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Korean oils to take over your pantry!

Korean oils to take over your pantry!

As olive oil gains popularity, various types of healthy oils have emerged in the market. However, even without actively seeking new oils, we are already using oils that are as beneficial for our health as olive oil. These oils are none other than sesame oil and perilla oil. The history of sesame oil and perilla oil in Korea dates back over a thousand years, well beyond a millennium. In 2012, at the "2012 France World Edible Oil Contest," sesame oil and perilla oil swept the gold and silver awards. Nobody could have anticipated that traditional Korean oils would achieve such recognition in France, known for its discerning palate. This occasion has spurred a movement to reevaluate our traditional oils and rediscover their value.

Recently, due to the health benefits, distinctive aroma, and widespread influence of Korean cuisine, sesame oil and perilla oil are being reevaluated not only in cooking but also in their innovative manufacturing processes. Keeping up with the wellness trend, Kevin's Choice is also delivering clean and healthy oils to many Korean immigrants in the United States.

 

Good land, good crops!


As with all foods, good taste starts with quality ingredients. Nonsan in Chungcheongnam-do has long been a major granary in Korea, surrounded by rivers and mountains with abundant water resources and a temperate climate. Within these favorable natural conditions, Kevin's Choice produces sesame oil and perilla oil using three generations' worth of know-how, cultivated over 50 years of working the fields with care for the environment.

kevin looking at the sesame field in Nonsan, Korea.

Health benefits of sesame oil and perilla oil!

Sesame oil contains antioxidant compounds like lignans, which are beneficial for anti-cancer effects and inflammation. Its high omega-6 content can lower cholesterol levels in the blood. Especially, sesame oil is considered to have a greater effect on cholesterol reduction than olive oil. Unlike other plant-based oils, perilla oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, known to have effects on cardiovascular and various inflammatory diseases. Moreover, the abundant unsaturated fatty acids in sesame oil and perilla oil supply nutrients to the brain, preventing cell damage, and are known to have positive effects on learning ability and dementia.

Pork belly being dipped into sesame oil 

How are they used?


Sesame oil and perilla oil are similar yet distinct oils. Sesame oil is commonly used for seasoning vegetables, especially namul (seasoned vegetables). Fresh namul, available year-round, becomes delicious when seasoned with sesame oil, creating a fragrant and flavorful dish. It's also an essential ingredient for fresh kimchi-salad(Geotjeori,겉절이). Perilla oil is commonly used for dishes like seasoned kimchi with rice bran and pan-fried tofu. When consuming seasoned namul, perilla oil is a must. Recently, even world-renowned chefs are showcasing creative recipes using sesame oil and perilla oil.

 

The most crucial production process!


While sesame oil and perilla oil offer numerous health benefits, improper production can turn them into toxins. Sesame and perilla seeds are roasted and then pressed to extract the oil. Roasting at higher temperatures intensifies the aroma of the oil and increases the oil yield. As a result, many companies roast the seeds at high temperatures, even subjecting them to multiple rounds of roasting and pressing to maximize oil extraction. However, roasting sesame and perilla seeds at high temperatures destroys most of their nutrients and will produce benzopyrene, a Class 1 carcinogen. Although many companies claim to use low-temperature roasting, most do not, and they often fail to disclose the production process and the quality of seeds used. Kevin's Choice, on the other hand, adheres to a production process that involves low-temperature roasting, ensuring the preservation of nutrients and preventing the formation of benzopyrene. By roasting at low temperatures and using a dedicated oil press to extract oil only once, Kevin's Choice produces a smaller quantity of oil, but it is exceptionally clean and high-quality.

Kevin learning the process of sesame oil making.

Storage methods for sesame oil and perilla oil!

All oils are susceptible to oxidation. When oils oxidize, they can develop unpleasant tastes and aromas. Therefore, many oils are stored in airtight containers to prevent air exposure during distribution. Sesame oil contains the antioxidant compound "lignan," which inhibits oxidation, allowing it to remain stable even at room temperature. Storing sesame oil in the refrigerator can actually diminish its flavor and aroma. The best practice is to store it in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight, in a tightly sealed container. Perilla oil, however, tends to spoil quickly when stored at room temperature. This is due to the high proportion of "alpha-linolenic acid," an omega-3 fatty acid that is prone to oxidation. To preserve the taste and aroma of perilla oil, it should be kept sealed in a container and stored at a temperature below 4°C (39°F). Kevin's Choice sesame oil and perilla oil are produced in a way that prevents air exposure throughout the production process, ensuring the longevity of their aroma.

 

Low-temperature roasting, low-temperature pressing, dedicated presses for different raw materials, sesame and perilla seeds grown in Nonsan, South Korea, 100% domestic production – Kevin's Choice Premium Sesame Oil and Perilla Oil allow you to experience both the unique flavor and health benefits of Korea even in the United States!

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