Serious Eats: Recipes
The Secret Ingredient (Sesame): Seared Sesame Tenderloin Skewers
More on Sesame!
The sesame is a flowering plant grown in tropical regions. From the plant hang pods which house the tiny seeds we know and love. In my quest for sesame knowledge, I came across many an ancient legend surrounding the sesame seed, but from all sources, it seems the most revered sesame output is sesame oil.
The oil comes in two varieties, so disparate it seems unfair the only distinguishing factor is the "toasted" scribbled on the label of one variety and not the other. Bringing home the wrong sesame oil can be a great disappointment, as only the burnished amber toasted variety has the smoky, nutty aroma and flavor so distinctive to Asian cuisine.
This recipe for Seared Sesame Tenderloin Skewers uses sesame two ways. Toasted sesame oil infuses the beef as it marinates with tamari, ponzu, and mirin, and also anoints the sauce with its inimitable scent and flavor. The cubes of tender beef are also crusted in dappled white and black sesame seeds for crunch. The result is an appetizer that is nutty, smoky, spicy, salty, and sweet. The sesame, which looks good in so many different hats, wears all of them here.