your seeds have cooled down completely, you can store them in a vessel. An airtight container will keep the toasted seeds fresh for three months, and storing them in the fridge or freezer will double that time.

Different sesame seed varieties can be used

Black sesame seeds work just as well for toasting and have an equally delicious flavor. However, since black sesame seeds are darker, it may be a little harder to tell when they're done, and it could be pretty easy to accidentally burn them. You'll need to pay close attention to the smell rather than the appearance. When black sesame seeds are finished toasting, they'll give off a pleasantly nutty scent.

Once your seeds are ready, they can be added to various dishes. Toasted sesame seeds can adorn sushi rolls, add crunchiness to vegetables, or blend well in a bowl of sesame noodles with spicy peanut sauce. Making your own tahini with sesame seeds can add a little bit of extra flavor depth to dishes, too. Plus, it's an easy process — all you'll need to do is combine the toasted sesame seeds with a bit of olive oil in the food processor. No matter what dish you choose to add sesame seeds to, consider toasting them right in your own kitchen — it's as easy as just adding a little heat.