This Month's Ingredient
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Superfood: Japanese Goma ごま

We all know sesame seeds 胡麻 (ごま goma) are very good for health. They are high in magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, iron and copper which can improve pain and swelling of arthritis.

It is further known in the recent studies, with an intake of 10-20grams per day, they actually help to fight aging.

(Read more here) Not only its high nutritional value, sesame seeds give out a very appealing nutty taste which easily suit one’s palate.

Japanese have a habit to include these little flavourful seeds to their everyday meals too. From sushi to cakes, they brilliantly incorporate the different types of sesame seed into a variety of recipes.

There is a wide range of choices in most Japanese supermarkets nowadays. Above are a few common brands I’ve been using.

On the front of a packet of sesame seeds, you are likely to see prints which says 煎り胡麻 (いりごま iri-goma). It means roasted sesame seed. As its name implies, they went through a roasting process to give a more enhanced flavour and people largely prefer. Hence, you can find them most available in Japanese supermarkets.

Occasionally, you can also find washed sesame seeds 洗い胡麻  (あらいごま  arai-goma). They are washed and dried, more suitable for people who want to roast their sesame seeds fresh by themselves. Now, out of  3 common types of sesame seeds, which is better and what are their best use?

White sesame seed 白ごま

Great choice for grind sesame and sesame paste. Antioxidant power double when eating together with yellowish-green vegetables. Frequently use on bakery like buns and breads to give a crispy, slightly crunchy texture. Best use for salad dressings, sauce or marinated food.

Black sesame seed 黒ごま

Generally contain a higher antioxidant power due the extra nutrients from its dark body. Ideal choice if you want a stronger sesame nutty flavour and taste on your food. For example black sesame tofu, desserts like black sesame pudding.  Also great for deep-frying food and goma-shio (a kind of salt with black sesame seeds used for red paste rice).

Golden sesame seed 金ごま

An improved version from white & black sesame seeds. Give a stronger aroma and richer taste. Ideal choice if you desire a distinctive and stronger flavour of sesame seeds in your dish. Go well with warm dishes like Kinpira Gobo stir-fry, cakes, pastries, or even Furikake. 

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