What are Roasted Sesame Seeds (Bokkeun Chamkkae) ?
Bokkeum Cham-kkae 볶음 참깨 or Bokkeun Cham-kkae 볶은 참깨 are roasted/toasted Korean sesame seeds. They are used extensively in Korean cooking - as a flavor enhancer and as a garnish to be added on top.
Roasting the sesame seeds makes the seeds plump and also intensifies the flavor and is more nutty and smoky than the raw seeds.
If you want to learn more about sesame seeds themselves and how to grow and harvest them, you can read more HERE.
Not To Be Confused With
Kkae-so-geum 깨소금, Deul-kkae 들깨
Where and What To Buy
Korean or Asian grocery store, general grocery stores, online, Amazon.
Look for sesame seeds that say it's Roasted or Toasted.
In Korean, look for a combination of these words :
- 볶음 Bokkeum or 볶은 Bokkeun = roasted
- 참깨 (Bokkeun Cham-Kkae) = sesame seeds
- 통깨 (Tong Kkae) = whole sesame seeds
The left bottle is organic (유기농 Yuginong) Toasted Whole Sesame Seeds and the right bottle is regular Toasted Whole Sesame Seeds. Unfortunately, most of the sesame seeds sold at US markets are all imported into Korea from outside. Korean grown sesame seeds are usually very expensive so it doesn't get exported out.
So, if you look at the ingredient label, the Organic sesame seeds are from China and the regular ones in the right bottle are from India.
When I compared the taste, surprisingly the regular seeds from India was quite flavorful. As good as Korean grown sesame seeds (that my mother-in-law gave me when I visited her last time.)
So, I would recommend that you try different brands and see which one tastes best to you. Because the companies tend to import from different areas, it's hard for me to pinpoint one particular brand to be the best at this time.
How to Use/Cook
Use sesame seeds to add nuttiness to dishes and also as a garnish on top for decoration but also for extra nutty flavor. Sesame seeds are almost always added to Namuls, Muchims (salads) and Bokkeums.
Sesame seeds are probably the most used garnish besides green onion in Korean cooking.
How to Clean/Store
Sesame seeds and oil do not need to be refrigerated. They can be stored in a cool dry place for quite a few years. Lightly toasting older sesame seeds can revitalize their flavor and aroma.
How To Grow
Read more about Sesame plant and how to grow HERE.
Because sesame seeds are eaten in small amounts, it's not clear how much of a health effect it will have on our bodies but it's known to have the following benefits -
- may lower cholesterol and triglycerides
- may help lower blood pressure
- maybe good for bone health
- good source of b vitamins
Research has shown sesame consumption can reduce the risk of breast cancer.