Tuna Burgers with Wasabi Mayonnaise

Bring on the Burgers!

Okay, so this weekend officially marks the beginning of Burger Season. I’m embarking on a burger bash that will probably go on all summer, or at least until I run out of charcoal.

And, for those of you who are interested, check me out on TV! The Build a Better Burger III Challenge is on Food Network this Monday, May 28th. I’m cringing in anticipation. At least I can tell you that I wasn’t one of the winners, and that the Iron Chef-style judging was a little grueling. My finalist recipe for Coconut Basil Chicken burgers is on the Food Network site.

Back to reality, these tuna burgers are at the top of my favorites list. Admittedly, the price of tuna has risen alarmingly since I last made these – I’m talking twenty bucks a pound – and I hesitated a moment before buying it. But after eating them, I can say it’s worth the splurge. And possibly, the price of tuna will vary if you happen to live next to an ocean.

The recipe is from Sara Foster and appeared in Cottage Living magazine. I didn’t change much; just switched panko for the bread crumbs and tweaked the seasoning a little.

I have to add that the wasabi mayonnaise is extra-tasty made with Kewpie mayonnaise (have a look at their interesting website) from Japan. It’s my new favorite condiment. Did you know that the Japanese are crazy about mayonnaise? Kewpie is smoother and eggier than my Hellmann’s and made with rice vinegar. I love the star tip on the container, which produces decorative mayonnaise swirls when you squeeze the container.

For more creative food-blogger burgers, have a look at Writing at the Kitchen Table. Freya and Paul are hosting Big Burger Ballyhoo. I can’t wait to see the results.

Tuna Burgers with Wasabi Mayonnaise

Makes 6 burgers

2 pounds very cold, skinless yellowfin tuna, cut into chunks (I chill the tuna in the freezer for 10 minutes before starting – it’s a lot easier to chop and handle)
1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/3 cup panko crumbs
2 green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
A few handfuls mixed salad greens
6 hamburger buns, split and toasted
2 avocados, peeled, pitted and sliced
Fresh chives

Wasabi Mayonnaise:
1 cup mayonnaise
2 minced green onions
2 teaspoons wasabi powder
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Place first 4 ingredients in a food processor. Pulse briefly, just until the mixture is roughly chopped. Add the panko, onions, ginger, soy sauce and pepper; pulse again to combine. Form into 6 patties and place on a baking sheet or shallow baking dish. Cover and chill 30 minutes.

2. Mix together all ingredients for the Wasabi Mayonnaise, cover and chill until serving time.

3. Grill the burgers over medium-high heat about 3 minutes per side. Be careful not to overcook; these are best removed from the grill rare and left loosely covered for a few minutes to finish cooking to medium-rare. Overcooked tuna will be dry.

4. Serve the burgers on lettuce lined buns and topped with the wasabi mayonnaise, avocado slices and chives.

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