Japanese Black Sesame Paste

Japanese Black Sesame Paste

The Spruce Eats / Madhumita Sathishkumar

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 2 mins
Total: 7 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
103 Calories
5g Fat
14g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 103
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 7%
Saturated Fat 1g 4%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 2mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 2g 5%
Total Sugars 12g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 106mg 8%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 58mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Black sesame paste, known in Japanese as “neri goma," is a basic ingredient in Japanese and Asian cuisines. The thick black paste imparts a roasted nutty flavor with deep earthy undertones. 

Japanese black sesame paste is often sweetened with sugar or honey and is popular as an ingredient in pastries and baked goods. You also can include black sesame paste in rice cakes, pudding, ice cream, oatmeal, milk, smoothies, and sauces.

However, the simplest and quickest way to enjoy black sesame paste is to spread it on a slice of toasted sandwich bread, or what is known as “shokupan” in Japanese. In addition to its deep earthy flavors, black sesame seeds are touted by some to be rich in calcium and zinc, as well as fiber. To make it at home, you'll need a food processor or a ​mini food processor to grind the black sesame seeds into a paste. Taking less than 10 minutes to make and using only two ingredients, it's so easy to make a homemade version of this paste, you just might find yourself doing this recipe again, rather than buying the storebought version.

Best if used immediately, but the paste may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


  • 1/2 cup whole black sesame seeds

  • 3 to 4 tablespoons honey

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Japanese Black Sesame Paste ingredients

    The Spruce Eats / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  2. In a small pan, roast whole black sesame seeds over medium heat. Constantly shake the pan back and forth so that sesame seeds do not burn. Roast for about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and set aside.

    whole black sesame seeds in pan

    The Spruce Eats / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  3. Once sesame seeds have cooled to room temperature, combine roasted sesame seeds with honey in a food processor. Note: 4 tablespoons of honey creates a texture that is easy to spread and work with; however, if you prefer a paste that is less sweet, try 3 tablespoons of honey—the texture will be thicker and slightly drier.

    Japanese Black Sesame Paste in a food processor

    The Spruce Eats / Madhumita Sathishkumar


When you are toasting the sesame seeds, take them immediately off the stove when they start to get a light golden brown.

How to Store and Freeze

The sesame paste can be stored in an airtight container, glass jars with a lid work well, in the refrigerator for up to one month. You can also freeze the paste for up to six months.

Where can you buy black sesame seeds?

Black sesame seeds can be found in the spice aisle or international aisle in grocery stores, or you can also buy them online.

What do black sesame seeds taste like?

Black sesame seeds have a nuttier, and slightly more bitter taste than the white sesame seeds, which are sweeter in flavor. Unlike white sesame seed, the hull of black sesame seeds is edible and left on the seeds.