Sesame Seed Substitutes

Sesame Seed Substitutes

This article provides an overview of sesame seeds, what they taste like, their availability, alternative names, and of course what other ingredients make sesame seed substitutes.

What is Sesame Seed?

Sesame seed is one of the oldest known oilseed crops and can be traced to over 3000 years ago. The seeds are from the sesame flowering plant, which is native to tropical regions, especially  India, Myanmar, and Sudan. Sesame seeds, like other seeds and nuts, can trigger an allergic reaction in people.

Sesame seeds are a common ingredient in many cuisines worldwide and are often used to top bread and bagels, where 75% of Mexican sesame crops are purchased by McDonald’s for their buns.

What does Sesame Seed taste like?

Sesame seeds have a distinctly rich and nutty flavor, that is mild and not overpowering, making them a perfect ingredient in both sweet and savory dishes. Once toasted or baked, sesame seeds release a strong almond-like aroma.

Is Sesame Seed readily available in Supermarkets?

Sesame seeds should be readily available in supermarkets, where they are usually found with other seeds and nuts. Alternatively, they should also be readily available in health stores, Asian markets, and online retailers.

What are some alternative names for Sesame Seeds?

Sesame seeds may be simply referred to as sesame.

What is a good substitute for Sesame Seed in recipes?

Luckily, there are a number of great substitutes for sesame seeds. These include gluten-free alternatives such as:

  • Black Sesame Seeds if you have them have a similar taste
  • Perhaps the best substitute for sesame seeds would be sunflower seeds, as they share a similar texture and taste.
  • Alternatively, you can use flax seeds, hemp seeds, poppy seeds, or chia seeds.
  • If being used on top of breads, etc they are mostly for decorative purposes, so another good option is to simply leave it out entirely!