Most Americans sweeten their morning porridge but I much prefer a salty/savory breakfast. So when it comes to garnishing my oatmeal, I often skip the brown sugar/maple syrup and reach for a favorite condiment: gomasio or sesame salt. Read on for more information.The first time I tried gomasio on my breakfast cereal, it was actually a little shocking. I was attending a silent breakfast in a dimly lit room at a Zen Buddhist temple and when a little bowl full of medium brown granular-looking stuff was passed to me, I assumed it was brown sugar and ladled a few scoops into my bowl. You can imagine my surprise when I took a bite and, expecting sweet, received a mouthful of salty instead!
I am well over that shocking moment and have learned to love this delicious, easy to make condiment on all sorts of things, including vegetables, sprinkled in soups and of course on rice. I like it on all forms of hot breakfast cereals, especially oatmeal or rice congee. I make my own in small batches to keep it fresh and because I prefer to use use whole (not hulled) sesame seeds, toasting them a little darker than most store bought blends. If I don't think I'm going to use it right up, I store it in the refrigerator as the oils in sesame seeds can go rancid quickly.
• Recipe: D.I.Y Sesame Salt
Related: Ingredient Spotlight: Sesame Seeds
(Image: Dana Velden)