Thursday, July 24, 2008

Spice of the week: Mixed sesame seeds

I've had several people ask me to talk a little more about spices. I'm trying to not use this blog to shill for my spice business but I have a weekly promotion that I do called "spice of the week". Basically, if you buy five $1.00 bags of spices from me you get the "spice of the week" free. I'm trying to get people to try something unusual or different, usually something that I have been experimenting with recently. I thought it might be good motivation to talk about a different spice, spice blend, salt sugar or anything else on a regular basis.

Sesame seeds seem to be something that people don't use very often. They are pretty inexpensive ($1.00 gets you 2-3 ounces), healthy and very tasty. You can get them in three forms, hulled (white), un-hulled (natural) or black. (You can also buy them toasted but since they go rancid quicker once they're toasted, I suggest that you undertake this very quick and easy process as needed.) I also sell a 50/50 mixture of black and white that I use often because it looks so nice. Aside from breads and an occasional sprinkling on sesame noodles, I find that a lot of people don't know what to do with them. One of my favorite uses for sesame seeds is to encrust things with them. I've done scallops, all kinds of fish, eggplant, mushrooms and meats. Today I'm doing some shrimp.

I thought that it might be interesting to make them sweet and spicy so I dissolved some hot pepper jelly in a small amount of white wine. I dipped each shrimp in the jelly and then into the sesame seeds. I would suggest not using the small shrimp that I did unless you like for this process to take what seems like forever. Cook them quickly in a very hot cast iron skillet. You want to be careful not to overcook them, the sugar in the jelly will give you a nice brown crust in seconds.

I finished them with a little wasabi sauce (wasabi powder, wine and honey). These were good and they were even better cold. Next time i think I might grill them and serve them as a cold appetizer.

Sesame seeds make a nice alternative to breading and they are also great in dips and on salads. Be creative. I'm sure that you can think of many things that can be complimented by their toasty, nutty flavor.


shel said...

I'm sure pchak would love the sesame shrimp. I'm not a huge shrimp fan, but I do love the plate you served them on!!!! Reminds me of something my Grandma had that I regret not saving.

OhioMom said...

Love this post! I am guilty of using sesame seeds on bread only :) I would have never thought to use them as breading, those shrimp look yummy.

As one who loves to hear you talk about herbs and spices, I hope you will do more posts like this.

For anyone reading this, you really should stop at the Coit Road Farmers Market and check Kevin's huge assortment of spices and herbs.


Hey, Shel. My wife doesn't care for shrimp either. She will eat a benedril and enjoy crab or lobster (she's mildly allergic) but wont do shrimp. I have a hard time understanding this but it means shrimp for lunch for me.

Ohiomom. Thanks for the shameless promotion. I'll pay you back in sesame seeds Saturday.

lifeinrecipes said...

Hey Spicehound, thanks for visiting me. Re the cheese query:Ilove the Lake Erie Creamery cheeses, but have only seen them on local restaurant menus - where do you find it?

The shrimp looks so good - very inspired cooking on your blog!

Ben said...

Those look really good! I've had seared tuna with mixed sesame seeds as well, but I've generallly thought that they could use some additional flavor. The hot pepper jelly / sesame idea sounds like it would work really well.

Speaking of promotion, you mentioned in a comment on my blog that you'll be doing a brewing demo on August 9th at Coit Road. What time were you planning on starting?


Life in recipes. Thanks for the kind comments. I've been a loyal reader of yours since you started. You can go to to find out where else they sell but you can find Mariann selling her awesome raw milk feta at my beloved Coit Road Farmers Market on Saturdays.

Ben, Here is my press release from our news letter:

On Saturday Aug. 9th I will be doing a homebrewing demo covering extract and all-grain brewing including the fabrication of mash-tuns and other brewing equiptment. Mash-in will be at 11am and the demo will start after the market closes at 1pm. The demo is free and all who attend will be invited back to taste the results.

If you would like to be added to our mailing list, just shoot me an email at and yes I will have e few bottles of the German hefe there as well as others.