best substitute for sesame oil in fried rice

Are you looking for the best substitute for sesame oil in fried rice? The truth is that sesame oil is great for fried rice, but what if you do not have any available?

Made using toasted or raw sesame seeds, sesame oil has always been popular in Japanese, Chinese, and Middle Eastern cuisines.

People love it for its slightly nutty taste, which works great for many recipes, including fried rice. Not only does it make your recipes taste even better, it also offers various health benefits.

Still, you will often find people asking, “what can I substitute for sesame oil in fried rice?”

Well, you do not need to worry because you have many options at your disposal.

Since a high-smoke-point oil is required for stir-frying without altering the flavor of the fried rice, you can use palm oil, peanut oil, or any other oil of your choosing.

Sesame Oil for Better Flavor and Health Benefits

use sesame oil for better flavors

Raw sesame seeds are used to extract sesame oil, which is rather colorless and mild in taste.

But it is also possible to use toasted seeds to extract sesame oil, which is going to have a deeper color and a nuttier flavor.

Both may be used in several recipes. Sautéed veggies and meats, as well as sauces and marinades, benefit greatly from the use of sesame oil.

Not only this, sesame oil provides you with various health benefits, mainly coming from its healthy fat content.

It helps reduce inflammation and is capable of protecting your skin from UV damage.

Tip: Include sesame oil in your diet if you are looking for a mild laxative to encourage regular bowel movements.

Using Sesame Oil in Cooking

use the sesame oil in cooking

Because of its ability to prevent rancidity, light sesame oil is often used with cheaper oils for deep frying.

Stir-frying, sauteing, and flavoring anything from salads to rice with either light or roasted sesame oil works great.

And it is a common practice in Middle Eastern, Japanese, Chinese, and Korean cuisine.

While it works when sauteing, it is better to take some care because it may impart a strong flavor to your dish.

Using it in smaller amounts will do the trick. However, it works amazingly well for deep-frying, even though it comes with 41% of polyunsaturated fat.

Trying Sesame Oil in Fried Rice

try sesame oil in fried rice

As mentioned already, sesame oil is always a good choice when frying. And that is why it is often the go-to option for many people when cooking fried rice.

The reason it is used in fried rice is because of lignan compounds, such as sesamin, sesamol, and sesamolin.

They are all antioxidants and are incredibly stable when exposed to heat as high as 338F.

Various Combos to Try When Cooking with Sesame Oil

Sesame oil enhances the texture and flavor of fried rice, but you can always mix it with many other things to get even better results.

For instance:

  • You can combine it with rice vinegar when making salad dressing.
  • You can add it to peanut butter when making rice noodles.
  • You can use it as a base for fried rice and combine it with garlic and ginger.
  • You can have it with garlic, cucumbers, and red pepper for a quick salad.

Finding the Best Substitute for Sesame Oil in Fried Rice

find best substitute for sesame oil

While it makes sense to stick to sesame oil, sometimes you have to look for other alternatives.

Depending on what you want to achieve here, you can try various options.

Some substitutes work better if you are looking for the nuttiness of sesame oil, while others are great for their high smoke point.

Here are some good substitutes to consider:

1. Olive Oil

Olive oil is among the most popular oils since you can use it for frying, sautéing, baking, and even salad dressings.

Moreover, the health advantages of olive oil have long been touted.

This is due to the fact that it contains monounsaturated fats and polyphenol antioxidants, which are good for the heart.

For optimal results, use it in savory meals like stir-fries, roasts, and marinades.

It can be used as a salad dressing as well as a dip for your bread.

2. Peanut Oil

a peanut oil

Okay, so you do not have sesame oil to use but simply love its nuttiness? Don’t worry and simply switch to peanut oil, as it works equally well in fried rice.

Those who are allergic to sesame often replace it with peanut oil.

It is also beneficial to heart health since it is rich in mono- and poly-unsaturated fats and also contains a respectable amount of vitamin E.

Peanut oil is a reliable choice for fried rice, and its flavor can range from neutral to somewhat nutty, depending on the brand.

What makes it suitable for fried rice is its extremely high smoke point.

Tip: When cooking fried rice for the first time and unsure which oil to use, stick with peanut oil because of its neutral flavor profile. 

3. Canola Oil

a canola oil

Canola oil is a kind of vegetable oil that has gained widespread popularity as a healthier substitute for butter and lard in American kitchens.

When compared to other cooking oils, it has the lowest levels of “bad” fats.

It has a high smoke point and a relatively mild, neutral flavor, making it useful for a wide variety of culinary applications, including fried rice.

Canola oil’s neutral flavor may be used in practically any dish, although we do not advise using it as a salad or other food dressing. 

4. Avocado Oil

If you are a health-conscious person and looking for a healthier option for fried rice, avocado oil is the way to go.

The abundance of healthy monounsaturated fats and its high smoke point makes it a great choice.

The oil is stable and can withstand high temperatures because of its high fat content.

Tip: Keep in mind that avocado oil is not quite flavorless, so be sure to look for an appropriate fried rice recipe to utilize it. 

5. Tahini

a tahini

If you are looking for a good substitute for sesame oil, why not try tahini chicken fried rice tonight?

Tahini is essentially a paste derived from sesame seeds, so it is obviously a good option in times you have no sesame oil to use.

It perfectly captures sesame oil’s roasted, nutty flavor, yet without the oily feel.

Tahini is excellent for the health-conscious since it aids digestion and is packed with antioxidants, vitamins and protein.

Because of its anti-inflammatory characteristics, it can be used to treat a wide range of skin and internal health problems.

What’s more, tahini is quite versatile and may be used both during and after cooking with a variety of meats.

It works just fine in hummus and serves great as a dip for your veggies. 

6. Macadamia Oil

a macadamia oil

With a smoke point as high as 410F, macadamia oil can certainly serve as a great substitute for sesame oil in fried rice. 

In fact, if you are tired of making fried rice with the same old neutral-tasting oils and want to spice things up a bit, try macadamia oil.

Oil extracted from macadamia nuts is extremely rich in monounsaturated fats (80-85%), and retains its nutritional value even when heated to high temperatures. 

Interestingly, you can easily add that special nutty flavor to your fried rice with a spoonful of macadamia oil. 

7. Grapeseed Oil

Grapeseed oil is yet another suitable sesame oil substitute for fried rice. 

It is among the most popular vegetable oils that can be used in fried rice because of its neutral taste.

a grapeseed oil

The oil has a high smoke point, so it is perfect for stir-frying, sautéing, baking, and even soups, and it has a neutral taste that works well with virtually any dish.

Another upside is that a serving of grapeseed oil provides a substantial amount of vitamin E. 

It is also quite rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids and has potent anti-inflammatory properties, which may aid by mopping up dangerous “free radicals.”

Tip: You can also use perilla oil as a sesame oil substitute because of its high smoke point, which makes it great for deep frying. 


Sesame oil can make fried rice taste great, but what if you do not have it available?

That is when you will have to look for the best substitute for sesame oil in fried rice, and you are definitely not restricted to olive oil.

But, to get good results, opt for oil with a neutral taste and high smoke point.