Black sesame ice cream (Japanese Kurogoma)

Black sesame ice cream has a sweet and nutty flavor that is so tasty and refreshing. You can make it with or without an ice cream maker and enjoy restaurant-style ice cream at home!

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One of the most popular ice cream flavors in Japan is black sesame. It is not an intense dark black, but rather a rich, deep black color with hints of brown and red from the black sesame paste. The flavor is nutty with a slight sugar sweetness. This Japanese black sesame ice cream can be made with just 5 simple ingredients and with or without an ice cream maker!

Black sesame ice cream served in a glass

There are many brands of black sesame ice cream, but none compare to homemade black sesame ice cream! The flavor is fresh and unique compared to other flavors you have tasted before making it a must for any lover of Japanese culture or creative desserts in Japan.

This black sesame ice cream recipe is amazing, especially when you crave sweet and savory flavors. It’s a refreshing and memorable dessert, perfect for your the next hot summer day or as an after-dinner treat.

Be careful though – black sesame is known to be addictive!

black sesame seeds in a Japanese ceramic mortar

What is Kurogoma?

Kurogoma means black sesame in Japanese. It is a common and key ingredient in Japanese and Asian cuisines for making sweet and savory dishes. Kurogoma is often used to make black sesame ice cream. It is a popular dessert in Japanese/Asian restaurants. Black sesame seeds offer a toasted nuttiness and an earthy yet sweet flavor. It’s so delicious and perfect to eat after a good Japanese dinner.

Kurogoma ice cream is made from a base of vanilla ice cream mixed with black sesame paste (neri goma) to give it a savory flavor and a dark grey/black color. You can sprinkle black or white sesame seeds on top and enjoy them on a hot summer day or just as a delicious snack!

Why You’ll Love Black Sesame Ice Cream

Have you ever wanted sweet and salty at the same time? It’s the perfect way to satisfy both cravings at the same time. The cold and creamy ice cream is enriched by hazelnut black sesame paste.

It’s the same combination of flavors that makes salted caramel so popular. Even if you’ve never tried these two flavors together, you have to try it. A taste will convert you into a real fan.

This ice cream is really easy to make; especially with an ice cream maker. You can do this without an ice cream maker, but you have to keep stirring it every few hours. This is what I had to do after my KitchenAid ice cream bowl got stuck on the stand mixer!

Ice cream takes a while to make because it needs to freeze and harden for a few hours, so it needs to be prepared ahead of time. You can simply store it in a container in the freezer or you can pour the ice cream mixture into popsicle molds or a loaf pan.

These will make great treats on a hot summer afternoon. I always like to order Kurogoma ice cream for dessert when I go out to a Japanese restaurant, or sometimes matcha green tea ice cream because it’s still so delicious.

This recipe gives the ice cream the same taste as the restaurant version and is much cheaper!

black sesame ice cream ingredients - egg yolk, black sesame paste, milk, sugar and cream

Kurogoma Ice Cream Ingredients

There are five simple ingredients in this delicious dessert recipe. Here is a little more information on what I used.

  • Soy milk: I used Bon soy milk. It has the best texture for ice cream.
  • Double Cream: This will give it a richer taste and give it a creamier texture. Double cream contains more fat than heavy cream, which makes the cream rich. However, it can be replaced with heavy cream.
  • Egg yolks: You only need egg yolks (no whites) for this ice cream.
  • Caster Sugar: This super fine granulated sugar will dissolve best in ice cream.
  • Black Sesame Paste: This is what gives the ice cream the nutty undertones. If you can’t find black sesame paste, you can make your own. Toast a few whole black sesame seeds in a pan until they give off a strong nutty aroma (be careful not to burn them). Transfer to a food processor or blender and blend on a fast pulse setting until it becomes a fine powder. Add 3-4 tablespoons of honey to make a paste.
Collage of 4 images of the process of making black sesame ice cream 1

What to serve with Japanese ice cream

This sweet and salty ice cream tastes the best with bright and fresh fruity flavors. You can also serve it with your favorite pastries!

If you eat it for lunch, serve it with a light fruit sandwich. It’s the perfect combination. Or serve it with kanten fruit jelly as a refreshing summer dessert.

Raindrop Cake is another one of my favorite types of desserts. It is clear and melts in your mouth. It is very sweet and will best complement the salty taste of this ice cream.

Black sesame ice cream is also a common and popular mochi ice cream flavor. You can easily make mochi at home and fill it with this delicious ice cream. Or place a scoop of ice cream between two soft cookies and make a sweet and hazelnut ice cream cookie sandwich.

Collage of 4 images of the process of making black sesame ice cream 2

Frequently Asked Questions About Black Sesame Ice Cream

Here are some questions people often ask me about this black sesame ice cream.

Where to buy black sesame paste?

You can find black sesame paste (neri goma) in Japanese or Asian grocery stores. If you don’t have a Japanese grocery store near you, you can order it online and have it delivered to you to make this delicious ice cream! Or you can make the dough yourself by following the instructions above in the Ingredients section.

What other types of Japanese-inspired ice cream flavors are there?

One of my favorites is matcha ice cream. There is also hojicha ice cream, miso ice cream and wasabi ice cream!

How to store homemade ice cream?

Store your homemade ice cream in a freezer safe food storage container and store in the freezer. It will stay fresh for up to 6 months.

Collage of 4 images of the process of making black sesame ice cream 3

More Japanese dessert recipes

If you enjoyed this black sesame ice cream, here are some other Japanese desserts you should try next.

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Black sesame ice cream served in a glass

Black Sesame Ice Cream (Kurogoma Ice Cream)

Black sesame ice cream has a sweet and nutty flavor that is so tasty and refreshing. You can make it with or without an ice cream maker and enjoy restaurant-style ice cream at home!

Course: Ice cream

Kitchen: Japanese

Preparation time 8 hours

Cooking time 20 minutes

Total time 20 minutes

Servings: 1 liter

calories: 2060calories

Author: Shihoko | Wands Chronicles

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Instructions

  • Bring the milk and soy cream to a boil over low heat in a saucepan.

  • Turn off the heat and set aside.

  • Whisk 5 egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until the color of the mixture becomes pale and fluffy.

  • Add the black sesame paste to the mixture of sugar and yolks and mix well.

  • Gradually pour the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture and continue to whisk until smooth.

  • Pour the mixture into a clean saucepan and place over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring continuously.

  • Let it cool in the fridge.

  • Pour the black sesame mixture into an ice cream maker (or you can place it in the freezer and stir it every 2-3 hours).

  • Run the ice cream maker for about 20 minutes, and once the mixture has thickened, pour it into a container and freeze it until set.

Remarks

The cooking time does not include the cooling time of the ice cream in the freezer.
Prep time is to leave the ice cream bowl in the freezer overnight.
I used soy milk but it can be replaced with normal milk.

Nutrition

calories: 2060calories | Carbohydrates: 181g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 135g | Saturated fat: 68g | Cholesterol: 1319mg | Sodium: 391mg | Potassium: 1074mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 163g | Vitamin A: 6940UI | Vitamin C: 37.5mg | Calcium: 1154mg | Iron: 7.5mg