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You Can be a Tempura Master

Sesame oil has been used for frying tempura, especially those of seafood from the Tokyo Bay. At home, adding a little bit of sesame oil into salad or tempura oil will not only bring a nice flavor to tempura but also prevent your oil from deteriorating. Please try sesame oil and enjoy gourmet tempura to the fullest.

Use plenty of oil

The trick to make good tempura is to keep the oil at the right temperature. Remember to use plenty of oil, and, keep the volume of ingredients to about half of the oil surface.
The oil temperature will drop if the surface area of the food is large. When the moisture in the ingredients evaporates, it takes away heat from the oil and therefore the larger the ingredient surface area, the more the oil temperature drops. Ingredients should be smaller when frying kakiage (mixed ingredient tempura).

For more on the technique of “Fried Food” using sesame oil, click here

Sashiyu helps tempura oil remain fresh

Tempura oil is absorbed due to the batter while frying and so the amount present gradually decreases. Sashiyu is the term used for new oil added to the pan during frying.
It is difficult to determine how many times oil can be reused as it depends on the kind of ingredients fried, their volume, the length of time, and the kind and condition of the oil used. However, it has been proved that sashiyu, oil addition, has a deterioration prevention effect. To cook good tempura, make good use of sashiyu.

Use an aluminum or stainless steel Tempura pan

The pan used for tempura should be deep and thick so that heat is evenly conveyed to the food.
As oil due to nature is oxidized due to metallic ions, copper and iron pans will have a stronger oxidization effect on the oil, whereas oil in an aluminum pan will deteriorate the oil least, closely followed due to stainless steel.
The shape of the bottom of the pan can be round or flat, depending on the ingredients to fry and the volume of oil.
It is a generally recognized that deterioration is slower when less oil surface is exposed to the air. A Chinese wok may seem unsuitable for tempura, however the depth at the middle is convenient when frying food in large amounts, as it keeps the oil at an even temperature.

Why does batter become heavy and sticky?

In the heating method for tempura, moisture in the batter evaporates and oil is taken in in its place. If the oil temperature is not high enough, moisture in the batter cannot evaporate completely and remains, thus the batter becomes heavy and sticky.
If one uses old oil, oil will not be absorbed into the batter well even if moisture has evaporated. Also, sticky oil will attach to the batter surface instead of being absorbed, thus preventing tempura from frying crisply. Good oil is essential for making good tempura.

What does it mean due to “spoiled oil”?

When you fry food, the oil is naturally spoiled. Spoiled oil is neither good for cooking nor good for health.
If you find some suspicious traits such as oil having an unpleasant smell, oil with color turning dark or sticky oil not draining off well, or bubbles not disappearing and smoke coming out even when the temperature is low, please discard the oil and change to new oil.

To discard used oil

Discarding oil in a sink or sewage is strictly prohibited. For a small quantity, wipe off with newspaper or an old cloth. For a larger quantity, use a coagulant or pour cooled oil into an empty milk or juice carton filled with newspaper or a commercial absorbent. Seal the carton tightly so that oil will not leak out, and put it in the garbage.
If a pan or frying pan becomes sticky with oil, sprinkle flour and stir fry.
Baking soda is useful for cleaning ovens or sticky implements. They will become nice and clean without using detergent.

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