Gomasio is a condiment used in place of table salt, especially in a macrobiotic way of eating. It has a mild, nut-like flavor and may be sprinkled on grains such as brown rice or oatmeal.  Gomasio is mildly contractive (yang) and is thus especially useful if mixed into salads or steamed green vegetables, which are expansive (yin).  A small amount of gomasio may, if eaten directly, help tame a cough.

Gomasio ideally should not be made using a food processor or electric grinder, as this does not adequately coat the salt particles with sesame oil and matter. The better way is the slow grinding, by hand, in a suribachi (Japanese grinding bowl, shown in the photo above).


4 tablespoons
sesame seeds (organic, either tan or black, whole (with hulls still intact))
3⁄4 teaspoons
sea salt

Additional Notes

The finished product should not taste very salty, because all the salt will be coated with sesame (and thus will take longer to digest than raw salt would). Also, it should have a delicious, nutty flavor from the crushed, toasted sesame.

Persons eating a medicinal macrobiotic diet might use slightly more salt in the preparation of gomasio (to make the condiment more yang, or contractive).  (Recipe #447)


  1. Wash and drain sesame seeds.
  2. Roast salt in cast iron (or other heavy) pan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it is fully dried. When about done, it will start to off-gas a slight oder of chlorine; the color will become a little more grayish.  It might take 5 minutes to roast the salt.
  3. Roast sesame seeds in a cast iron pan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until they begin to pop. Be careful not to burn the seeds; it might take 5 minutes or so to roast them. When they are about done, you should be able to pop them between your fingers (and get a smear from the inside of the seed on your finger).
  4. After roasting, allow the seeds to cool (perhaps on a plate) until you can stand to touch them.
  5. Place the roasted salt in a suribachi grinding bowl, and grind until very fine.
  6. Add roasted sesame seeds to salt in suribachi, and grind slowly in spiral motions without too much force. Grinding may take 10 minutes or so. Stop when about 80% of sesame seeds have broken open, and all the salt appears to have been coated by sesame matter.
  7. Store in a tightly capped jar in the refrigerator, and use within a week or two.