Did you know that in Japanese, ice cream is known as “ice cream” or more accurately, “aisukurimu”? It’s ice cream pronounced with a Japanese accent, “eye-sue-coo-reem-mu”. Does this mean that black sesame ice cream in Japanese could potentially be, “boo-lack-oo say-sah-me eye-sue-coo-reem-mu”? At this point, I’m fairly certain my bilingual English-Japanese friends who are reading this are saying to themselves, “Judy, You are such a dork!” Heh. :P Anyway, the proper Japanese translation of black sesame ice cream is kurogoma aisukurimu. Kuro means black and goma means sesame, hence kurogoma = black sesame.
Kurogoma is believed to have a host of health benefits which is why this ice cream was likely very popular in Japan for a while. (Yes, yet another Japanese fad.) It is loaded with minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus,copper, iron and calcium. According to eHow.com, these minerals “help to support healthy bones, muscles, blood, and nervous system. Copper strengthens blood vessels, joints, and bones, and is helpful in relieving arthritis. Magnesium supports vascular and respiratory health. It also contains zinc and calcium, which also improve bone health.” Kurogoma is also used to promote healthy bowels and in Chinese medicine, it is used to promote healthy kidneys and liver. It also contains phytosterol which apparently helps to reduce cholesterol.
Kurogoma aisukurimu is healthful! Yay for ice cream!
Over a month ago, Bebe E and I were on one of our shopping excursions to Mitsuwa. When we have time, I like to walk up and down every single aisle, slowly looking at all the different products on the shelves. (Call me strange, but I find this very entertaining and Bebe E is just happy to be out and about.) One of the items I came across was a packet of ground kurogoma or surigoma. I immediately thought of Yuzen, a little Japanese restaurant on Santa Monica Blvd. in West Los Angeles that my mom and I frequent. My mom is friends with the owner, so whenever we dine there he treats us to a delicious scoop of kurogoma aisukurimu, on the house. The first time I tried this, I thought it was strange because of the texture of the partially ground sesame seeds, but I loved the taste. It had a sweet, roasted, earthy flavor to it. It was unlike anything that I’d ever tasted before. So when I saw this packet of ground kurogoma, I was very excited because I knew exactly what I was going to make! Kurogoma aisukurimu!
On Monday, my BFF had the day-off from work so we planned a lunch date to catch-up. Even though we live right across the street from one another, we are often busy and weeks might go by before we get a chance to catch-up. Unlike our previous lunch date when I made somen, we decided to get take-out from Fish Grill, but I had a little surprise for dessert. Yep, kurogoma aisukurimu!
I modified a simple vanilla ice cream recipe from the Cuisinart booklet that came with my ice cream maker and simply added the package of kurogoma. Since I made the ice cream right after we finished our lunch, the ice cream didn’t really have a chance to set in the freezer so it was soft, but it was still really good. The trial batch that we ate only had a small amount of kurogoma, but we decided that the whole pack of kurogoma would likely be perfect, and it was!
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
- 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
- 5 tablespoons kurogoma (ground black sesame)
1) In a large bowl, mix whole milk (I used a combination of whole milk and skim milk) and sugar using a hand blender until the sugar is dissolved (about 2 -3 minutes).
I cut the amount of sugar significantly from the original recipe. Homemade ice cream is great because you get to control the amount of sugar and all the ingredients are fresh!
Add heavy cream and vanilla extract and stir for another minute. Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and let it whirl for about 25 minutes.
2) In the last few minutes, add ground kurogoma until incorporated. The ice cream will be soft. Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and freeze for two hours until firm. Scoop and enjoy!
My BFF and I thought this kurogoma aisukurimu was soooooo good. Perhaps kurogoma aisukurimu is a Japanese-thang? Or is it an acquired taste? Bebe Dada didn’t care for kurogoma aisukurimu (he’s more of a sherbert, mint chip or pistachio ice cream kind-of guy). Big Onechan didn’t care for it either (she’s more of a rocky road, vanilla, cookies and cream type-of-gal), and both of them had to rinse their mouths out with water in order to rid themselves of the sesame flavor and the little pieces of sesame! LOL. Yes, I was slightly offended, but in all seriousness I was a bit happy and I’ll share with you why.
I am only too happy that I get all of the kurogoma aisukurimu to myself. In our house, if you’re not quick, the ice cream is gone in a flash. Unfortunately, I’m usually the slow poke that only gets to enjoy one or two scoops from a gallon of ice cream before I go back looking for more, only to find that it’s all gone! Not this time, baby! That kurogoma aisukurimu will sit in our freezer waiting for me, and me alone. Mwwaaaa-haaa-haa-ha-haaaaa! :)