Spicy Tuna Burger

October  4, 2022
1 Ratings
  • Makes 4
Author Notes

This is isn’t your basic bland, canned tuna sandwich you may have found in your lunch box as a kid. This, my friend, is on the other side of the spectrum.

We mixed fresh, sushi-grade tuna with ginger and scallions, added avocado as a binder, seared the patty quickly, then topped it with a wasabi-lime mayo and crispy romaine lettuce tossed with an tangy-salty-sweet dressing. These burgers are light, flavorful, and sure to satisfy your summer burger craving…without packing on the pounds. —Kathleen | Hapa Nom Nom

Test Kitchen Notes

I was looking for an alternative to a regular old burger, and this recipe jumped out. I used a serrano chili instead of a Thai Bird chili, and I also used freshly grated wasabi because I had it on hand. Other than that I followed this lovely recipe exactly and was rewarded with a terrific sandwich! The dressed lettuce and the addition of the avocado made this burger a winner. —Annie stader

What You'll Need
  • 1 pound fresh, sushi-grade tuna steak
  • 1 scallion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ginger, minced
  • 1 Thai bird chile, minced
  • 1/2 avocado, mashed
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 sesame seed buns
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons wasabi paste
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 limes, juiced (about 6 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/4 cups romaine lettuce, shredded
  1. Dice the tuna into 1/4-inch chunks and put in a large bowl. Add the scallion, cilantro, 1 teaspoon ginger, chile, avocado, salt, and pepper. Gently work the mixture with your hands to incorporate all of the ingredients. Divide the contents of the bowl into 4 equal portions and shape them into 1-inch thick patties. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes, and up to 2 hours.
  2. In the meantime, make the wasabi mayonnaise. In a small bowl, add the wasabi paste, mayonnaise, the juice of one lime, and 1 teaspoon of ginger. Stir well to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Just before you’re ready to cook the tuna burgers, make the dressing. In a medium-sized bowl, add the juice of two limes, fish sauce, orange juice, rice vinegar, and garlic. Stir well, then add in the shredded lettuce and toss to coat. Set aside until ready to use.
  4. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the tuna burgers for 2 to 3 minutes per side -- don’t overcook or they will be dry. Transfer to a clean plate to rest.
  5. With the remaining oil in the pan, toast the hamburger buns for 1 minute,adding more oil if needed.
  6. To assemble, place the burgers on the bun bottoms. Top each with wasabi mayo and dressed lettuce. Cover each burger with the bun tops and serve immediately.
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1 Review

sukifelix October 18, 2016
Made this avocado marinade for the tuna burger tonight & it was delicious! I added a bit of soy sauce to the avocado marinade, which just gave it an extra punch.
I left out the salad, but this recipe is amazing, simple, healthy, and quick to assemble.