Expressed from sesame seed, sesame oil comes in two basic types. One is light in color and flavor and has a deliciously nutty nuance. It's excellent for everything from salad dressings to sautéing. The darker, Asian sesame oil has a much stronger flavor and fragrance and is used as a flavor accent for some Asian dishes. Sesame oil is high in polyunsaturated fats ranking fourth behind safflower, soybean and corn oil. Its average is 420°F, making it excellent for frying. Sesame oil is particularly popular in India as well as in the Orient. See also fats and oils.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.