May 10
2018

TTLA Onigirazu (Tempeh Bacon, Tomato, Lettuce & Avocado Onigirazu)

in Main Course, Vegan

This post is brought to you by Lightlife.

TTLA Onigirazu

At the beginning of the year a sandwich on Whole Foods’ sandwich menu went viral—their TTLA, a twist on the classic BLT, made with ciabatta bread, Lightlife Organic Fakin’ Bacon Tempeh Strips, tomato, lettuce, avocado, and a vegan garlic aioli.

Whole Foods TTLA Sandwich

When I was contacted by Lightlife last month asking if I was up to the challenge of creating my own version of the TTLA, I responded with an emphatic YES!  I started by heading to Whole Foods to pick up my ingredients and get a good look at the original TTLA.  Then I headed home to start on my own creation.

Buying Ingredients at Whole Foods

I decided that to turn the sandwich into an onigirazu.  I’ve made some onigirazu before, but this turned out to be my favorite by far!  I started out by roasting a head of garlic, which I then used to make a Roasted Garlic Miso Mayonnaise.

Making Roasted Garlic Miso Mayonnaise

Then I prepped all of the TTLA ingredients: sliced up a tomato and an avocado, washed some lettuce leaves, and pan-fried Lightlife Organic Fakin’ Bacon Tempeh Strips.

Ingredients for TTLA Onigirazu

Then I assembled my onigirazu.  I used a different technique this time, using a small, square food container as a mold, rather than the normal free-form technique I usually use (you can see that technique in my past posts).

Making TTLA Onigirazu

The result was even better than I had hoped.  Though I learned that in the future I need to buy extra tempeh bacon because Monkey LOVES it and kept eating what I was prepping.

Monkey chowing down on Lightlife tempeh bacon

I hope you’ll try making your own TTLA Onigiriazu!  They are perfect for packing in a bento for lunch or a picnic, or just eating as soon as you’ve made them.

TTLA Onigirazu

TTLA Onigirazu

A Japanese twist on Whole Foods' TTLA (tempeh bacon, tomato, lettuce, and avocado) sandwich.  The ingredients are put into an onigirazu (like a Japanese rice sandwich) instead of between slices of bread, with a roasted garlic miso aioli.

Servings 4
Author Rachael Hutchings, www.lafujimama.com

Ingredients

For the Roasted Garlic Miso Aioli (makes about 1 cup):

  • 6 ounces silken tofu
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened soy milk, or unsweetened non-dairy milk of choice
  • 2 tablespoons white miso paste
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 3 - 5 cloves roasted garlic*

For the TTLA Onigirazu:

  • 1 package (6 oz) Lightlife Organic Fakin' Bacon Tempeh Strips
  • 2 2/3 cups steamed Japanese rice (often labeled Calrose rice or sushi rice), tossed with several pinches of fine grain sea salt
  • 4 leaves green leaf lettuce (or lettuce of choice), washed, dried, and torn into pieces
  • 1 large tomato, cut into slices
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and cut into slices
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup Roasted Garlic Miso Aioli
  • 4 sheets nori

Instructions

Make the Roasted Garlic Miso Aioli:

  1. Puree all of the ingredients in a blender, or in a glass jar using an immersion blender, until smooth and creamy.  Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.  Use more roasted garlic if you wanted a stronger garlic flavor.  Refrigerate until ready to use.  

Make the TTLA Onigirazu:

  1. Prepare the Lightlife Organic Fakin' Bacon Tempeh Strips: Heat a bit of oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat.  Add the tempeh strips and cook for 1 or 2 minutes on each side until both sides are browned and crisp.  Move the tempeh strips to a plate lined with a paper towel to cool, then cut each strip into two pieces.

  2. To make the TTLA Onigirazu, there are two different methods you can use. Container method: Press 1/3 cup of the prepared rice into the bottom of a square container (between 3.5 and 4-inches square).  Layer 1/4 of the other ingredients (except for the nori) on top of the layer of rice, including 1 to 2 tablespoons of the Roasted Garlic Miso Aioli, then add another 1/3 cup of the prepared rice and press down gently.

     Lay out a square of plastic wrap that is larger than the sheets of nori on a clean work surface. Put one sheet of the nori, rough side facing up, with one of the corners pointing towards you, on top of the plastic wrap.  Gently turn over the square container with the layered ingredients onto the middle of the nori, positioning the container so that the corners are pointing towards the sides of the nori.

     Starting with the left corner of the nori, bring it up and over the rice stack and hold it with your finger. Take the right corner of the nori and fold it so that it overlaps slightly with the first corner. Continue folding with the bottom and top corners until the rice stack is completely wrapped in the nori. Set it aside for 5 minutes.

    Repeat with the remaining ingredients. At this point the onigirazu are ready to eat or be packed into a bento. If you want them to be more visually appealing, carefully unwrap them and cut them in half with a sharp knife, then wrap each half separately in plastic wrap.

  3. Freeform method: Lay out a square of plastic wrap that is larger than the sheets of nori on a clean work surface. Put one sheet of the nori, rough side facing up, with one of the corners pointing towards you, on top of the plastic wrap.

    Put 1/3 cup of the steamed rice in the middle of the plastic wrap and spread it out into a square that measures approximately 4 inches by 4 inches and lightly pat it down. (Shape the square so that the corners are pointing towards the sides of the nori, not the corners of the nori.)

    Layer 1/4 of the other ingredients (except for the nori) on top of the layer of rice, including 1 to 2 tablespoons of the Roasted Garlic Miso Aioli, then add another 1/3 cup of the steamed rice to the top of the stack, pressing gently so that it stays in place.

    Starting with the left corner of the nori, bring it up and over the rice stack and hold it with your finger. Take the right corner of the nori and fold it so that it overlaps slightly with the first corner. Continue folding with the bottom and top corners until the rice stack is completely wrapped in the nori. Set it aside for 5 minutes.

    Repeat with the remaining ingredients. At this point the onigirazu are ready to eat or be packed into a bento. If you want them to be more visually appealing, carefully unwrap them and cut them in half with a sharp knife, then wrap each half separately in plastic wrap. 

Recipe Notes

  • To make the roasted garlic: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Cut off the top 1/3 of a head of garlic.  Wrap the head of garlic in a piece of parchment paper and place in the preheated oven, cut side up, and roast for 45 minutes.  Remove the roasted garlic from the oven and let it cool until it is cool enough to touch, then gently squeeze out the roasted cloves and discard the skin.
  • Letting the onigirazu sit for several minutes before cutting into them will make this step easier because the nori will hold together better. You can also pack the cut halves without wrapping them in plastic wrap, but I find that plastic wrap protects the halves from things like kids dropping their lunchbox, etc.  

*Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Lightlife.  As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }



Lynn Ross May 11, 2018 at 8:19 am

These look amazing! I have got to try that tempeh bacon, it looks amazing. Thank you for introducing me to onigirazu. My onigiri technique still isn’t great, but I can totally make onigirazu. I can’t wait to try making this one! P.S. That pic of Monkey is heart-melting. ❤️

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Mae May 15, 2018 at 12:05 pm

That picture of your baby is so cute! I have heard about tempe bacon before, but never tried it. I need to find that stuff somewhere because it looks so good. And I definitely need to try making onigirazu!

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Chery May 16, 2018 at 4:47 am

This is a wonderful dish. I had tried it and I’m all over it.

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wuxiaworld May 20, 2018 at 10:12 pm

This is my favorite. And thanks to this article I can do it myself

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