This week I’ve been diving in and out of my favourite Macrobiotic cook books, and have an energetically warming, grounding, nourishing millet dish on the way for you. A delicious and easy to make condiment that really jazzes up your plant based dishes, is the Japanese sesame salt – gomashio.
Gomashio is traditionally a simple combination of toasted sesame seeds, ground with sea salt. Used as a seasoning over anything really – it’s fabulous sprinkled in your sushi before you roll it up, over hot soups and broths, salads and grains.How to make Gomashio - the classic Japanese sesame salt - with a seaweed twist! Recipe here. Click To Tweet
Now, I have a wee twist on this classic, it simply adds a bit of seaweed – which gives the added benefit of sneaking in some minerals – particularly, iodine.
The variety I have used is called Karengo, which is a delicious, yet mild tasting seaweed related to nori, native to New Zealand. Dulse flakes or kelp would work a treat if you can’t get your paws on New Zealand Karengo (I suspect wakame would be a bit tough, it is much nicer reconstituted in water/broths/soup).
Karengo is the Maori name for Porphyra spp., a species of red seaweed that has long been a part of the traditional diet. It grows abundantly along the Kaikoura coastline in the South Island. In the 1800’s, European settlers in New Zealand would make it into a milk pudding with a local variety of carrageenan, and, it was sent (dried) to troops during the Second World War – perhaps for its laxative effects (bizarre but true!) .
By the way, you may be more familiar with carageenan as Irish Moss – used in raw foods cuisine as a natural thickener – for example, to make a mousse, pudding or light cake without using cashews. I’ve done a post on How to Make Irish Moss Paste here.
History aside, seaweeds in general are known to be a good source of minerals, and, as our soils are so deplete, including just a little daily is a good way to up your intake, and incorporating them into a tasty seasoning is one such way to go about it.
Happy experimenting – I’ll be sharing the perfect dish to use your new sprinkles on soon.
How to make Gomashio
- 1 cup sesame seeds
- 1 cup karengo fronds or, dulse flakes, kelp
- Two teaspoons coarse sea salt
- Toast the sesame seeds in a dry non-stick frying pan and set aside.
- Toast the karengo fronds.
- Add all ingredients to a food processor. Blitz till combined. Store in an air tight jar in the pantry.
- Yummy in sushi, or sprinkled over soups and salads.
Smith, J.L., Summers, G., & Wong, R. (2010). Nutrient and heavy metal content of edible seaweeds in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Crop and Horticultural Science, 38(1), 19-28. Doi: 10.1080/01140671003619290