Toasted sesame seeds add a bright nutty flavor to many dishes in Korean cuisine. You can get pre-toasted sesame seeds in a Korean grocery store or buy dried raw sesame seeds (cham-kkae: 참깨) and toast them at home. Even if you buy pre-toasted seeds in the store, you can give them a quick toasting at home to revitalize their flavor.

In a Korean grocery store, toasted seeds are always labelled “toasted sesame seeds” but raw sesame seeds are simply labelled “sesame seeds,” without specifying that they are raw or untoasted. Be careful to buy the right ones!

sesame-seedssesame seeds

Korean sesame seedsRaw sesame seeds on the left and toasted sesame seeds on the right

Recipes that use toasted sesame seeds (bokkeun-kkae):


  1. I had the same questions about which black sesame seeds to buy. I found in the book “healing with whole foods” that buying hulled sesame seeds takes out much of their fiber and nutrients required for digestion and in fact can cause liver stagnancy i.e depression, anxiety etc.. (sesame tahini can cause this since it is a refined product).

    It is better to buy whole black sesame seeds. To make them the most digesible and best for your health buy unroasted, whole sesame seeds, soak them overnight, toast them, then grind them. Now if you don’t have time to do that or don’t have any digestion problems then buy the prewashed roasted sesame seeds.

    hope this was helpful ;)

  2. Tammi Bennett& has 1 comment

    Where do you purchase roasted sesame seeds??? Thank you so much for your consideration!

  3. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    You don’t need to use hulled sesame seeds. Just buy roasted sesame seeds.

  4. catherine& has 6 comments

    Hi maangchi! Are the sesame seeds you buy hulled or not? I’m curious which kind is better to get. Thanks

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