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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