Gomashio (salt with parched sesame) (胡麻塩)

Gomashio is a mixture of sesame seeds and salt and used as a seasoning.

It is usually made with an earthenware pan and a frying pan in two general ways, one of which is by roasting salt first while the other by roasting sesame seeds first. The former is the way black sesame is mixed with parched salt and roasted until the water evaporates, while the latter is the way highly salted water is added to the roasted black sesame and heated until the water evaporates. Either way, it is said that sesame, salt and water to be mixed and roasted should be equal in amount.

Gomashio is sprinkled over glutinous rice steamed with red beans and rice balls, as well as sometimes used as a substitute for furikake (rice seasoning).

Because of the contrast of white salt and black sesame, the word gomashio is also used figuratively for something white and black.
This is why black hair streaked with gray came to be called 'gomashio hair.'

[Original Japanese]