Korean Sesame Oil (Chamgirum)
Sesame oil is one of oldest vegetable oil extracted from sesame seeds. There are two types of sesame oil.
- One is derived from raw sesame seeds, which usually are cold pressed, and can be used as a cooking oil.
- Another type of sesame oil is from toasted sesame seeds, which is used for its distinctive nutty aroma and taste. It may not be usable for frying due to its low smoking point.
Korean sesame oil (chamgirum, 참기름) is made by pressing toasted sesame seeds. It’s one of the most distinctive, fragrant and flavorful oils in cooking with a very deep, nutty aroma. It is an everyday Korean condiment from making vegetable side dishes (namul) to rounding out aromatic flavors in Korean marinades.
It also adds a subtle glossy finish to dishes like bibimbap or other dishes that requires a spoonful of sesame oil to add both aroma and flavor.
How to store sesame oil
I recommend purchasing a smaller bottle of sesame oil if you are not using it often. Store your sesame oil in a cool and dark place, away from sunlight and sources of heat. Make sure the bottle is always sealed tight.
If your sesame oil is in a big bottle, refrigeration is a good choice because sesame oil is prone to go rancid and lose their flavor if kept too long on the shelf. Refrigeration may cause the sesame oil to become cloudy and solidify, but this will not affect the quality or flavor — once the oil is brought back to room temperature, it will return to its normal consistency and color.
Opened sesame oil will usually keep for about 12 months when stored in the refrigerator.