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Sesame Oil Is The Versatile Ingredient That Gives Soup A Unique Flavor Boost

sesame seeds in a sack and sesame oil on a table
sesame seeds in a sack and sesame oil on a table - Chamillewhite/Getty Images

Soups are a flavorful and comforting one-pot meal that only gets tastier with time. While an aromatic foundation and savory broth infuse your chosen proteins, vegetables, and starches with flavor, there are plenty of secret ingredients that'll bring homemade soup to the next level. Sesame oil is one such secret weapon that'll enrich soup with a delicious je ne sais quoi.

A popular flavor enhancer across many global cuisines, from Asia to the Middle East, sesame products have a distinct nuttiness that pairs well with sweet and savory dishes. Sesame oil concentrates sesame's toasty notes, providing a robust boost with even a light drizzle. You have various opportunities to incorporate sesame oil into your soup, starting with building a flavorful foundation.

With a smoke point higher than olive oil, sesame oil is a great alternative to a neutral saute oil, infusing aromatics, peppers, and main ingredients with nuttiness before you add the cooking liquid. You can combine sesame oil with a more neutral oil like canola or avocado oil for the saute if you want a less intense nutty undertone. Or, you can use sesame oil as a finishing oil to drizzle over each bowl.

Read more: 20 Popular Canned Soups, Ranked Worst To Best

Flavors To Pair With Sesame Oil

numerous different types of soup in pots and bread bowls
numerous different types of soup in pots and bread bowls - Ozgur Coskun/Getty Images

There's no shortage of soup recipes to pair with sesame oil, as all of the five major tastes welcome its nutty-rich complement. The easiest place to start is with cuisines that already use sesame oil as a key ingredient. Asian soups like ramen, miso soup, egg drop, and wonton soup are all umami-rich candidates for a double dose of sesame oil as a foundation enhancer and finishing drizzle. Taiwanese sesame oil and chicken soup use black sesame oil to fry hearty amounts of ginger and chicken before adding cooking wine, broth, and noodles.

Its use as a nutty complement to umami-rich ingredients means it'll also pair well with mushrooms. You can thus use it to saute mushrooms in a mushroom barley soup. Additionally, it'll pair well with smoky and spicy seasonings, making it a nice addition to spicy curries or hot and sour soup. As a finishing oil, you can pair it with sriracha sauce or a squeeze of lime juice for a balance of bright and rich flavors. It'll also work well with garnishes like toasted corn nuts or garbanzo beans, a dollop of coconut cream, and spicy garlic chips or sweet frizzled onions.

You can even use it to complement sweet, caramelized ingredients like butternut squash, carrots, leeks, and sweet potato. Drizzle it over cream of broccoli or a springtime vegetable soup with sugar snap peas and asparagus to add savory, nutty undertones.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.