Gomashio is a low-sodium Japanese condiment made from toasted sesame seeds and sea salt, used often in Macrobiotic cooking. It's quick, easy and affordable to make. You can sprinkle it on almost any foods to add a flavorful and nutritional boost.
I first learnt about Gomashio in 2016, when researching Macrobiotic's for a culinary project at Sangha Retreat in China. I spent many months learning about the fascinating world of Macrobiotic cooking and lifestyle.
Macrobiotics is not a diet, it's more of a philosophy and way of life. Translated to English, Macrobiotic means 'Great Life'. It views food as energy and a way to balance our Yin Yang energies through consuming the right foods.
Macrobiotics is a system of holistic principles and dynamic practices that guides choices in nutrition, activity, and lifestyle for physical, emotional, mental, social, and environmental health.
It was founded by George Oshawa. You can learn more about Macrobiotics here.
These are the ingredients you will need, make sure to select good quality sesame seeds for maximum nutritional content.
- Unhulled brown sesame seeds
- Black sesame seeds
- Sea salt or pink salt
EQUIPMENT YOU WILL NEED
Traditionally, Gomashio is made using a Suribachi, which is a Japanese ceramic mortar with a wooden pestle. I like to use my traditional mortar and pestle.
If you do not have either of these, an electric blender works ok.
HOW TO MAKE GOMASHIO
The first step is to toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan on medium heat, be careful not to over roast them.
When the seeds start to pop, you can take the pan off the heat and stir them well so they cook evenly.
For the next step, add sesame seeds to a mortar or blender and process the seeds until they are lightly crushed.
Now it's time to add the salt, mix well to evenly distribute the salt and the sesame seeds.
When it's cool, transfer to an airtight storage container.
FULL STEP-BY-STEP METHOD FOR GOMASHIO
HOW HEALTHY IS GOMASHIO?
Sesame seeds are a superfood with many health benefits.
Gomashio is a very nutritious condiment, Macrobiotic devotees say that a meal of brown rice and Gomashio is nutritionally complete.
Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners have been using sesame for hundreds of years, thanks to their medicinal properties.
The main health benefits of sesame seeds:
- Rich in antioxidants that play an important role in preventing and slowing down cell damage in the body
- Balances blood pressure
- Sesame contains anti-cancer properties, thanks to their rich source of sesamin and sesamol
- Promotes healthy hair and skin with their rich mineral content.
This super seed seasoning is fast becoming trendy and well known around the world. Commercially made Gomashio's are now readily available.
My concern with this is:
- Freshness - toasted sesame seeds go rancid and lose nutritional value very quick
- Price - it is far more cost effective to buy your own raw sesame seeds and make this recipe.
- Add dried seaweed powder for a Furikake variation.
- Add dried coconut, garlic and chili for an Indian style dry chutney
- I have made a variation with Spirulina, this takes the seaweed flavor and nutrition to the next level!
- Use coconut sugar in place of salt for a sweet seasoning, add this to ice-cream, pancakes or chocolates.
WAYS TO USE GOMASHIO SESAME SEED SALT
This seasoning brings freshness and flavor to many recipes. Here are some ideas of how to incorporate it into your recipe:
- Add to your rice, potatoes, noodles, quinoa or other grain bowls
- I love garnishing my avocados on toast with gomashio, totally delicious
- Sprinkle on onigiri or vegan sushi
- Check out these fun Macrobowls to try
- Add to soups. Try with my Pumpkin Soup recipe
- Seasoning for your steamed or roast vegetables
- Healthy popcorn seasoning!
FUN GOMASHIO FACT
Gomashio term is used in the Japanese language to describe a head of hair containing white and black hair strands that intermingle, similar to the English idiom Salt & Pepper
I hope you enjoy this recipe. Your welcome to subscribe to my weekly healthy recipe mailing list, follow this link to sign-up.
Remember to tag #holisticchefacademy if you make this recipe. Happy cooking my friends!
Gomashio (Macrobiotic Sesame Seed Salt)
- Weighing scale
- Frying pan - non stick
- Wooden spoon
- Mortar and Pestle
- Airtight container
- 120 g White sesame seeds Unhulled brown
- 120 g Black sesame seeds
- 10 g Pink salt
- Assemble ingredients.
- Toast the sesame seeds in dry frying pan on medium heat.
- Once the sesame seeds start to pop, take off the heat and stir well to evenly toast the seeds.
- Take off the heat and allow to cool.
- Transfer sesame seeds to mortar and pestle OR blender.
- Pound the sesame seeds until they start to release their oils, they should be a coarse texture.
- Add the salt and mix well.
- Transfer to airtight storage container.
- Keep for up to 1 month in a cool area, out of direct sunlight.
For this recipe I use a 12:1 Sesame:Salt ratio. You may adapt the ratios to suit your palate and the type of recipes you aim to use this seasoning for. I like to add a generous portion to my dishes, so a lower salt content is more palatable. Macrobiotic guidelines sometimes recommend a 18:1 ratio.
This recipe will keep for about 1 month at room temperature.
Store in a cool area at room temperature away from light exposure. You may also keep in the refrigerator if you live in a hot climate to keep your gomashio fresher for longer.
Select good quality mineral rich sea salts or pink Himalayan salt. You can also try using black salt for an interesting Indian variation.