8 Best Sesame Oil Substitute

Sesame oil substitute may sound awkward especially if you are used to it being in your food, you may even think that the distinct taste the oil gives may not be gotten from another oil. You should know that some people are allergic to sesame oil so eating food made with this oil will only cause reactions. There are so many substitutes or options that you can use in place of sesame. These oils also have many nutritional value and benefits to the body like sesame oil. 


This is a popular oil that is used in cooking Japanese, Chinese and Middle Eastern meals. The oil is gotten from either raw or toasted sesame seeds. The seeds are from the sesame plant also known as Sesamum indicium. The seeds are known to contain high amounts of protein and B-vitamins although the oil from the seeds do not have protein or the essential vitamins and minerals. However, the oils not without fatty acids and antioxidants, including vitamin E and phytosterols.

Sesame oil has two varieties. One is made from raw seeds and the oil is light in color, it has a neutral and delicate taste or flavor. The other is made from toasted seeds, they look darker, richer and a nuttier taste. 


The sesame oil here is the regular oil made from raw seeds, it can be used for high heat cooking methods. Sesame oil substitute are:

1. Peanut Oil

Peanut oil is a good sesame oil substitute although it should not be used by those who are allergic to peanut. There is a good amount of vitamin E, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. According to a study published by the National Institute of Health in 2017, these fats are very good and they can help improve the health of the heart. Peanut oil can be used in fried rice, stir fries, chicken and even noodles. 

2. Olive Oil

There are many uses of this great oil as it has impressive nutritional value. It is an ideal match for sesame oil as they have almost similar consistency. Olive oil being a sesame oil substitute, has many health benefits because it contains polyphenol antioxidants and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. You can use olive oil for frying, marinating, dressing, baking and for sauces as well. To get the best result, use light olive oil, this is milder with neutral flavor.

3. Avocado Oil

Avocado oil does not have that nutty flavor that sesame oil is known for but it has a rich and delicious flavor and can also be used as a sesame oil substitute. It has a rich texture and high smoke which means it can get to a temperature where the fats breaks down and begin to produce smoke. Avocado oil has many antioxidants including lutein (a nutrient that is of great benefits to the eye health). It is best for baking, marinating, wok-frying, sautéing, deep-frying and dressings.

4. Grapeseed Oil

Grapeseed oil is a good sesame oil substitute which can be used to make various dishes because of its neutral taste that does not overpower other tastes. There is a high amount of vitamin E and poly unsaturated fatty acid. The vitamin E is an anti-inflammatory agent that neutralizes harmful compounds. Grapeseed oil can be used in frying, baking, marinating, sautéing and for cooking noodles as well.

Sesame Oil Substitute
Sesame Oil Substitute

5. Walnut Oil

Walnut oil is one of the sesame oil substitute that is so rich, it is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Many studies and researches have showed the ability of this nutrient to fight inflammation and heart disease. Walnut oil has a nutty taste that becomes bitter when cooked. You can only use this oil in dishes that do not need cooking. Walnut oil is best for dressing salad, sauces, or you can sprinkle it on cooked meat or pasta for extra flavor. 

6. Canola Oil

Canola oil is common like sesame oil, it has a great flavor that is neutral. The smoke point of canola oil is almost same with sesame oil that is why it is a good sesame oil substitute. You can use the replacement for baking, deep frying and other types of frying. 

7. Coconut Oil Or Other MCT Oil

Coconut oil is a great sesame oil substitute but it has a light coconut flavor, so if you are comfortable with the taste, then you can use it. There are nutrients and compounds of this oil like good cholesterol, antioxidants and vitamin E. You can only use coconut oil for low or medium temperature cooking. Coconut oil can be used for baking, frying or deep frying.

8. Sunflower Oil

This is made from sunflower seeds, it has no flavor. There are linoleic acid, a polyunsaturated fat, and oleic acid, and monounsaturated fat. Sunflower oil can be used for high temperature cooking like deep frying and wok-frying, it can also be used for sautéing. That makes it a sesame oil substitute


Toasted sesame oil has a nutty flavor with dark color, it is not ideal for high temperature cooking. You can only use it for finished or uncooked dishes to add flavor. You can replace toasted sesame oil with the following:

1. Perilla Oil

This oil is gotten from perilla plant, pressing the seeds of this plant will give this oil. This oil is very rich in omega-3 fatty acids and this acids are very beneficial to health including mental. It has a nutty, rich flavor that is similar to sesame oil. There is also a bit of licorice flavor that is somehow similar to anise but a relative aroma like toasted sesame oil. Perilla oil is mostly used by Koreans in cooking their foods. You can only use this oil for sautéing and dressing.

2. Roasted Peanut Oil

Just like regular peanut oil is best as substitute for light sesame oil, roasted peanut oil is ideal as a replacement for toasted sesame oil. If you are allergic to peanut, you should not use this oil. Roasted peanut oil has a balanced mix of heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in each serving plus high content of vitamin E. Use roasted peanut oil for dressing salads and sauces or to drizzle over cooked foods. 

3. Toasted Sesame Seeds With A Neutral Oil

If you are unable to get toasted sesame oil but you have access to toasted sesame seeds, you can combine it with any light, mild oil. The seeds are rich in nutrients like fiber, protein, thiamine, niacin, magnesium, and zinc. Combining these seeds with oil will still give you that flavor of toasted sesame oil, you can just about 1 part sesame seeds with 4 parts oil (either avocado or canola oil). 

4. Chinese Sesame Paste

This is not an oil but a flavored condiment, it is made from toasted white sesame seeds. It has a nutty taste which makes it somehow similar to toasted sesame oil. You can mix it in dishes like noodles, stir fries, and salads. 

5. Olive Oil

Light olive oil is best for regular sesame oil while extra virgin olive oil is ideal for toasted sesame oil. It has a similar flavor, texture and consistency that can be likened to sesame oil. You can use it for deep frying, marinating, baking and pan-searing. You do not have to worry because olive oil can work on your recipe just like toasted sesame oil.


Fried rice is one food that uses sesame oil, this oil gives it a distinct flavor and taste. It is used as a seasoning to give out that signature umami flavor. If you cannot use sesame oil for your fried rice, you can substitute it with some good oils like:

  • Walnut oil
  • Almond oil
  • Roasted peanut oil
  • Light olive oil
  • Canola oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Perilla oil


Stir fries need just a small amount of oil, some oils are not to be used for this cooking method to avoid getting undesired results. The best oils that can be used to replace sesame oil are:

  • Grapeseed oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Canola oil
  • Avacado oil
  • Olive oil 


Egg drop soup is a savory and healthy soup with flavor. One of the ingredients needed to prepare it is sesame oil. In cases where there is no sesame oil or it is not to be used due to allergies, you can another oil as substitute. 

Replace sesame oil with:

  • Sunflower oil
  • Canola oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Peanut oil


When making dumplings, you can change sesame oil to any of the oils below.

  • Canola oil
  • Olive oil
  • Vegetable oil


Regular sesame oil is made from raw sesame seeds while toasted sesame oil is made by roasting the seeds for about 30 minutes at 360 degrees Fahrenheit. The differences in these oils are in their:

1. Flavor

Regular sesame oil has a neutral taste like most cooking oil because it is made from raw seeds. Toasted sesame oil, on the other hand has a nutty, earthy flavor. This is caused by the heat the seeds were exposed to before processing the oil.

2. Purpose

You can use regular sesame oil for all types of cooking including deep frying, marinating and other cooking methods. Toasted sesame oil is only used for dressing or at the end of the cooking process. 

3. Shelf Life

Sesame oil can stay for a longer time if stored in a cool and dark place in an airtight container. Toasted sesame oil cannot last for a long time, you can help extend the shelf life by storing in the refrigerator.


Sesame oil is a versatile oil for most dishes, it has grown from being a known ingredient for Chinese, Japanese and Middle Eastern meals to a household product that is used for almost all dishes. If you are allergic to this oil or do not have access to it, there are so many oils you can use in place of sesame oil. These substitutes are very nutritious and full of nutrients. 

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