Gramasio – Toasted Sesame Salt and Sesame Parmesan

May 31, 2015

Last week  I had the pleasure of being a cooking student. Sara and Shirley visited and gave me a few lessons in cooking. One of the things we made was Gramasio. Gramasio is a salt substitute made with toasted sesame seeds and salt. It takes just minutes to prepare and is absolutely delicious on brown rice (it takes ordinary short grain brown rice to a whole new level), stir fried veggies or as a salt substitute on many dishes. Personally, I could just eat it by the spoonful. Its chalk full of calcium, copper and other minerals and although full of flavor, contains very little actual salt. Ken loves this on popcorn in place of salt.

Gramasio is best made with raw unhulled organic sesame seeds, but also works with the regular white sesame seeds.

Gramasio (I love the name) is super simple to make. Toast your sesame seeds in a frying pan on a hot stove or in a pan in the oven.

Sesame seeds before toasting
Sesame seeds before toasting

Watch closely as it only takes a few minutes to toast. When they start to pop and you can see them begin to get slightly brown they are done.

Sesame seeds after toasting
Sesame seeds after toasting

Cool them slightly, then place in a coffee grinder with a small amount of good quality salt. Grind for a few seconds and voila – gramasio.

Ground sesame seeds
Ground sesame seeds

Add a few tablespoons of nutritional yeast to gramasio and you have a quick and easy parmesan cheese substitute.


  • 1/2 cup raw sesame seeds
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt

Toast the sesame seeds in a hot skillet or pan in the oven for a couple of minutes. Once the seeds begin to pop and turn golden brown, remove from heat and cool for a few minutes. Place half of the cooled seeds in a coffee grinder with half of the salt and quickly pulse for a few seconds until most of the seeds are ground. Empty the gramasio into a glass jar and taste. If it’s too salty for your taste, grind the other half of the seeds without any salt. If it’s not quite salty enough for your taste, make the second half with the other half of the salt and a pinch more. Mix the two batches together, taste and add a bit more salt if needed. Sprinkle on prepared foods prior to serving. Store in a sealed glass container in the fridge.

Sesame Parmesan Substitute

  • 1/2 cup gramasio
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

Add 1 tbsp of nutritional yeast to the gramasio and taste. Adjust nutritional yeast and salt to taste. Sprinkle on prepared foods just before serving for a parmesan substitute. Store in a sealed glass container in the fridge.



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