Roasted Sesame Seeds (Tongkkae)

Roasted Sesame Seeds Tongkkae
This image courtesy of Heath Robbins

Editor's Note: Roasting sesame seeds doesn't have to be a long or difficult process if you follow this recipe! You can sprinkle these easy-to-make Roasted Sesame Seeds (Tongkkae) on your salads, noodles, or other favorite dinner dishes.

You can buy plastic 8-1/2-ounce (240-g) jars of roasted sesame seeds at most Asian grocers. The sesame seeds manufactured by Korean companies are roasted longer and are crunchier than others. You can use these without reroasting. If you have raw or a Japanese brand of roasted sesame seeds we recommend that you reroast them to bring out the robust flavors of extra-roasted sesame seeds— a signature flavor of Korean cooking. This method is called dry roasting. It is simple and the flavor that results is worth the extra step. 

Makes1 cup (120 g)

Cooking Time5 min

Cooking MethodRoasting



Total TimeUnder 15 minutes

Taste and TextureCrisp, Crunchy


  • 1 cup (120 g) raw or preroasted (non-Korean) sesame seeds



  1. Place a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the sesame seeds. Reduce the heat to low and let the sesame seeds roast for about 1 minute stirring frequently with a wooden spoon.

  2. Continue toasting and stirring the sesame seeds until the seeds begin to pop. You will begin to smell the aroma of the seeds. Watch them carefully as they can easily burn. When they have turned a light brown, turn off the heat and pour onto a baking sheet to cool.

  3. When they have cooled, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will last for 2 to 3 months.


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