We love to offer these fresh healthy tuna burgers when having a backyard barbecue. Sometimes Joel and I will make beef and tuna patties, giving our guests a choice. The best part is that you can make them ahead of time and have them ready when it is time to grill. I often will prepare them in the morning and keep them covered in the fridge for later.
This fresh tuna starts as tuna steaks and then after cutting and chilling,
can be easily prepared into patties.
This recipe below is pretty basic with no one ingredient overpowering the flavor of the tuna. Like you would with beef patties, feel free to add more of any ingredient in the recipe below or don't use something if you don't like it. I add the mayonnaise and olive oil to help the lean tuna hold together in a patty form. We love wasabi mayonnaise that I purchase at Trader Joe's although it is also super easy to make it yourself.
For our Backyard Barbecue Gr8 Dinner, we actually made the tuna burgers on homemade hamburger buns as sliders (like Debbie makes her salmon sliders) because we also offered beef sliders and portobello mushroom sliders. This smaller size made it easier for everyone to have one of each.
Joel's favorite way to eat the tuna burgers is either using only half of the bun or no bun at all. It is perfect on top of salad. On the other hand, I love the whole bun, top and bottom, spread with wasabi mayo and sandwiching fresh tomatoes, more red onion, avocado and arugula.
Fresh Healthy Tuna Burgers
- 1 1/2 pounds fresh tuna steaks
- 1/3 cup red onion, minced
- 1 Tablespoon ginger, finely grated
- 1 jalapeño, stemmed,seeded and minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 Tablespoons wasabi mayonnaise , or regular mayonnaise
- 3 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- olive oil, for the grill or grill pan
- Cut the tuna into chunks about a 1" cube and lay onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Cover the tuna with plastic wrap and place the sheet of tuna into the freezer for about 15 minutes to get very cold.
- Also put a medium ceramic or glass bowl in the freezer. You will use this cold bowl to mix the tuna with the other ingredients.
- Add to a food processor the onion, ginger, jalapeño, garlic, mayonnaise, olive oil and sesame oil and pulse until combined together. The mixture will be slightly chunky and not completely smooth.
- Remove the ingredients from the processor (no need to clean it) and place in a small bowl. Keep this bowl in the refrigerator until ready to mix with the tuna.
- Remove the baking sheet from the freezer and place half of the tuna into the processor and pulse a few times until it looks like ground hamburger. Add the ground tuna to the cold bowl from the freezer and then repeat with the remaining tuna.
- Add the small bowl of ingredients to the bowl of ground tuna and mix gently with a spatula until all the ingredients are combined.
- Preheat the grill to medium high heat.
- Make 5 patties each about 1/2" thick and season both sides with salt and pepper.
- Brush the grill or grill pan with some olive oil so that the patties will not stick.
- Grill the patties for about 2-3 minutes on each side.
Gr8 Make Ahead Tip:
- Tuna patties can be made earlier in the day before grilling. Line a baking sheet or plate with parchment paper and place the patties on the paper. Cover the plate with plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator. Grill the patties directly from the refrigerator.