How important are sesame seeds? Well, the sesame plant is a staple of the Old World and is mainly cultivated for its oil-rich seeds. In fact, it is one of, if not THE, oldest oilseed crops. Sesame was first known to be used for agriculture over 3,000 years ago. 

A sesame plant (left) and a pan of sesame chips (right)

Not far from China, the cultivated type of sesame plant Sesamum indicum originated in India. Sesame oil is one of its products. 

The black variety of sesame is mostly produced in China and Southeast Asia. China is the second-largest importer of sesame and it mostly exports to Southeast Asia. The byproduct of the oil extraction process can be used as feed for domesticated animals. 

Do sesame noodles and sesame chicken ring a bell? Many Chinese dishes, such as dim sum and sesame seed balls (jiandui in Cantonese) use this nutritious source of plant protein. It’s also used as a marinating sauce for meat and vegetables. 

Long story short, sesame can be used for a lot of dishes. I used it to make sesame chips, its dessert/snack variation. To make these treats for National Snack Day on March 4, you can find the recipe here or use the recipe cards below! 

Optional: a sense of humor

Also a tip: make sure you get all the ingredients beforehand so you don’t drive to H Mart twice in sub-thirty temperature.

Here is a picture of my finished product.

Here is a video of me preparing it if you are more of a visual learner.

…And that’s a wrap! Now give yourself a pat on the back and give your significant other a hand hug finger heart (bi xin) or whatever jubilant outward expression of the human soul you want. You can now impress your friends and family with your newfound culinary prowess. 


We’re just a couple days shy of Girls’ Day on March 7 and International Women’s Day on March 8

Why not use this opportunity to recognize the heroine in your life by putting on the apron? Reciprocate the love by preparing a special treat for her in the spirit of National Snack Day.



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Zhengyuan Ma

If I let go of who I am, I become what I might be.