Gomashio (Sesame Salt): Basic Recipes and Uses

Have you ever sprinkled “Furikake (ふりかけ)” over a hot bowl of plain rice? For the unfamiliar, Furikake is a traditional Japanese rice seasoning consisting of dry mini flakes made from food materials, such as meat, seafood, seaweed, and eggs.

Furikake has a long history and today comes in many varieties. Among those, there are actually several standard Furikake rice seasonings that have long been loved by us Japanese, and what I introduce here “GomaShio (ごましお)” is among them.

Goma-Shio (ごましお: Sesame Salt)

Rice with Gomashio and Umeboshi Plum

Actually, Gomashio is a compound word composed of  “Goma (ごま)” meaning sesame (seeds) and “Shio (しお)” meaning salt, so it is known as Japanese sesame salt.

Basically, as its name indicates, the classic Japanese rice seasoning only consists of 2 ingredients, black or white sesame seeds and salt. Hence, Goma-Shio is a simple seasoning, but it is rich in the flavor of sesame and if you try it once, you will like it.

Basic Recipes


In terms of how to prepare Gomashio, there are 2 types of basic recipes. One is you make Gomashio by coarsely grinding parched (black or white) sesame seeds and combining the ground sesame seeds with salt. In this case, the recommended mixing ratio of parched sesame seeds to salt is 6:1. This type of GomaShio recipe is easier to prepare.

Regarding the other, you make the rice seasoning by parching sesame seeds in saltwater, like the below popular Gomashio recipe from cookpad.com.

Ingredient Quantity
Black sesame seeds 5 teaspoons
Water 2 teaspoons
Salt 1 teaspoon
  1. Put all the ingredients in a pan and mix well
  2. Heat the mixture over low heat, stirring with chopsticks
  3. Even after the moisture is evaporated, continue parching the sesame seeds until dry and smooth
  4. Let them cool down
  5. Keep the parched sesame seeds in a Tupperware or a lidded jar at room temperature


Sekihan with Gomashio

Gomashio is a condiment for rice and is typically used in Onigiri rice balls or by sprinkling over the red rice Sekihan. But it is actually a kind of versatile seasoning and can be used in various ways. Lastly, here are some other examples.

  • Fry eggs with Gomashio
  • Sprinkle the sesame salt over sweet stuff to accentuate the sweetness
  • Use the sesame salt seasoning, instead of soy sauce or salt
  • Sprinkle the sesame salt over vegetable salad
  • Eat Tempura with the sesame salt 


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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