I’ve always had a bit of a savoury tooth. While some people crave sweets, I would much rather scarf down a bowl of popcorn or potato chips (and I mean a whole bowl). If you combine the flavour of roasted sesame with that, I’m done for. I can’t keep those sesame sticks in the house because I won’t stop until they’re gone. Imagine my delight when I discovered gomasio, the Japanese seasoning made of salt and toasted sesame seeds. Heaven.
The beauty of this condiment is that you can quickly combine plain grains and/or a few cooked vegetables with a sprinkle of gomasio and have a delicious meal. It’s wonderful sprinkled on avocado toast, popcorn, salads, dips, or anywhere else you’d enjoy an extra burst of flavour. You can certainly buy gomasio, but it won’t be nearly as good as freshly made, so it’s well worth the few minutes it takes to make it.
I’ve been known to use gomasio in place of parmesan on pasta dishes, so when I decided to make gomasio myself, adding nutritional yeast was a no-brainer. Nutritional yeast is often used to suggest a cheese flavour in plant-based cooking, and it’s great for adding a savoury “umami” profile (not to mention those all important B vitamins it contains), which makes it perfect in this. I’ve kept the amount fairly low so as not to overwhelm the sesame, but feel free to adjust that if you’d like it to be more pronounced (this will depend on how you’re using it).
Tradition says to toast the salt, but it’s not really necessary. It’s also traditional to use sea salt, but use whatever you have on hand (I used pink, but only because it’s what Costco had available at the time).
You want raw, unhulled sesame seeds for this. You can find them on Amazon if your local grocer doesn’t carry them.
Toast the sesame seeds over medium low heat until they’re fragrant and golden brown. Keep a close eye on them so they don’t burn, and remove the pan from the heat briefly if the seeds start popping (a sign the heat is too high).
When the seeds are ready, put everything in a blender or food processor (or mortar and pestle if you’re old school), and pulse several times until you have a coarse mix. You want to keep some of the texture, so don’t pulverize it so much that’s it’s a uniform powder.
Gomasio (Sesame Salt with Nutritional Yeast)
- 1 tbsp salt (add more if you're looking for more of a sesame scented salt)
- 1 cup raw, unhulled sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes (or less, or omit)
Toast salt over medium low heat until hot (may turn slightly gray). Remove to blender or food processor.
Add sesame seeds to pan, and toast over medium low heat (use a fairly wide pan so the seeds are in a shallow layer). Stir frequently. If seeds starting popping, remove pan from heat and stir constantly to avoid burning. If not quite toasted enough, return to pan and continue stirring. Seeds should be golden brown and fragrant when done. (This should take 4 - 5 minutes.)
Add seeds and nutritional yeast to blender or food processor, and pulse until coarsely ground (roughly 5 times in my high speed blender). Don't blend to a fine powder, you want to leave a little bit of texture.
Store gomasio in refrigerator in a sealed jar, and use on stir-fries, avocado toast, popcorn, or pasta (as a parmesan replacement).
Store your gomasio in a sealed jar in the refrigerator.
This elevates sauteed greens to another level, and is a great way to switch up your vegetable game. What will you use it on?