I don’t miss meat very much. I was never a big meat-eater, so giving it up a few years ago was really easy. But I did miss burgers. Not the meat so much…I liked the big, fat, juicy tomatoes, lettuce, red onions, pickles and perfectly toasted bun. So veggie burgers pretty much filled that void. Until I had the ahi tuna burger at J. Alexanders. I love it! It’s been on their “special” menu for the last year or so but they have yet to put it on the regular menu, so I fully expect to go one day and be told it’s gone, never to be had again.
I’ve been on a quest to find a recipe, one that was relatively simple, healthy, and tasty. I have tried a few variations, but they mostly ended up tasting like crab cakes. So yesterday I decided to 86 the bread crumbs and mayonnaise and try to keep it mostly tuna.
Surprisingly, even without an egg or mayo to bind it, they held together quite nicely! We were too hungry to wait for the grill to heat up, so I pan-fried them with a tiny bit of olive oil, and they were delicious!
The wasabi mayo was for Jeff, who likes a little spice, but mine was perfectly fine without it. I will say, start with a little less wasabi, and add more to taste. That stuff is strong!
The oven-fried potatoes were super easy…slice into strips, toss with a little olive or sesame oil, sprinkle with seasonings of your choice (I used kosher salt, coarse black pepper, garlic powder and finely chopped fresh rosemary and thyme). Bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes until browned, flipping at the halfway point.
This was seriously a simple meal. From start to finish…45 minutes. But I think next time I’ll make up the burgers in the morning and keep them in the fridge until cooking. They were extremely thick burgers, and 2-3 minutes on each side was plenty! If you use sushi quality tuna, you could cook them even less for rare.Print
- 1/4 cup mayo
- 1/2–1 tsp prepared wasabi paste (start with 1/2 tsp, increase to taste)
- Juice from 1/2 lime
- 2 8-oz. pieces of yellowfin or ahi tuna, roughly chopped
- 1–2 Tbsp sesame oil
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 3/4 tsp coarse ground black papper
- 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, leaves only, coarsely chopped
- 2 Tbsp diced scallions (can sub sweet white onions)
- 1 clove chopped garlic
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- Red onion, thinly sliced
- Tomato, sliced
- Avocado, sliced
- Whole-wheat hamburger buns
- First, make mayo. Whisk together mayo, wasabi, lime juice and salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl.
- Chop the tuna, place in food processor with cilantro, scallions, garlic, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Top with sesame oil. Pulse a few times until roughly ground. Don’t puree!!
- Form the mixture into two large burgers or 4-5 smaller ones. *If making large burgers, make sure your buns are large enough! These burgers don’t shrink up like beef does, since the fat content is so low.
- Cook on medium heat, either in grill pan on the grill or frying pan on stove coated with a little olive oil, 2-3 minutes each side (or to desired level of doneness).
- Toast buns, top with lettuce, tomato, onion and avocado. Use mayo sparingly, or to taste.