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My family eats a lot of stir fries and sesame oil is a critical ingredient in many of them. Unfortunately, my wife is allergic to sesame so we need an alternative. Has anyone had success recreating the sesame oil flavor with a non-sesame-based food?

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5 Answers 5

Sesame oil has such a distinctive flavour, I'm afraid there's nothing that will give you exactly the same taste. Many sites suggest peanut oil, but this is more or less tasteless in my experience.

I would suggest toasting some unsalted peanuts or cashews and adding them to the stir fry, to get that roasted, slightly smoky flavour. Just add them to a warm, dry pan and toss frequently to prevent burning.

If you're feeling really adventurous you might even try smoking some peanuts (you can do this in a wok with certain wood chips and a bamboo steamer, plenty of instructions online).

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You can simply omit the sesame oil, and most recipes should work just fine. The sesame flavor is pleasant but not required.

You might also consider substituting a nut oil such as walnut oil for some of the rich flavor of sesame oil. Drizzle it on at the end of cooking, and stir it in.

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I recommend roasted pumpkin seed oil, which has a number of similar qualities, but tends to be expensive and may require refrigeration after opening.

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I have this issue, as my son is very allergic to sesame, and also to peanuts and basically all tree nuts (precluding the nut-based suggestions above). When I make fried rice I like to use chopped-up pancetta at the appropriate point in the recipe (give it enough time to render much of its fat). No, it's not a match, but it seems to fill a somewhat comparable role in the flavor, perhaps because of the smokiness. You could probably substitute bacon if you lack pancetta.

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Maybe it would help to use a few drops of liquid smoke as well.

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Sorry, but I'm afraid that posting a "me too" post won't help you any more. If the existing answers are not good enough, then nobody in the community knows more. And because we are not a discussion forum, we have different rules - this space is for solutions to the original problem only. If you want to keep track of answers to this question, you can star it as a favorite instead of adding a post. –  rumtscho Aug 10 at 14:20
    
Jolene noticed that there is one sentence in your answer which suggests a new way to solve the problem. Sorry that I missed that part; I undeleted your answer and she edited it to leave the actual answering part, wich fits with our guidelines. –  rumtscho Aug 10 at 15:19

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