Kurogoma Aisukurimu | Black Sesame Ice Cream


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!

Kurogoma Aisukurimu

  • 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! :)

Happy Summer!

bebe mama

39 thoughts on “Kurogoma Aisukurimu | Black Sesame Ice Cream

  1. Oh yay! What a great recipe to share – thank you so much! I love Japanese black sesame pudding, so I am sure I will love making this, which seems like it will be similar only… well.. colder ;)!

  2. WOW! Homemade ice cream, huh? Impressive!! What do some of us that don’t have a ice cream maker do to make this? Hmm…..
    Anyway, never had this, but would like to try it one of these days. I don’t think I’ll make it myself, but I’ll ask my mom if she can pick some up at Nijiya or something. Maybe they have it at Don Quijote….


    • I considered taking a huge short-cut, but I didn’t. It’s perfect if you don’t have an ice cream maker. Buy Breyer’s vanilla bean ice cream and the kurogoma (ground powder). Let the ice cream soften a bit and then combine the vanilla ice cream and kurogoma in a bowl and mix. Refreeze if necessary to harden, then serve! Yay – Instant kurogoma ice cream! :)

  3. I was going to say, “what?! no, it’s not a Japanese thing – I love it!!” oh wait. right, i’m japanese – i guess i’m not a good example… this is great!! i’ve been wanting to make this but for my lazy self!

  4. I’ve never had this but my mom used to make me kurogoma milk for me! I don’t have an ice cream maker and, not planning to get one since that will be another excuse for me to eat ice cream….but maybe when you have a gallon lying around…we will come invite ourselves over for a taste!

    • Oh, kurogoma milk sounds really interesting and healthy too. Sounds like something your mom would make for you to drink for an ailment. Love your mom’s home remedies. :) Let me know when you want some and I will make some just for you. The batch I made is almost gone – maybe only 2 scoops left. :P

  5. Hi Judy,
    I love this black sesame Aisukurimu (:D I love the sound of “Aisukurimu”), black sesame always being one of my favorite ingredients for cooking and I also read about a lot of news or article about how healthy the black sesame is.

    Many thanks for sharing this awesome post and I’m going to try to make this black sesame ice cream at home. hehe….

    • Hi Liv, That’s so funny because I kept saying “aisukurimu” to myself when I was writing this post.It’s kinda fun the way it rolls off your tongue and for some reason it’s just a silly word! :)

    • Theresa, that’s funny you mention that because I almost wrote in my post that it looked like my other favorite flavor – Oreo cookies & cream! I think if my family found chunks of Oreo instead of seeds in the bite they tasted, they likely wouldn’t have spit it out. :P Oh well.

  6. Judy, you’re so funny!

    Now when I see my Japanese friends, I’ll have to test their knowledge on the Japanese translation of ice cream to see if they know it. I’ll have to look for the ground black sesame seeds the next time I visit the Asian grocery store. I’m like you–I sometimes spend so much time gawking at the shelves since there’s so much variety!

  7. Yum — I don’t think I’ve had this before, but I know I would love it. I love other Japanese treats with black sesames and I love ice cream, so I’m sure it would be a great match.

    My cuisinart inner bowl isn’t freezing properly in the freezer recently so my ice creams have been meh… I need to get a new one and try this recipe out!

    • You know, I thought my ice cream bowl wasn’t freezing properly either, but I turned up our freezer to the max cold level and it seems to be working now. Everything in our freezer is probably incurring freezer burn at a faster rate, but the bowl is frozen. LOL.

  8. I love the flavor of sesame and am very intrigued by your ice cream! My daughter is taking Japanese at UC Santa Cruz this fall – I’m forwarding your site to her so she can learn about Japanese food besides sushi :)

  9. Oh boy that is funny! Ice cream tends to go quick at my house as well! And I’m the one that always loses out! In any case, it looks out of this world delicious – I KNOW that I would enjoy this ice cream, particularly because of all its sesame bits. I wonder if it tastes anything like sesame candy?

    • Isn’t it awful being the slow-poke-ice-cream-eater!!!

      Hmm, I think this kurogoma aisukurimu tastes sweeter because of the vanilla ice cream, and less nutty than sesame candy. I definitely prefer sesame ice cream over sesame candy. :)

  10. I love this, trying to imagine the textures:) And your post is, as I said in my last comment on the more recent post…Making me smile! So funny and bright:)
    Have a wonderful night…

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