Want to go to Flavor town? One of the easiest ways is by using cooking oil. Yes, we know about corn oil and vegetable oil and even the flavorful olive oil, but there are other oils to add to our bag of tricks. I currently have no less than three oils in my cabinet right now, and that’s only because cabinet space is limited.
Oils just make everything better! My personal opinion is because it coats your food more intimately than what you shake on as flakes or granules. So let’s go ahead and take a look at some of the oils that will enhance your tasting experience.
Chili oil is a condiment that can be described as vegetable oil (often soybean, sesame and sometimes olive oil) infused with hot chili peppers. Chili oil is often used in Asian cultures, particularly in Chinese Sichuan and Hunan dishes. Korean culture also uses chili oil in jjampong, which is a Korean noodle soup.
Although, widely used in Asian cultures, Europeans also have their versions of chili oil as well. Take the Italians, for instance! Their version is called olio di peperoncino. and originates from Calabria, which is in the southwest area of Italy. Oilio di peperoncino is used in bruschetta, on pizza and in pasta dishes as well. Oh, the mouth watering of it all! In an article by Heidy Linn McCallum, she also recommends it as a dipping sauce for crunchy bread and for wings.
You might have guessed it but let’s reconfirm your instinct. Yes, sesame oil is a vegetable oil that derives from sesame seeds. It’s one of my favorites because of its earthy, nutty taste. It also smells magnificent! Sesame oil has a high smoke point and many times the pale yellow variety is used for frying. There are many different hues for sesame seeds from the pale yellow to golden to amber.
You will find sesame oil being used by East Indians, Chinese, and the Japanese make a paste called rayu, which is made from a chili-sesame oil and used for a topping on various foods like rice and ramen. It can also be added to soup or for seasoning shrimp, fish and other kinds of dishes.
You may be surprised to learn that the biggest market for sesame oil is in Tanzania. The African country is the largest producer of sesame oil and is also the largest consumer of the product.
Although this might be one of your favorite aromatherapy options, almond oil is also good for low-heat baking. It adds a sweet nutty taste to your cakes, cookies and other confections. Another way you can use almond oil is on your salads. It has a mild taste and can be used in a variety of ways.
Another great benefit of the oil, is the amazing effect it has on your skin, hair and nails. Almond oil is a rich source of Vitamin E and antioxidants.
Of course, there are other oils to check out like coconut oil, palm oil, and grapeseed oil and the O. G. Multi Cultural Cooking Network blog has a very extensive article called. “Know Your Cooking Oils,” which is a great resource. Also, check out your local international stores, halal markets or the international aisle in your local grocery store to see what kind of oils you can find to enrich your cooking and eating experience.