Open sesame (oil)


Almost every Chinese new mother knows the familiar smell of sesame oil. One can’t escape from it during the post-natal period, commonly called the confinement period. Every food is cooked with it. Bleargh! when overdose but yummmm, if used properly.

To some, it stinks. To others, it smells great. Ghee Hiang‘s name is synonymous with sesame oil. A few drops of sesame oil is often used in Chinese cooking to enhance the taste.

Sesame oil with minced meat is a standard dish that most mothers and mothers-in-law will serve the mom who just delivered a baby. Just a quick recipe here:

200gm minced pork (chicken is not served to the new mom until several days later)
A huge piece of ginger, slice thinly and julienne
5 tablespoons sesame oil
One serving of flour vermicelli (mee suah)

Stir fry ginger with sesame oil till fragrant. Remove part of the ginger for serving later. Add minced meat and season with some soya sauce. Pour in about a bowl of water. Let it simmer.

In a separate pot, quickly blanch the mee suah. Remove and serve in the above soup and add the fried ginger. (I am very good in cooking this because my mom used to ask me to cook for my sisters/sis-in-law after they gave birth ‘cos mom was too excited being grandma and momentarily forgot how to cook.)

On normal days, I found making an omelette with fried ginger, comforting. Just stir fry the julienne ginger with enough sesame oil, add a little salt and pepper, knock in two eggs. Fry.

Ghee Hiang also sells very famous biscuits. I shall blog about them next time. Their new shop looks very nice, a huge bungalow at the junction of Jalan Anson and Jalan Macalister. I had taken some photos but accidentally deleted it. Will try to capture more photos.

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9 thoughts on “Open sesame (oil)


    (February 27, 2005 - 12:07 am)

    They say that ginger helps get rid of excess wind and warms the body. That’s why most of the dishes during confinement periods are laced with ginger. You missed out pork with Chinese dark vinegar and old ginger! 😛

    But wooppssss…this is about sesame seed oil…urm…stir-fried beef with ginger in sesame oil? ^_^


    (February 27, 2005 - 12:28 am)

    sesame oil!!! wow.. last time i used to put inside most of my dishes… my maggi mee goreng also i put some inside.. superb!! and porridge also can put.. the best and most yummy one is that of when cooked with chicken!


    (February 27, 2005 - 12:42 am)

    Wei, you hinting to me to courier a bottle or two to you issit? Can….no problem wan, next round I go KL, I bring a carton, ok? Let you drown in it. In return, you belanja me dog meat, poodle wan.
    Mei – yeah, can go phhhottt, phhhooottt, very nice wan. That vinegared pork leg I very terror to cook leh. Next time?


    (February 27, 2005 - 1:51 am)

    aiya.. aunty lilian. today i just bought sesame oil but it’s Lee Kum Kee one. Should have read ur blog yesterday. but i doubt got that brand here in Spore…

    Mr Kiasu

    (February 27, 2005 - 6:21 am)

    I love sesame oil, especially when my mom cook it with chicken and mix it with the “special sauce” that she invented herself. Yum the mi.


    (February 28, 2005 - 12:11 am)

    I brought a bottle of ghee hiang sesame oil here. Love the smell a lot!

    Sian H Ooi

    (April 23, 2005 - 11:50 am)

    Much appreciative to hear and see our customers and patrons enjoying our traditional sesame oil.Thank so much for the kind words…! We shall endeavour to provide for and maintain your satisfaction for many more years to come.

    Its been nearly 150 years of existence and we thank you all for keeping us going….!

    Do visit our new shop at 216 Jalan Macalister, Penang! We shall soon add our historical gallery to it…for customer appreciation!


    (May 6, 2005 - 1:55 pm)

    Hi Ooi
    It is my pleasure to promote Penang stuffs. Mr Ch’ng Chin Ghee used to visit my ex-boss and I met him often.

    […] This is an old, old photo in my archive. I had previously something similar in 2005 in my other food blog. Ginger and sesame oil remains my comfort food when I am sick. […]

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