sesame: 2 posts

Orange Trout with Garlic, Ginger, and Sesame

When I think of orange, I usually think of desserts–a long curl of zest steeped in milk for rice pudding, a dash on top of bitter chocolate mousse or whipped into poundcake batter. By sweetening the orange, you highlight its floral, honeyed nuance, but what happens if you add a dash of salt instead? The effect is explosive. Salt volatilizes aromatic components, and the orange aroma becomes even more saturated. Moreover, its zesty flavor marries so well with savory notes that it’s fun to explore different combinations.


One of my favorite piquant combinations with orange is a Korean inspired dry rub for fish. Garlic, scallions, ginger, sesame and chili pepper are used with dazzling effect in Korean cooking, giving it a distinctive flavor–earthy and aromatic, nutty and spicy. I haven’t encountered orange in Korean dishes, but its sweet perfume is a harmonious touch. It brings out the citrusy nuances of ginger and softens the toasty richness of sesame. Because of their acidity, oranges are also excellent with fish, and voilà, here is my creation.

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Indian Sesame Cardamom Candy (Til Gul Ladoo) Recipe

Cardamom sesame candy

As the sesame seeds heat up, their delicate aroma dramatically changes into a dark, toasty fragrance that hovers above the pan. This simple transformation is delightful, but becomes even more special when, after mixed with ground cardamom and peanuts, sesame seeds hit a pan of melted sugar. At this point, it is a fragrance of such richness and opulence that I want to bottle it and wear it as perfume: dark caramel, spicy and nutty notes blend into a beautiful harmony. What I am making is til gul ladoo, a sesame cardamom candy popular in the western Indian states of Maharashtra and Gujarat.

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