Easy Japanese Recipes

How To Make Black Sesame Paste

How To Make Black Sesame Paste post image

For the Japanese and some Asians, black sesame flavor is commonly used especially in desserts and baked goods.  Popular recipes include macarons, purin (pudding), chiffon cake, mochi, bread, ice cream, and more.  Black sesame is unique in the way it changes the dynamic of a dessert completely.  Ordinary looking dessert are transformed into a peculiar dark gray color, and it surprises you with unique nutty toasty flavor.

Black sesame paste is sold in jars at Japanese (or Chinese) grocery stores.  The black sesame paste is different from black tahini because black sesame seeds are roasted before they are grounded.

Homemade black sesame paste is easy and simple to make, and it’s pretty close to the store bought black sesame paste.  Now you can enjoy making Black Sesame Ice Cream!

Black Sesame Ice Cream

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Black Sesame Paste
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 1 Tbsp. black sesame paste
  • 1 part of roasted black sesame seeds (1 Tbsp.)
  • 1 part of honey* (1 Tbsp.)
  1. Grind the black sesame seeds by mortar and pestle or in food processor. It takes some time for sesame seeds to secrete oil, but be patient.
  2. When the sesame seeds are finely ground and become moist from natural sesame oil, add honey and mix all together.
*If you want to use black sesame paste for savory dishes, you can add a little bit of sesame oil instead of honey.

Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

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Leave a Comment

nine + = 14

  • Boris Chu January 21, 2013, 5:49 pm

    Great recipe! It really works

  • Boris Chu January 21, 2013, 5:49 pm


    • Nami January 21, 2013, 6:41 pm

      You are welcome! Glad it worked out. :)

  • Novi January 31, 2013, 7:33 am

    If i don’t have food processor how can i do it?thanks

    • Nami February 3, 2013, 9:51 pm

      Hi Novi! It’s a bit of work, but you can grind the black sesame seeds by mortar and pestle. That works the same way. :) Hope this helps!

  • leo February 11, 2013, 5:13 pm

    I would to know how to make all those little side dishes you get when eating out at a Korean BBQ restaurant. Can you help please?

  • Amy March 6, 2013, 12:12 am

    I’m excited to make black sesame ice cream! Yours looks so good. Just wondering, What can you use instead of honey?

    • Nami March 6, 2013, 9:19 am

      Hi Amy! Hmm.. that’s a difficult question… If it’s for savory dish, I’d recommend to make it syrupy texture with sesame oil. However if it’s for dessert like ice cream, I think honey is the best fit. Maybe maple syrup? Hope this helps. :)

  • gulsah March 26, 2013, 10:59 pm

    I was hooked to goma ice cream since I tasted in Asakusa London. Which is strange as I am not a big fan of ice cream. I now have the recipe, made my own paste and felt really proud. I was wondering what kinda savoury dishe we can use the sesame oiled version? I mean in Japanese cuisine?

    • Nami March 28, 2013, 12:03 am

      Hi gulsah! I’m really happy to hear you enjoyed black sesame ice cream! Black sesame paste for savory dishes is not as popular. Some uses for mixing with blanched veggies, some use for tofu and bread, and I’ve seen it’s used for simmered dishes. I prefer white sesame paste for dressing etc. Oh you can use for steamed cake too. They are more like arranged dish and not something that everyone knows about – like black sesame pudding, or chiffon cake, etc.

  • Jan August 9, 2013, 4:06 pm

    For how long do we roast the sesame seeds?

    • Nami August 11, 2013, 11:31 pm

      Hi Jan! If your black sesame seeds are not roasted yet, follow the following directions.

      Put sesame seeds in a frying pan and roast them on medium heat until 2-3 sesame seeds jump (similar to popcorn). Keep shaking the pan to rotate the sesame seeds so they won’t get burnt. Remove from the heat immediately.

      Hope that helps!

  • azef December 22, 2013, 10:19 am

    Used a blender. It worked and tastes yummy

    • Nami December 22, 2013, 5:47 pm

      Hi Azef! I’m glad you liked it. Thank you so much for letting me know!

  • ji February 15, 2014, 6:16 pm

    Do I put honey into the food processor as well??

    • Nami February 15, 2014, 10:18 pm

      Hi Ji! Yes, it’s in Step 2. After you add honey, mix well. :)

  • Lorely @ Butter Love Affair March 17, 2014, 2:26 am

    Hi Nami, it has been so long since I’ve wanted to make your sesame ice cream and I want to make it this weekend. I can’t find the store bought paste so I’ll make it myself…but how long can you keep it for? :) Thanks Nami! Will let you know how it goes!!

    • Nami March 17, 2014, 10:40 pm

      Hi Lorely! I made this ice cream using both store-bought and homemade, and I like them both – homemade one is slightly more grey color. I’ve never kept it too long, but it should last for a pretty long time if you put it in a airtight jar and store in the fridge/freezer. :) Hope you enjoy!

      • Lorely March 22, 2014, 8:43 am

        I made 3Tbsp in total (put in 3Tbsp roasted sesame seeds and 3Tbsp honey) and it tasted sooooo good! I almost didnt want to put it in the ice cream haha!!! :-) Thanks for the recipe! I will be thinking of ways on how I could use this.

        • Nami March 24, 2014, 8:23 pm

          Hi Lorely! I’m so glad you tried this and it came out well! Thank you so much for letting me know! You can make different kinds of black sesame desserts with this. ;)

  • Shelly April 9, 2014, 6:26 pm

    Sounds delicious!! But I don’t have a food processor. Can I grind them with vitamix?

    • Nami April 10, 2014, 9:37 am

      Hi Shelly! I don’t have a Vitamix, and I definitely don’t want to say “sure!” and bake your expensive blender. :D Does it come with a blade to work like food processor? I am pretty sure you can….but just in case, I recommend you to read the manual… ;)

  • Leah August 9, 2014, 6:36 am

    Hi Nami
    I’m just wondering what kind of honey you used in this recipe? And also what kind of honey works best? :)
    In my supermarket there are many different types available, and I’m not sure which one would taste best. Eg. Manuka, honey and clover, creamed honey and clover honey…

    Btw I tried your matcha ice cream recipe without an ice cream maker… tastes so creamy and rich! Thank you for sharing it :)

    • Nami August 12, 2014, 11:58 am

      Hi Leah! In this recipe/picture, I used the clover honey. :) I’m so happy to hear the matcha ice cream turned out well. Thank you so much for trying the recipe!

  • Lynn December 22, 2014, 6:38 pm

    Hi Nami, thanks for sharing this recipe! Do you know why store bought black sesame paste has oil in it? How can I replicate it? As I have a recipe which calls for 2 tablespoons of the oil in the black sesame paste.. Thank you! :)

    • Nami December 23, 2014, 1:12 am

      Hi Lynn! The oil in black sesame paste is sesame oil. When you grind (or use food processor), the natural oil start to come out from sesame seeds. If you don’t have enough, you can add tiny bit of sesame oil (or olive oil). Hope this helps!

  • Sin Ee January 29, 2015, 8:58 am

    Could I use black sesame powder instead? Thank you! :)

    • Nami January 29, 2015, 2:43 pm

      Hi Sin! I have never used black sesame powder… If it’s 100% ground black sesame it seems like it’s a same thing?! Are they super fine? I wish I can tell but I’m not sure if it works as I have never tried it. Let me know if you try and it works. :)

      • Sin Ee February 23, 2015, 8:46 am

        Nami, thank you for responding. I tried using the black sesame powder, and it seems to work? haha.. I have never tasted black sesame paste before, so I’m not exactly sure. However, the consistency seems to resemble your homemade paste. So, I guess it works! Thank you.

        • Nami February 23, 2015, 9:06 am

          Hi Sin Ee! Theoretically it should work as black sesame seed powder is ground black sesame seed. :) When we grind by ourselves, though, the sesame seed oil comes out and it gets more moist from the oil. I guess that would be missing from already ground powder form. But it should be okay! Thank you for letting me know! :)