Spicy Tuna Burgers a BBQ Treat
In Provence, it is quite common to see fresh tuna displayed on a fishmonger’s stand. So what to do with that fresh catch? Of course, there is the classic Salad Niçoise (click here for recipes) or light up the grill and enjoy the Asian flavours in this recipe for Spicy Tuna Burgers.
Spicy Tuna Burgers
For the Burgers:
- 3/4 pound Tuna Fillet very cold
- 2 inch piece of Ginger peeled and coarsely grated
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
- 2 tbsp Fresh Chives chopped
- 1 tbsp Sesame-Ginger Mayonnaise see note below
- 1 Lime for zest
- 1 tsp Fish Sauce
- 1 tsp Sambal Oelek
- 1/2 tsp Crushed Coriander Seeds
- 4 basil leaves chopped
- 1 Hamburger Bun sliced in half horizontally
- 1 Kirby (pickling) Cucumber or a larger variety, peeled and seeded
- 2 tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
- 1 tsp Sugar
- Sesame-Ginger Mayonnaise for garnish, see note below
- Toasted Sesame Seeds for garnish
- Make the mayonnaise. This is best done a day in advance. You can also use commercial mayonnaise to which you will need to add some grated ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce and a little samba oelek. If you make fresh mayonnaise, you will have a lot leftover. If you doctor commercial mayonnaise, add the flavorings to 1/2 cup mayo, but use lesser amounts.
- Wash and slice cucumbers thinly. Toss them with the sugar and vinegar and let sit to marinate for at least 20 minutes, up to an hour.
- Dice the tuna finely - no large than 1/4 inch. (It is easier to do when the tuna is very cold - even partially frozen.)
- Mix all the burger ingredients well and form into two large patties.
- Cover and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes. Heat your grill - charcoal or gas - to high.
- When the grill is hot, oil the grate very well, as the tuna will stick.
- Place “burgers” on the grill and cook about 2 minutes per side, depending on how rare you like your tuna. When you flip them, move them to a portion of the grill that is oiled but has not yet been used. This will reduce sticking on the second side.
- Place cooked burgers on half a bun, top with a generous dollop of the mayonnaise, and arrange some pickled cucumber slices on top.
- Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
“Most catches of the Atlantic bluefin tuna are taken from the Mediterranean Sea, which is the most important bluefin tuna fishery in the world.” According to the World Wildlife Federation. Much of that tuna reaches wholesalers and finally retailers via the Port of Sète (read more here).