Gomasio is a dry condiment
often used in Japanese cuisine. Gomasio is made from unhulled toasted sesame seeds and salt. (alternate spelling Gomashio)
I first started making and using it back in 1976, when I was exploring the Macrobiotic way of eating. Gomasio is the most common table condiment in the Macrobiotic diet. It can be used instead of salt to season your food at the table, providing a delicious and full taste.
Gomasio medicinal uses
Gomasio also has medicinal properties, due to its powerful anti-acid effect, which according to some sources is in fact a thousand times more effective than taking an AlkaSeltzer. If you take 1/2 or up to a full teaspoonful directly, and suck on it well, before swallowing, it will have the effect of strengthening digestion and improving energy immediately.
According to Macrobiotic thought, when combined with a simple bland diet of slow-cooked whole grains, vegetables and legumes, gomasio will help create an alkalizing effect in the body, making for a healthier digestive tract and more effective assimilation of food. It is also though to help heal anemia, hypoglycemia, and all the inflammatory disorders and diseases that are ultimately due to an excessively acidic diet.
Gomasio Alkalizes the Body
Yes, Gomasio actually has a very powerful alkalizing effect on the body, and some of the reported health benefits are: Increased energy, lower blood pressure, improved digestion, prevention of premature aging and even prevention of heart disease. It is amazing what a little balancing of the pH can do for you! And this is a natural, whole food remedy you can make in minutes in your own kitchen.
One of my favorite ways of using it is sprinkled over pressure cooked brown rice, or brown rice porridge for my morning breakfast.
Sesame seeds (unhulled)
The seeds are roasted, the salt may or may not be roasted Personally I do not roast the salt, but if you chose to, be sure to roast the salt first separately, and then roast the seeds by themselves.
Toast the sesame seeds in a dry cast iron pan or a stainless steel frying pan over medium heat, stirring very frequently to prevent burning and uneven toasting. The seeds should turn golden brown and start popping in the pan. Combine with salt in the suribachi or mortar, and grind with a steady and smooth circular motion. Don’t over grind – it is fine to have some whole seeds left. Store in a sealed glass container and consume within a week.
The ratio of salt to seeds can be varied according to taste and preference. It ranges from 5:1 (5 parts sesame seeds to 1 part salt) all the way up to a 15:1 ratio. I will confess I don’t measure very carefully. You will have to find your own perfect balance. You can always start with less salt (my preference, even though I am known to be a salt fiend”) and increase the salt if you find you like it saltier. If you follow the Macrobiotic lifestyle, you can take the ratio all the way to 18:1.
I like using a lot of it on my morning porridge, so I keep the salt level low, allowing me to indulge in more of this delicious condiment.
Gomasio is absolutely best homemade, though it is also commercially available in glass or plastic containers. You will never get that wonderful fresh taste from store bought Gomasio.
For best results, hand grind your seeds in a suribachi with a surikogi – a Japanese grinding-bowl and wooden pestle. You can also make it with a regular mortar and pestle.