For home cooks seeking big, bold Asian flavors without excess sodium, low sodium sesame oils offer a tasty solution. Packed with nutty sesame richness, these oils infuse stir-fries, marinades, dressings, and more with mouthwatering taste sans sky-high salt.
In this guide, we’ll explore the nutrition facts, health benefits, and variety of low sodium sesame oils available. See how sesame oil shines in Asian vinaigrettes and crowd-pleasing recipes like sesame chicken. Get tips for safely incorporating sesame oil into a heart-healthy diet. With the right sesame oil, you can unlock big flavor without unwanted sodium. So read on to discover how to make the most of this versatile pantry essential!
Low sodium sesame oil, what should you know?
Low sodium sesame oil (1) is a healthier alternative that allows you to enjoy the rich, nutty flavor of sesame oil while reducing your sodium intake. It adds depth and complexity to your dishes without compromising on taste.
Understanding Low Sodium Sesame Oil
Standard sesame oil can be high in sodium, with 150-300mg per tablespoon. Low sodium varieties contain minimal added salt, with around 5-10mg sodium per serving. They provide all the nutty, toasted sesame flavor without spiking blood pressure.
Low sodium sesame oils are expeller-pressed from raw, untoasted sesame seeds. Look for terms like “low sodium” or “no added salt” on labels. Spectrum Naturals and La Tourangelle make excellent low sodium options. Black sesame oil has an especially intense, rich aroma.
Sesame oil has a high smoke point of 410°F, making it suitable for stir-frying and sautéing. Drizzle it over finished dishes or use it to marinate meats. With its versatility and bold sesame flavor, low sodium sesame oil punches up Asian recipes beautifully. For heart patients or anyone watching sodium intake, low sodium sesame oil allows you to enjoy the signature nutty aroma and taste without excess salt. Experiment with drizzling it over steamed veggies, using it to sauté shrimp or chicken, or mixing it into homemade salad dressings. The options are endless.
Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits of Sesame Oil
What makes sesame oil nutritious (2)? Here are some of its top nutrients and benefits:
- High in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, including essential fatty acids like omega-6 linoleic acid. These healthy fats help regulate cholesterol and lower heart disease risk.
- Excellent source of copper, manganese, calcium, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, E and K. This makes it a nutritious one-stop shop for many essential vitamins and minerals.
- Contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds like sesamin, sesamolin and sesamol. These plant nutrients help combat cellular damage and chronic inflammation.
- May help lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol due to its mix of fatty acids, antioxidants, and compounds like phytosterols.
- Imparts hearty, nutty flavor with less saturated fat than olive or coconut oils. Its versatility and taste mean a little goes a long way.
In moderation as part of a balanced diet, sesame oil provides key vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and protective plant compounds that benefit your overall health and wellbeing.
Exploring Low Sodium Sesame Oil Options
Seeking that perfect sesame oil? Here are some excellent low sodium varieties to try:
- La Tourangelle Toasted Sesame Oil: Rich, nutty aroma. 130mg sodium per tbsp. La Tourangelle cold presses their sesame oil for maximum flavor.
- Spectrum Naturals: Unrefined and expeller-pressed. 10mg sodium per tbsp. A good budget-friendly option.
- Lee Kum Kee Pure Sesame Oil: Versatile cooking and finishing oil. 5mg sodium per tbsp. Available at many grocery stores.
- Kadoya 100% Pure Hot Pepper Sesame Oil: Infused with spicy kick from chili peppers. No added sodium. Unique for Asian dishes.
- Napa Valley Naturals: Organic and GMO-free. 70mg sodium per tbsp. Nice price point for the quality.
- Onetang Black Sesame Oil: Intense flavor and aroma from black sesame seeds. No added sodium. Striking color.
- Marunami Toasted Sesame Oil: Made in small batches for exceptional quality. 60mg sodium per tbsp. Provides authentic Asian taste.
- Eden Organic: Unfiltered and unroasted for mild nuttiness. 35mg sodium per tbsp. Bottle made from recycled glass.
Experiment to find your perfect sesame oil match! For best quality, look for organic, unfiltered, and unrefined oils in dark glass bottles. Compare aroma, taste, price and sodium content to choose your favorite.
The Pros and Cons of Consuming Sesame Oil
What are the pros and cons of using sesame oil? Let’s weigh some benefits vs risks:
- Heart-healthy fats like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids
- Phytosterols help lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol
- Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds fight cellular damage
- Versatile high smoke point oil suitable for many cooking methods
- Intense, nutty, toasted flavor perfect for Asian cuisine
- Small amounts needed to impart big sesame taste
- Shelf-stable with long storage life if sealed properly
- High omega-6 content may contribute to inflammation if over-consumed
- Allergies and sensitivities are common, especially with peanut allergies
- High in calories and fat, so moderate 1-2 tbsp portions
- Can oxidize and turn rancid quickly once exposed to air
- Higher price tag than neutral vegetable oils
Overall, sesame oil provides significant nutritional benefits when used moderately as part of a varied diet. Those with allergies or on blood thinners should monitor use more carefully. But for most people, sesame oil is a tasty, versatile kitchen staple that boosts Asian recipes beautifully.
Reviewing ONETANG Organic Black Sesame Oil
Seeking an ultra-versatile sesame oil? Let’s review ONETANG Black Sesame Oil.
This organic, unrefined oil has a bold, intense toasted sesame flavor. The striking black color comes from antioxidant-rich black sesame seeds. It’s made using a traditional stone pressing method for exceptional aroma and taste. The oil is free of preservatives, additives, and added sodium.
With a high smoke point of 410°F, it excels for high-heat cooking like stir-frying or pan-searing. A little goes a long way, so use it sparingly. The clean sesame aroma adds wonderful richness to marinades, dressings, noodles and rice. Try it in homemade Asian vinaigrettes or drizzled over fish for irresistible flavor.
At $8 per 8-oz bottle, ONETANG provides excellent value for the quality. The dark glass bottle protects against rancidity once opened. If you love deep sesame flavor, this oil is sure to satisfy. Keep it handy for enhancing all kinds of Asian recipes.
Comparing Lee Kum Kee Foods Sesame Oil Varieties
Lee Kum Kee offers an extensive line of sesame oils to suit different cooking needs:
- Pure Sesame Oil: Versatile all-purpose cooking and finishing oil. Light sesame scent. 5mg sodium per tbsp. Budget-friendly choice.
- Chili Infused Sesame Oil: Blended with spicy chili flavor. Nice drizzling oil to spice up dishes. 5mg sodium.
- Black Sesame Oil: Inky black oil with intense aromatic, nutty flavor. No sodium added.
- Sesame Oil Spray: Aerosol spray disperses fine sesame mist. 0 sodium. Great for dressing salads or greasing pans.
- Roasting Sesame Oil: Heavier roasted aroma for dipping sauces and marinades. 5mg sodium.
Overall, Lee Kum Kee sesame oils deliver authentic Asian flavor free of MSG, preservatives, and artificial coloring. They work wonderfully in marinades, stir-fries, dipping sauces, noodles and more. Having a variety allows you to pick just the right sesame oil for each dish and cooking need.
Using Sesame Oil in Asian Salad Dressings
Sesame oil is perfect for making flavorful Asian vinaigrettes and dressings. Try this easy sesame salad dressing:
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tsp minced ginger
- 1 tsp honey
- Pinch of chili flakes (optional)
This sweet, gingery dressing livens up leafy greens or crunchy veggie salads beautifully. Sesame oil’s nutty depth pairs wonderfully with the tang of rice vinegar and kick of chili.
For fun flavor variations, use black sesame oil for bolder aroma, add orange juice and zest, or try lime juice instead of rice vinegar. Sesame oil makes it easy to create crave-worthy Asian dressings in minutes.
Healthy Recipes with Sesame Oil: Sesame Chicken and Noodles
Whip up this healthier sesame chicken and veggie noodle stir-fry in just 30 minutes:
- 1 lb boneless chicken thighs, cubed
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 8 oz noodles or spiralized veggies, cooked
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 2 carrots, sliced thin
- 4 scallions, sliced
- Marinate chicken in soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic for 10-15 minutes.
- Stir fry chicken in 1 tsp oil over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes until cooked through.
- Add noodles, broccoli, carrots to pan and stir fry 3-4 minutes until tender-crisp.
- Remove from heat and mix in scallions. Enjoy!
The nutty sesame oil beautifully balances the salty soy sauce and tender noodles. Load up your plate with this better-for-you take on a classic Asian dish. Add bell peppers, snap peas, or your favorite veggies too.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can heart patients eat low sodium sesame oil?
In moderation, low sodium sesame oil is generally safe for heart health as part of a healthy diet, say registered dietitians. Focus on varieties with minimal added sodium, around 5-10mg per serving, and monitor portion sizes. The American Heart Association recommends limiting saturated fat intake as well, so opt for sesame oil over fattier coconut or olive oils when possible. Those taking blood pressure medications should consult their doctor about safe use of sodium and oils. But for most, low sodium sesame oil offers great heart-healthy flavor.
Does low sodium sesame oil affect blood pressure?
Low sodium sesame oils contain little added salt and have minimal impact on blood pressure, according to experts. Overuse of any oil can negatively affect blood pressure, so enjoy sesame oil in moderation, 1-2 tablespoons per serving. One study showed replacing saturated fats with sesame oil helped lower blood pressure in hypertensive patients. But those with hypertension should be cautious with sodium intake from all foods and seasonings.
Who should not use sesame oil?
Those with known sesame allergies or sensitivities should avoid sesame oil, as well as foods containing sesame seeds. An estimated 0.2% of people have sesame allergies. People taking blood thinners like warfarin should also use caution with sesame oil, as it contains high levels of vitamin K which can interfere with medication effectiveness. Check with your doctor about diet modifications if you take anticoagulants.
For home cooks seeking maximum Asian flavor without excess salt, low sodium sesame oils fit the bill wonderfully. Their nutty, toasted aroma instantly enhances everything from marinades to salad dressings. Rich in healthy fats and protective compounds, sesame oil provides cardiovascular benefits in moderation.
Brands like La Tourangelle, Spectrum Naturals and Lee Kum Kee offer high quality options sans sky-high sodium. With a little experimentation, you can find the perfect sesame oil to unlock BIG taste in your low sodium kitchen. Add a teaspoon to your next stir-fry or marinade for nutty sesame goodness without unwanted salt!
I am a skilled chef assistant with a passion for Asian cuisine, I have honed my craft through formal training at At-Sunrice GlobalChef Academy and years of experience in the culinary industry. I have extensive knowledge of cooking techniques and herbs and spices, with a particular focus on traditional Chinese dishes. I’m also an author of the book “Delicious Keto Low Carb Chinese Food for Busy Moms and Fitness Enthusiasts” which is sold on Amazon. On my blog, bowlakechinese.com, I share my expertise in Asian cuisine and provide tips and recipes for those interested in low carb Chinese cuisine.