I am a big fan of tahini. Made from sesame seeds, tahini has a nutty, almost smoky flavour. I use it quite a bit in salad dressings and sauces. This sauce is a nice change from the peanut sauce that I typically make with chicken. As I have previously mentioned in a blog post, sesame seeds and sesame oil have potential health benefits. They are rich in unsaturated fatty acids, which are extremely stable when compared to other dietary vegetable oils (1). Sesame seed oil has antioxidant activities, and it has been shown that sesame seed oil can reduce oxidative stress in various rat models (2, 3, 4). It is reported that the exceptional antioxidant activity of sesame seed oil is due to the presence of lignans (sesamin, sesamolin and sesamol), tocopherols and the phenolic compounds produced during roasting (5).
Interestingly, sesame or Sesamum indicum L. was first recorded as a crop in Babylon and Assyria over 4000 years ago and is one of the most ancient crops cultivated by humans (6).
Make sure that you use a good quality tahini. My preferred brand is Mayver’s Hulled Tahini. Enjoy this simple and healthy meal tonight.
Tahini chicken satay (minus the skewers)
Makes 2 serves
1 chicken breast, cut into thin strips
1 vegetable stock cube
1 small brown onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic
2cm fresh grated ginger or 1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons rice vinegar (rice vinegar can be substituted for lemon or lime juice)
3 tablespoons tahini
¼ teaspoon chilli
½ cup water
½ cup coconut milk or reduced fat coconut cream
Salad to serve – I used ice berg lettuce, tomato, cucumber, red capsicum, carrot and peas
- Add all the ingredients for the tahini sauce into a food processor and process until a smooth, even consistency is achieved.
- Crumble the vegetable stock cube into a non-stick pan along with ½ cup of water. Cook the chicken and onion, adding water as necessary to prevent sticking.
- Once the chicken is cooked, turn down the heat and add the tahini sauce. Lightly simmer until the sauce thickens (approximately 10 minutes).
- Serve the tahini chicken with a salad on the side.
- Abou-Gharbia HA, Shahidi F, Shehata AAY and Youssef MM. (1996). Oxidative stability of extracted sesame oil from raw and processed seeds. J Food Lipids. 3:59–72.
- Hsu DZ, Chiang PJ, Chien SP, Huang BM and Liu MY. (2004). Parenteral sesame oil attenuates oxidative stress after endotoxin intoxication in rats. Toxicology. 196:147–153.
- Hsu DZ and Liu MY. (2004). Sesame oil protects against lipopolysaccharide-stimulated oxidative stress in rats. Crit Care Med. 32:227–231.
- Ahmad S, Yousuf S, Ishrat T, Khan MB, Bhatia K, Fazli IS, et al. (2006). Effect of dietary sesame oil as antioxidant on brain hippocampus of rat in focal cerebral ischemia. Life Sci. 79:1921–1928.
- Wan, Y., Li, H., Fu, G., Chen, X., Chen, F. and Xie, M. (2015). The relationship of antioxidant components and antioxidant activity of sesame seed oil. J. Sci. Food Agric.. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.7035
- Bedigian D and Harlan JR. (1986). Evidence for cultivation of sesame in theancient world. Econ Bot 40:137–154.