Condiments are extremely important. It’s a fact that can’t be denied. Mustard (which I adore) and ketchup (which I cannot stand – anyone else?) have their places, but sometimes you need a bit of a change. It’s not that food tastes bad without condiments, it just tastes better with them. Now, most condiments are of the saucy variety – aside from mustard and ketchup, the American classics, there is barbecue sauce (which we’ll get to another day), salsa, and countless varieties of hot sauce. These served me perfectly well, that is, until I discovered gomasio.
If you aren’t familiar with gomasio, it is a traditional Japanese condiment comprised of toasted sesame seeds and salt. It doesn’t sound like much, but let me assure you, you need to try this recipe because once you do, you’ll never want to be without it. It helps that you probably have all of the ingredients in your cupboard right now, just waiting to be put to good use.
I’ve seen several varieties of gomasio in stores – from garlic to seaweed, but I decided to come up with my own variation. The homemade version is much more cost effective, and you can customize it however you like.
Lately, I’ve been sprinkling gomasio over just about everything. It goes wonderfully with grains and steamed or roasted vegetables, which are a part of my dinner every night. Sometimes I can’t wait for dinner though, and I do admit, I’m guilty of taking a few pinches straight from the jar. It’s that good! I’ve made several versions of gomasio, and here I decided to include mustard seeds and garlic powder. If you aren’t a fan of either, you could leave them out completely, or substitute with your own favorite herbs and spices.
Garlic and Mustard Seed Gomasio
•1/3 cup sesame seeds (you can use any variety; I used a combination of black and white)
•2 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
•1 tbsp sea salt
•1 tbsp garlic powder
1. Combine the sesame seeds and mustard seeds in a skillet and toast over low heat, stirring often, until the seeds become golden and fragrant. You will hear some popping; don’t worry, this is normal.
2. Remove the seeds from heat, allow to cool for about 10 minutes, then pour into the bowl of a mortar and pestle (my choice) or spice grinder along with the sea salt and garlic powder. Grind until most of the seeds are broken apart. Do not grind the seeds to a powder; you are looking for a bit of variety in texture.
3. Store in an airtight container and sprinkle over anything and everything.
Have you tried gomasio yet, or even made it yourself? If not, what are your favorite condiments?