Gomasio - toasted sesame & salt
Gomasio is a staple on a Macrobiotic table. It is prized as a balancing condiment, with the yin of the oil in the sesame seeds and the yang of the salt bringing grounded flavor to many dishes. Its nutty, toasted flavor lends a tasty dash of protein and savory saltiness to compliment simple vegetable dishes, salads, grain dishes, and soup. Patiently using a very low heat to toast the sesame seeds is key to bring out the best qualities. I recommend making it regularly and store in a cool, dry place to keep the oil in the sesame seeds fresh and buoyant.
Yields: 1-1/2 cups
1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1-1/2 cups sesame seeds (white, brown, black or mixture)
In a heavy skillet, toast the sea salt over medium heat for about 3 minutes. Keep it moving until it becomes a little shiny and off-white. Place the toasted salt in a suribachi (Japanese grooved mortar and pestle).
Reduce heat to low and toast sesame seeds, stirring regularly with a wooden paddle or wooden spoon. The seeds will swell up a bit and become fragrant. It is ok if a few of the seeds pop, but if they start popping like popcorn, it is a sign the heat is too high. Be careful not to let them burn. Remove from heat.
First, grind the salt into a fine powder in the suribachi. The, add the toasted sesame seeds and grind until almost all of the seeds are cracked open. This will take 5-10 minutes and is a great task to take turns with, as the smell is amazing. The grinding can be done in a regular mortar and pestle or in a food processor if a suribachi is not available.
Use as a condiment for salads, veggie dishes, soup or just about anything.
Store in a glass jar in a cool, dry place.