One of Mochidoki’s core values is “Respect the Flavors.” In this series, we’ll explore the many ingredients and flavors featured in our mochi lineup, giving them the time, attention and respect they deserve.
What is Black Sesame?
Black sesame seeds are tiny, tear-drop shaped seeds that grow in fruit pods of the Sesamum indicum plant and have been cultivated around the globe for thousands of years.
When the seeds are ripe, the fruit pops open to expel the seeds – it’s actually the inspiration behind the famous line from Arabian Nights, “Open Sesame!”
Black Sesame seeds are used with their shell, or hull intact, creating a more robust flavor and crisper texture than hulled sesame seeds which are white in color.
Sesame seeds are made up of over fifty percent oil, which can be extracted and used as a cooking oil, but they’re also traditionally ground into a smooth paste, butter, tahini or powder for cooking and other uses.
Where Does Black Sesame Come From?
Sesame’s origins can be traced to the Sunda Islands of Indonesia, and there’s evidence of its cultivation and use dating back 5,000 years.
While white seeds were more common in Greece and Rome, black sesame seeds are more dominant in Asian cultures.
Today, most sesame seeds are cultivated in Sudan, Myanmar, and India, though you’ll also find them growing in China, the United States and other countries around the world.
What Does Black Sesame Taste Like?
Black sesame seeds provide a rich nutty flavor and umami notes. When roasted, it adds a bold, aromatic and nutty flavor to desserts for a unique blend of savory and sweet.
How is Black Sesame Used?
Black sesame is mostly used for flavoring food. It’s especially popular in Japan, where it is often sprinkled on rice or ground into a fine powder or a paste called “neri goma.”
You’ll also find black sesame used as a garnish in Japanese cuisine, coating the outside of sushi rolls, as well as in desserts like kurogoma ice cream and mochi.
In Chinese cuisine, black sesame often tops soups, noodles, and rice and is used as a filling in many desserts, including zi maa gyun, a jelly-like roll popular in Hong Kong.
For more delicious black sesame recipes, click here!
“Respect the Flavors” is one of Mochidoki’s Core Values – you can read about all of our Core Values here and how they apply both to our very special mochi and all the equally special people on the Mochidoki team.