Good cooks and herbalists treasure—and use—a tool that’s been around for millenia.
Makes about 11/4 cups
This condiment has been prepared in Japan for centuries. It is simply toasted sesame seeds ground in a mortar and pestle with salt. The ratio of sesame seeds to salt varies widely, as does the type of sesame seeds. I’ve added dried toasted seaweed, which adds minerals plus additional flavor. I use alaria (wild Atlantic wakame) or kombu, but any kind would work.
You can use this sesame salt as a garnish for many foods. I like it on steamed vegetables, rice and egg dishes, soups, salads, and sandwiches, or as a dip for radishes, cucumbers, or jicama; my friends like to receive jars of it as gifts. I use a Japanese suribachi for preparing this mix, because the textured grooves on the inside of the bowl make it ideal for grinding seeds. Then I use a small, stiff brush to get the excess seed paste out of the grooves.
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