Thai Tuna Burgers with Lemon Ginger Mayonnaise

4 08 2010
This recipe has been a hit in my kitchen for at least 10 years. We always pull it out in the summer for a great barbecue. I have served it to people who swear they don’t like fish, and they have completely devoured one of these burgers. Any leftover mayonnaise is good for making Asian style tuna fish sandwiches the next day.

Serves 4          Moderate difficulty

1 English cucumber, thinly sliced

1/4 red onion, thinly sliced

4 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tsp agave

salt and pepper to taste

2 tsp fresh ginger, grated

1 garlic clove, minced

1 jalapeno or serrano chili, minced

2 tbsp Asian fish sauce

2 tbsp cilantro, minced

1 tbsp basil, minced

1 1/2 pounds fresh tuna, chopped or ask the fishmonger to grind it

1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil

4 hamburger buns

2 tbsp dry roasted peanuts, finely chopped

Ginger Lemon Mayonnaise:

1 cup mayonnaise

1 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp cilantro, minced

2 tbsp chives, minced

1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

2 tsp fresh ginger, finely minced

zest of one lemon, grated

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

freshly ground black pepper

In a medium bowl, toss the cucumbers, onion, vinegar, agave, and 1 tsp salt. Season with pepper and let stand for 1 hour at room temperature. (Can be made in advance and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before serving.)

In a mortar or a bowl, mash the ginger with the garlic, chile, and a sprinkling of agave. Stir in the fish sauce, cilantro, and basil. Mix the chopped tuna with the ginger paste to combine. Shape the tuna mixture into 4 patties about 1 inch thick. Set them on a plate lined with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients for the Lemon Ginger Mayonnaise.

Light a grill. In a small bowl, combine the vegetable oil and sesame oil. Lightly brush the burgers and the cut sides of  the buns with oil. When the grill is hot, brush the grate with oil. Grill the burgers for about 6 minutes, turning once for medium rare. Place the burgers on a warmed platter. Grill the cut sides of the buns quickly.

Drain the cucumber relish. Put a burger on a bun. Top with lots of the Mayonnaise, cucumber relish, and chopped peanuts. Cover with top bun and serve.


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