Where Can I Buy Sesame Oil: Your Ultimate Guide

Sesame oil is a staple in many types of cuisine, from Chinese to Japanese to Middle Eastern cooking. This versatile oil adds rich, nutty flavor to a wide variety of dishes, from stir-fries to dipping sauces to salad dressings. But if you’ve never bought sesame oil before, you may be wondering where to turn. In this ultimate guide, we’ll explore the best places to buy sesame oil, so you can use this delicious ingredient in all your favorite recipes.

The Grocery Store

If you’re looking for a quick and easy option for purchasing sesame oil, your local grocery store is a great place to start. Many grocery stores carry jars of sesame oil in the condiment aisle, usually near the soy sauce and other Asian sauces. Look for brands like Kikkoman, Lee Kum Kee, and Dynasty, which are widely available and well-regarded.

If you’re lucky, your grocery store may carry more exotic varieties of sesame oil, such as toasted sesame oil or cold-pressed sesame oil. These can add even more complex layers of flavor to your dishes, so keep an eye out for them if you’re feeling adventurous.

Asian Markets

If you’re looking for a wider selection of sesame oil than your local grocery store can offer, an Asian market is your best bet. Asian markets specialize in ingredients and products specific to Asian cuisine, so they are perfect for finding high-quality sesame oil.

Look for Asian markets in your area and pay them a visit. You’ll likely find entire sections dedicated to oils and sauces, with a wide variety of sesame oils to choose from. You may even find sesame oil from specific regions, each with their own unique flavor profiles.

Online Retailers

If you don’t have access to an Asian market or you want to try a broader selection of sesame oils, consider shopping online. Online retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Target offer a wide variety of sesame oils, from everyday brands to artisanal varieties.

When purchasing sesame oil online, pay attention to the reviews and ratings. Make sure you’re getting a high-quality product that other buyers have enjoyed. You can also look for organic or non-GMO varieties if that’s important to you.

Specialty Food Stores

Finally, if you’re looking for the highest-quality sesame oil and are willing to splurge a little, consider shopping at a specialty food store. These types of stores often carry artisanal sesame oils that are made in small batches and come from specific regions.

You can also find specialty food stores that focus on Asian ingredients, which will likely have a wider selection of sesame oils than a general specialty food store. Look for stores that cater specifically to foodies and those interested in cooking.

How Much Does Sesame Oil Cost?

The price of sesame oil can vary widely depending on the quality and origin of the oil. In general, grocery store brands will be the cheapest, starting at around $3 for a small jar. Specialty and artisanal varieties can cost up to $20 or more for a small bottle.

Toasted sesame oil will typically be more expensive than regular sesame oil, given the extra processing involved. Cold-pressed sesame oil will also be pricier, given the extra step of extracting the oil without heat.

What Should I Look for When Buying Sesame Oil?

When buying sesame oil, look for these key features:

  • A rich, nutty aroma and flavor
  • A clear, golden color
  • An oil that is not rancid or past its expiration date
  • A packaging that is well-sealed to prevent spoilage

What Are the Different Varieties of Sesame Oil?

There are several different types of sesame oil available, including:

  • Regular sesame oil: Made from roasted, uncooked sesame seeds, this is the most common type of sesame oil, with a mild flavor and aroma.
  • Toasted sesame oil: Made from toasted sesame seeds, this oil has a stronger, more complex flavor and aroma.
  • Cold-pressed sesame oil: Made without heat, this oil has a clearer color and a milder, more delicate flavor.
  • Blended sesame oil: Sometimes sesame oil is blended with other neutral oils, such as canola or vegetable oil, to create a milder flavor profile.

Can I Substitute Other Oils for Sesame Oil?

While sesame oil is a key ingredient in many dishes, it can be substituted with other oils in a pinch. Try using peanut oil, sunflower oil, or even olive oil if you don’t have sesame oil on hand. Keep in mind, however, that the flavor profile will be different, so adjust your other ingredients accordingly.

In Conclusion

When it comes to buying sesame oil, there are several great options to choose from. Whether you prefer to shop at your local grocery store or explore the offerings at an Asian market or specialty food store, there’s a sesame oil that will suit your needs.


  • Can I use sesame oil for frying?
  • While sesame oil is a great ingredient for seasoning and flavoring dishes, it is not ideal for high-heat cooking. The smoke point of sesame oil is relatively low, so it can burn easily and create an unpleasant taste. Try using canola or vegetable oil for frying instead.

  • How long does sesame oil last?
  • As with all oils, sesame oil can go rancid over time. However, when stored properly in a cool, dark place, sesame oil can last up to a year after opening. Make sure to check the expiration date and smell the oil before use to ensure it hasn’t gone bad.

  • What types of dishes can I use sesame oil in?
  • Sesame oil is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a wide variety of dishes, from stir-fries to marinades to salad dressings. Try using it in this delicious sesame broccoli recipe: link to recipe

  • Is sesame oil healthy?
  • Sesame oil is high in healthy fats and antioxidants, making it a good choice for a balanced diet. However, it is also high in calories, so use it in moderation.

  • What is the difference between toasted and untoasted sesame oil?
  • Toasted sesame oil is made from sesame seeds that have been roasted before pressing, giving it a darker color and nuttier flavor. Untoasted sesame oil is made from raw, uncooked sesame seeds and has a milder flavor.

  • Can I store sesame oil in the fridge?
  • Sesame oil can be stored in the fridge to extend its shelf life, but keep in mind that it may solidify at colder temperatures. Allow the oil to come to room temperature before using it.


“How to Buy and Store Sesame Oil.” The Spruce Eats, www.thespruceeats.com/buying-and-storing-sesame-oil-695324.

“Sesame Oil,” Healthline, www.healthline.com/nutrition/sesame-oil

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