Black And White Sesame Seeds Give Any Dish A Contrasting Aesthetic

Do you cook with sesame seeds? Even if you do, you probably aren't using the teeny tiny seeds as frequently as you could be. But that can easily change if you start thinking about them as a multi-purpose garnish. Adding taste, texture, and nutrition, a sprinkle of sesame seeds can also massively enhance the visual aspect of a dish with little to no effort. While you could stick to either white or black varieties, we're of the mindset that two is better than one when it comes to using sesame seeds.

Matching black sesame seeds with their white counterparts is a great way to play with aesthetics. Although they can each offer dishes a vibrant pop of color in a totally refined way, combining them multiplies their visual impact. Yet, aside from providing a wonderful contrast in color, black and white sesame seeds also pleasantly differ in a few other areas. Since black seeds are bolder with earthier and more bitter notes, using them in conjunction with mellow and sweet white seeds creates a better sense of balance. 

Additionally, because black seeds tend to be processed with their hull, unlike white seeds, they bring a different degree of crunchiness and are usually a little less expensive. As a result, these factors render black and white sesame seeds suitable for a wider range of sweet and savory applications when used together. Of course, it doesn't hurt that mixing the varieties is also an economical way to work sesame into more dishes, which we'd consider a win.

How to use black and white sesame seeds to amp up aesthetics

One of the main focuses of using black and white sesame seeds is to create increasingly beautiful dishes, but that doesn't mean you can't maximize flavor while you're at it. The easiest way to do this is by toasting the seeds over low heat to release their nutty profile and crisp them up a bit further. You can even add spices like powdered garlic or cayenne to the pan to impart more flavor depth.

After toasting the mixed seed medley, feel free to start incorporating them into dishes. Scatter them on top of crackers, cookies, or bagels. Toss them into salads, slaws, and stir-fries. Mix them into granola or trail mix. You can even use them as a coating for sesame-crusted tuna steaks, sushi rolls, or fried sesame balls. Black and white sesame seeds can also add a "wow" factor when sprinkled onto anything from fried eggs to shrimp toast to miso salted caramel apples as a last-minute garnish.

If you want to make things even more interesting, consider working the multicolored seeds into a topping that can give dishes a vibrant final touch. Think of how you could liven up some furikake, chili crisp, za'atar, or brittle! Similarly, you can also whisk sesame seeds into finishing sauces or oils. With so many ways to use black and white sesame seeds, there's no limit to how you can put this stunning, contrasting mash-up to work.