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White Sesame Seeds

White sesame seeds are small and flat pear shaped seeds with a white-creamy tan-like color. Commonly used in sweet or savory dishes or as a topping in most Asian dishes. This ingredient used as is, toasted, crushed, grounded or made into oil, all added into a number of dishes. Aside from making flavorful dishes, sesame seeds are actually a good source of vitamins and minerals that helps build up the body’s immunity, giving it a good amount of protein, healthy fats, fiber, iron, copper, zinc and many more. But what makes this ingredient interesting enough to be avidly added into many Asian dishes?

what are white sesame seeds

A short Introduction

This ingredient-sesame pronunciation ‘seh-suh-mee’ comes from the tropical white sesame seed plant or “Sesamum Indicum” native to India and Africa. A plant with around a thousand cultivars and had been known to have been cultivated for more than 5000 years. These need to be planted in areas with a dry, very hot climate, but in well-drained fertile soil.

The plant can grow to around 3 feet tall, the plant’s fruit or the pots that grow from the main plant look almost like okra or very long bulbous green chillies when ripens can pop up, meaning the thousands of seeds inside are ready to be harvested though sometimes the seeds di scatter around the plant. Thus many collect the pods before it ripens or hang cloths round the plant to catch any seeds. It grows all year round but is typically harvested in fall to spring. These will have a brown or black color which are sold as ‘black sesame seeds’, though “White sesame seeds” are hulled, thus having a creamy tan or off-white color, and are 3mm in size with a flat teardrop or pear like shape. White sesame seeds taste nutty and mildly sweet, have a slight crunchiness, with almost no aroma unless you heat them up, or if you buy the oil.

From being turned into oil, used as a garnish or coating to add a slight crunch, giving a nutty taste to sauces, to make tahini, decor on breads like bagels or burger buns, or to make traditional desserts. Truly small but impactful in a flavorful and healthy way, there are a lot of delicious recipes (Check out our Yummy recipes below!) and benefits that these tiny seeds can have.

toasting white sesame seeds

White Sesame seeds Benefits and Side effects

Are there white sesame seeds benefits for females? Or white sesame seeds benefit males? These may seem small but these tiny seeds are actually rich in vitamins and nutrients can help you in a lot of ways, from reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease, kidney problems and many more. Here are a list of white sesame benefits:

  • These are a great source of fiber. Meaning it supports digestive health that in turn reduces the risk of heart problems, diabetes, some cancers, and obesity.
  • It lowers cholesterol, blood pressure, and triglycerides which keeps from heart diseases.
  • Reduces inflammation, long term inflammation might cause cancer, helping reduce and calm it down will help you avoid problems like heart and kidney problems in the long term.
  • Aids to making more red blood cells. These are also abundant in antioxidants that protects you from damage created by toxins.
  • Can I eat white sesame seeds during pregnancy? Yes, these are safe for pregnant women. There are no known sesame seeds side effects in pregnancy. Though those with allergies should still avoid them. 
  • White Sesame Seed Side Effects? Too much consumption can cause bloating, pain, dropping blood pressure or glucose levels below normal. Like all food, these should also be eaten in moderation.

White Sesame seeds substitutes:

  • White sesame seeds vs black sesame seeds? Are great alternatives to each other but do note that aside from visually different colors, black sesame seeds are stronger in taste.
  • Roasted Almonds – an easy to find substitute that taste even better when toasted or roasted, which makes them closer in taste, chop to create a similar look. Are great for garnish or cooked meals.
  • Pumpkin seeds – larger and are textually close to sesame seeds. These taste closer once roasted then chopped to bits.
  • Sunflower seeds – are bigger in comparison and are great to use for bread and pastries. The taste does differ in texture as sunflower seeds are only slightly crunchy and are more tender.
  • Hemp Seeds – great for adding crunch, as well being a good source of nutrients that helps the body’s immunity.


  • White sesame seeds calories?

A tablespoon of these can have around 52 calories.

  • What is the difference between black and white sesame seeds?

White vs Black sesame seeds? They don’t only differ in color but in taste. Black sesame seeds have a stronger taste and differ slightly in its nutritional content (an example would be being higher in antioxidants). Also since the black colored seeds are still with the hulls, it is slightly more bitter. Hulled or white sesame seeds are sweet in comparison.

  • Where to find sesame seeds in a supermarket?

You can find these in your local asian grocery store or in the cooking or spices aisle.

  • How to eat sesame seeds?

These can be eaten raw. To bring out the nuttiness, many toast, cook over a nonstick pan, or bake these in the oven till slightly brown. These are also used as garnish or decor over breads and some traditional asian snacks.

  • How to eat sesame seeds for weight loss?

Being a great source of fiber vitamins and nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and many more (check benefits above). It can help fill you up, add them into your dishes even as garnish or in salads, breads or desserts.

raw and toasted sesame

In the Philippines

Sesame seeds are called “Linga” in Tagalog. A staple to many Asian dishes including Filipino dishes. These add a nice crunch and nutty taste, and are typically added as garnish or coating in the Philippines. More recently you can find some adding them to kare-kare for an even nuttier take, or used in the traditional version or in binatog, a dessert composed of boiled corn, butter, and grated coconut.

Here are some White Sesame seeds recipes:

  • For cooking main dishes
    • Sesame chicken – flavorful tender and crispy marinated chicken coated with sesame.
    • Siomai Soup – a simple and delectable dinner that just features a few ingredients for a hearty soup.
    • Stir-fry Cabbage and egg – another soup recipe featuring sesame oil, hearty, warm and great for the cold weather.
    • Spicy Eggplant Tofu – a vegan option featuring eggplants and tofu cooked till crisp then spiced with spices and chili flakes.
    • Teriyaki Tofu Balls – looking for another vegan alternative? This deliciously asian inspired dish will not only fill you up but keep you satisfied. Tofu seasoned with an array of aromatics, formed into balls then simmered in a sweet and savory sauce.
  • Sesame seeds for baking
    • Sesame seed cookies – an Italian recipe also known as ‘Biscotti Reginella’.
    • You can also add them as topper for breads to add an extra crunchy and nutty taste.
  • As a snack or dessert
    • Sesame Balls (Cheesy Buchi) – glutinous rice balls filled with sweet potato and cheese, creating that nice balance of sweet and savory. Check out the pretty purple version here : Ube Cheese Buchi.
    • Ube Tikoy Rolls – a FIlipino delicacy, glutinous rice cake with a coconut milk base making it chewy and deciduous, filled with taro or ube flavoring, rolled and coated with sesame seeds.
    • Binangkal – small addictive Filipino sesame bread balls popular in Visayas and Mindanao. These are made with just a few ingredients and steps.
buchi coated in sesame
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