Tuna Burgers

Tuna Burgers

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 6
Homemade mayonnaise tastes much better than jarred and is easy to prepare: In a bowl, combine 1 egg yolk, 1 tsp. Dijon mustard and a pinch of coarse salt. Whisk together. Very gradually whisk in 3?4 cup olive oil, a drop at a time, until the mixture begins to thicken. Continue whisking and pouring in the remaining oil in a thin stream. Season with freshly ground white pepper. Add 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice or more, to taste. Store in a covered jar in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. Makes 3?4 cup.


  • 1 1⁄2 lb. tuna fillet, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbs. coarsely grated yellow onion and its juice
  • 2 Tbs. mayonnaise
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

For the lemon-chive mayonnaise:

  • 1⁄4 cup fresh or prepared mayonnaise
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs. snipped fresh chives
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. hot-pepper sauce

  • 8 slices brioche or challah, each 1 inch thick,
     or 4 kaiser rolls, split
  • 4 crisp lettuce leaves
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 1 Tbs. snipped fresh chives
  • 2 dill pickles, cut into lengthwise wedges


Prepare a fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill.

In a bowl, combine the chopped tuna, onion and its juice, mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Shape into 4 firm patties about 3 inches in diameter and 1 1?2 inches thick. Cover and chill in the freezer for no more than 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the lemon-chive mayonnaise: In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, salt, pepper, lemon juice, chives, soy sauce and hot-pepper sauce. Set aside.

Using a wide spatula, carefully place the tuna patties on the grill. Grill the patties, gently turning once, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes total for medium-rare, 8 minutes total for medium. At the same time, lightly toast the bread slices on the grill. Transfer to individual plates.

Place the tuna patties on half of the bread slices. Top with the lettuce leaves, tomato slices and chives. Garnish with wedges of dill pickle. Serve immediately, with the lemon-chive mayonnaise on the side. Serves 4.

Note: This recipe uses raw egg. Raw eggs run a risk of being infected with salmonella or other bacteria, which can lead to food poisoning. This risk is of most concern to small children, older people, pregnant women and anyone with a compromised immune system. If you have health and safety concerns, do not consume raw egg, or seek out a pasteurized egg product to replace it.

Variation Tips: If you like, mix 1 lb. tuna with 1?2 lb. white fish, such as halibut or sole. To cook on the stovetop, use a lightly oiled preheated grill pan over high heat.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Fish, by Shirley King (Simon & Schuster, 2002).
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