HOMEMADE GOMASIO (JAPANESE SESAME SALT) Japan’s famous low-sodium, flavorful and umami-rich seasoning blend that is as versatile as it is delicious! Toasted sesame seeds are ground and tossed with sea salt to create a unique blend that you’ll be glad to reach for at the dinner table!
Making your own gomasio couldn’t be simpler. Also spelled gomashio, this simple seasoning blend has just two ingredients but the flavor impact it has on food is fabulous!
What is Gomasio?
Gomasio, which translates to “sesame salt”, is a Japanese seasoning blend made from whole sesame seeds and salt. A variation includes dried seaweed. Gomasio is naturally gluten free and vegan. It is a table condiment, often sprinkled over a variety of foods to add flavor and a touch of saltiness.
Gomasio has a very low ratio of salt so it is a perfect low sodium seasoning. When the sesame seeds are toasted their oils are released and coat the salt granules, boosting their flavor.
Gomasio is often a staple part of a macrobiotic diet which is drawn from Zen Buddhism and whose goal is to balance yin and yang.
How to Use Gomasio
Consider this a very unique all-purpose seasoning blend. Here are just a few ways you can use it:
- On rice, noodles and rice balls
- Sprinkled on salads
- In stir fries
- Sprinkled on soups
- With sushi and California rolls
- Tossed in popcorn
- Sprinkled over steamed vegetables and beans
How to Make Gomasio
Making gomasio is very simple and uses only two ingredients: Sesame seeds and salt.
Gomasio is traditionally made with unhulled sesame seeds, meaning the outer layer is intact. This also adds a bit of bitterness. You can also use hulled sesame seeds if you prefer to cut back on the bitter flavor. The sesame seeds are toasted until golden brown and left to cool before grinding them and combining them with the salt.
Use good sea salt. My preference is to use flaky sea salt (I LOVE Maldon Salt) because the flakes add a great texture to the seasoning blend.
For another variation you can add a small strip of kombu or other dried seaweed and crush it with the toasted sesame seeds.
Let’s get started!
Place a dry skillet over medium-high heat and add the sesame seeds. Toast them until they are golden brown, stirring regularly. Be very careful that they don’t burn or they will be bitter.
Let the seeds cool completely and then crush them either with a mortar and pestle or in a blender or food processor. The mixture should remain chunky and not be a fine powder. Place the crushed sesame seeds in a bowl and stir in the salt.
Store your gomasio in an airtight jar in a cool place. It will keep for a few months but for maximum flavor use within a month.
For more delicious Japanese condiments try our:
Gomasio (Japanese Sesame Salt)
- 1/2 cup raw sesame seeds (Unhulled is traditional and has a bitter taste. You can also use hulled if you prefer to eliminate the bitter flavor)
- 2 teaspoons quality sea salt (I prefer flaky sea salt like Maldon for a great texture)
- another variation: small strip of kombu or other seaweed (optional)
- Place a dry skillet over medium-high heat and add the sesame seeds. Toast them until they are golden brown, stirring regularly. Be very careful that they don't burn or they will be bitter. Let the seeds cool completely.
- Crush the toasted sesame seeds either with a mortar and pestle or in a blender or food processor. The mixture should remain chunky and not be a fine powder. Place the crushed sesame seeds in a bowl and stir in the salt.Store your gomasio in an airtight jar in a cool place. It will keep for a few months but for maximum flavor use within a month.Makes just under 3/4 cup.