Gomasio is classified as Furikake or not

As “Goma (ごま, 胡麻)” means sesame and “Sio (塩)” means salt in Japanese, the seasoning “Gomasio (ごま塩, 胡麻塩)“, also written as Gomashio, consists of parched black whole sesame seeds and salt.

Featuring the color combination of black and white, Gomasio is usually sold in the Furikake section of Japanese grocery stores, so I was wondering whether Gomasio is classified as a Furikake or not. 

The Difference: Gomasio vs Furikake 

Because of that, today I did online research about that and found out that, strictly speaking, Gomasio is a seasoning different from Furikake, based on the article “胡麻塩” on Japanese Wikipedia.


Gomasio sesame salt seasoning

In fact, Gomasio is made of unhulled sesame seeds parched with salt, while Furikake can be made from various ingredients that are processed into granules or mini dry flakes, which include meat, fish, eggs, seaweed, and sesame seeds.

Marumiya Noritame and Ajidouraku Furikake Rice Seasonings

Specifically, as I wrote in this article, there are 2 basic ways to prepare Gomashio, but usually, the seasoning is composed only of black whole sesame seeds and salt.

On the other hand, the combination of ingredients for Furikake is unlimited, which is why tons of Furikake recipes and products can be found on the Japanese internet.


Sekihan Onigiri

Gomasio is most commonly used for the red rice Sekihan or in the rice ball Onigiri and is sometimes used as a substitute for Furikake. This is why the seasoning is usually sold in the Furikake aisle.

Egg Furikake

Meanwhile, used by sprinkling, Furikake is usually eaten on a bowl of white rice. But the usage is actually varied and the seasoning can be used in various ways like this.


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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