Amanda & Merrill

Tuna Burgers with Wasabi Ginger Mayo

June 14, 2011

Tuna Burgers with Wasabi Ginger Mayo

- Merrill

About a decade ago, when I was living in Boston and working as a personal chef, my cooking repertoire was a little different than it is now. Finger food abounded (I was catering a lot of cocktail parties), and my recipes were heavy on Asian flavors like lemongrass, cilantro and ginger. (My go-to guacamole was "Thai-inspired" and included fish sauce, scallions and the aforementioned lemongrass and ginger. It was actually pretty tasty.)

Shop the Story

As we all do, I've now moved onto a different set of tried-and-true recipes. But recently I revisited my old stomping grounds for one evening and dug out a recipe for tuna burgers that I used to make all the time back in the old days -- both as sliders for cocktail party gigs and as normal, human-sized burgers for dinners with friends. I came across the original recipe in a Williams-Sonoma cookbook called Fresh & Light and fell in love with its clean, fresh flavors. Chopped sushi-grade tuna is mixed with fresh ginger and scallions, molded into patties, pan fried and then topped with cucumber, sprouts and a zippy pickled ginger and wasabi-infused mayonnaise.

I've altered the proportions over the years, upping the wasabi and fresh ginger, and I use a full egg instead of the recommended egg white, as well as regular mayo rather than fat-free. Instead of stopping at medium-rare, I like to cook the burgers just through -- I find that a little bit of heat makes the ginger and scallions really sing. And finally, I serve the tuna burgers on brioche rolls instead of the sesame bagels called for in the original -- they make for a much more delicate burger, and their richness is a nice complement to all the clean, fresh flavors.

Tuna Burgers with Wasabi Ginger Mayonnaise

Adapted from Fresh & Light

Serves 6

Tuna Burgers:

  • 4 scallions, white and light green parts only, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh ginger
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 pounds sushi-grade ahi tuna, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 box broccoli or alfalfa sprouts
  • 6 brioche rolls

Wasabi Ginger Mayonnaise:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons prepared wasabi
  • 6 tablespoons finely chopped pickled ginger (the pink, sweet kind you get with sushi)

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Order now

A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

Order now

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • chefcarla
  • boulangere
  • sygyzy
  • Lizthechef
  • francesca gilberti
    francesca gilberti
I'm a native New Yorker, Le Cordon Bleu graduate, former food writer/editor turned entrepreneur, mother of two, and unapologetic lover of cheese.


chefcarla June 20, 2011
Love all the ginger in your version, Merrill! I have another version at that's a little more complicated, but a favorite at our house. Can't wait to try yours.
Merrill S. June 20, 2011
Thanks! I'll have to check yours out too.
boulangere June 18, 2011
Prepared these tonight. Rave reviews.
Merrill S. June 18, 2011
I'm so glad!
sygyzy June 14, 2011
How do I get a cool badge like you guys in my comments?

"David is food52's biggest fan."
Merrill S. June 17, 2011
We'll let you know when we implement that particular badge!
Lizthechef June 14, 2011
You have inspired me to revisit this terrific recipe - I have that cookbook too!
Merrill S. June 14, 2011
A fellow fan! Nice to know I'm not alone.
boulangere June 14, 2011
Ay yi yi. This is the new best thing I've ever heard of.
Merrill S. June 14, 2011
Well, thanks!
boulangere June 14, 2011
Making them Friday night.
francesca G. June 14, 2011
Mini-sesame bagels sound hilarious -- fully in support of the switch to brioche!