Tuna Burgers


Inspired by the flavors of Asian cooking, this pan-seared tuna burger has garlic and ginger mixed right into the juicy yellowfin. A crisp, acidic coleslaw balances the rich meatiness of the tuna. Serve our Wasabi Deviled Eggs as a side dish.


For the Burgers

  • 1 ½ pounds yellowfin tuna, cut into 1-inch pieces, chilled

  • 1 ½ teaspoons minced garlic

  • 1 ½ teaspoons minced ginger

  • 1 ½ teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

For the Coleslaw

  • 2 tablespoons rice-wine vinegar

  • ½ teaspoon sugar

  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt

  • ½ cup grated carrot (from 1 carrot)

  • ½ cup grated radish (from 3 to 4 radishes)

  • 1 cup cored and thinly sliced Napa cabbage (from ½ head cabbage)

  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced diagonally

  • ½ teaspoon black sesame seeds

For Assembly

  • cup mayonnaise

  • 4 braided challah rolls, split


  1. Make the burgers: Fit a food grinder with a grinding plate with about 1/4-inch holes. Grind tuna into a bowl. Add garlic, ginger, lemon zest, mustard, salt, and pepper. Mix gently, and shape into four 1-inch-thick patties. Cover, and refrigerate until cold and firm, about 30 minutes.

  2. Make the coleslaw: Whisk vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Mix carrot, radish, cabbage, scallion, and sesame seeds in a medium bowl. Toss slaw with vinegar mixture, and refrigerate up to 1 hour.

  3. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook patties to medium-rare, about 2 minutes per side. Wipe skillet clean, and return to heat. Spread mayonnaise on cut sides of roll halves, and heat, mayonnaise side down, until golden, about 1 minute. Divide burgers and slaw among bottom halves of buns. Sandwich with top halves.

Cook's Notes

Tuna holds together as a patty better when freshly ground than when finely chopped. If you don't have a grinder at home, ask someone at the fish market to grind the meat on a coarse setting. These delicate patties will fall apart if cooked directly on the grill.

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