I don’t like Tofu. I hate Tofu. That’s it, I said it. Why im telling you this? Well, every time I crave for some Asian recipe, or go to an asian restaurant, the vegan or vegetarian option has Tofu, so I have to eat it making faces and i don’t really enjoy it, and i really wish i could. Of course there are plenty of asian recipes that don’t include tofu, but us, south americans, just can’t conceive that idea, so this days im trying to build asian inspired dishes that are flavourful and eye-catching with no tofu at all !
And then I saw pictures of Onigirazu on Pinterest and i fell in love immediately, where have you been all my life? It is the perfect sandwich ! It has all the sushi elements we love but in a sandwich form, and we love sandwiches too! The best part is that the possibilities are infinite, you can put anything, i really mean anything you like inside. I saw lots of tutorial videos on YouTube this week about Onigirazu folding and i saw one of a guy putting fried chicken on it ! so if you are a carnivore you can definitely go beyond the raw fish here.
The ingredients I choose to put on mine are simply my favorite vegetables, most of them raw for extra benefits and crunchinesss. They are super portable so they are perfect for your office lunch, your picnic, your hike snack, you name it, and you can keep them in the fridge for several days (properly wrapped).
I also made two different dressings. One is an avocado tahini dressing and the other is a spicy Siracha vegan mayo. Did I ever tell you I suck at eating hot spicy food? I do ! I’m terrible, i have no tolerance for it, and i hate it. It’s also embarrassing because hot spice is an everyday thing in my country, and i seem to be the only freak who can’t it eat, im also a family embarrassment. My family is super proud of how hot they like food and how strong their tongues are, so im on a special tongue training. I am adding little by little chiles or ajies to my food, and i think that by the end of this year I’ll be a proper Latin chile eater.
Please fell free to put tofu on your Onigirazu, don’t let my hate for it ruin your sandwich. Maybe my next tongue training will be eating tofu until I like it.
Folding your Onigirazu (thanks mom for being my hand model):
Onigirazu – Sushi Sandwich
makes 4 sandwiches
- 4 nori sheets
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 4 radishes, sliced
- 1 cucumber, sliced
- 1 carrot, sliced
- 1 handful baby spinach
- Cling film to wrap
For the sushi rice:
- 1 cup sushi rice
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
For the baked sweet potatoes
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and sliced
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp maple syrup or sugar cane syrup (miel de caña)
For the pickled red cabbage:
- 1/2 small cabbage, sliced thinly
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
For the Siracha dressing:
- 3 tbsp Tahini (store-bought or you can make your own. Recipe here )
- 2 tbsp Siracha (add more if you like it really hot)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 3 tbsp water
- 1 tsp salt
1. Start with the pickled cabbage. Put the sliced cabbage in a glass jar. Mix the rest of the ingredients in a small pan and take to a gentle simmer. Pour this mix over the cabbage and let it rest for at least 30 min uncovered.
2. For the sweet potatoes, preheat the oven to 150 C / 390 F. Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl and coat the sweet potato sliced with this mix. Use your hands. Place the sliced in an oven tray and bake for 15 minutes or until fork tender and slightly brown.
3. For the sushi rice: Rinse the rice in a strainer or colander until the water runs clear. Combine with water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 12 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it rest covered for another 10 minutes. Uncover and transfer to a mixing bowl. In a small saucepan, combine the rice vinegar, sugar and salt. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Cool, then stir into the cooked rice little by little, mixing it with chopsticks. When you pour this in to the rice it will seem very wet. Keep stirring and the rice will dry as it cools. Let it cool completely.
4. For the Siracha dressing: Put all the ingredients in a mixer or a high-speed blender, and mix until creamy and smooth.
5. Assembly: Cut a piece of cling film, slightly bigger than your Nori sheet and place it over a cutting board. Place your Nori sheet on top with the bright side down, and one corner pointing at you (see pictures above).
6. Wet your hands (keep a bowl with water close to you) and place a handful of cooked rice on the middle, forming a compact square, then put a layers of the other ingredients on top. I did mine using different ingredients on every sandwich. Layer them as you wish. Once you finish your stack, fold the right corner of the Nori sheet to the center, wet the edge of the left corner and fold it to the center, repeat the process with bottom and top corners. Dont forget to wet the ends of each corner to “glue” them together. (see pictures above). Finally wrap you package with the film and put something heavy on top, like a plate. Let it rest while you make the other sandwiches.
7. To serve, remove the film and cut in half with a wet sharp knife. Add the Siracha dressing on top or serve it on a small plate to dip your sandwiches on it 😉