To me, gomasio (or gomashio) is like a blast from the past, to when I was a teenager and committed to a macrobiotic diet for a whole year.
I remember not liking it in the beginning. Also, I didn’t really understand why everybody would sprinkle it on top of every dish, from soups to sushi. Today, even though I am not following the macrobiotic diet and lifestyle, I still sprinkle gomasio to my food, including salads and soups.
Gomasio is a condiment made with roasted sesame seeds and sea salt. It is the most popular condiment in the macrobiotic diet for its salty taste balances the sweetness of rice and vegetables. Sesame seeds are rich in iron, vitamin B-6, potassium, magnesium, and some protein.
In Japan, the traditional recipe is one part sea salt four parts sesame seeds. I make my own version by mixing different ingredients I love such as garlic salt, chia seeds, flax seeds, and sometimes nori seaweed. Also adding a dash of soy sauce to the seeds while they are roasting is a wonderful variation.
The seeds are roasted together with the sea salt, and shouldn’t be roasted for more than 10 minutes, always stirring; just enough time to puff up the seeds. They will be ready when their color is golden, begin to pop and give off a nutty fragrance.
It is important to make small batches as the roasted seeds may become rancid after 3-4 weeks. Gomasio should be ground after the seeds are a bit cool. I use a sesame seeds grinder, but a suribachi also works great.