Ahi Tuna Umami Burger

I love ordering salmon or tuna burgers at restaurants. Unlike beef, seafood is mild enough to stand up to different flavors and toppings without going, well, over the top. Ahi tuna, a sushi staple, works beautifully in this Asian-influenced burger. Wasabi, dijon mustard, ginger and garlic infuse the burger with oh-so-Umami flavor, while the Soy & Sesame Mayo really round out the Asian-fusion vibe (wondering what umami is? Some call it the 5th taste – it’s the savory sensation from foods like Parmesan cheese, soy sauce and some vegetables). 

A few tips – snag a couple of containers of wasabi the next time you get sushi, and while you’re at it, take some soy sauce, too. See? Cooking for kleptos was never easier!

Ahi Tuna Umami Burger

Serves 4


  • 1 teaspoon wasabi paste or powder
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 T. peeled and finely minced fresh ginger
  • 1 T. peeled and finely minced garlic
  • 1 ½ T. neutral oil such as peanut or canola, plus more for cooking
  • 1 pound fresh, high quality ahi tuna, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 whole wheat hamburger buns or whole wheat English muffins
  • ½ cup Soy & Sesame Mayo (recipe below)
  • 1 cup sprouts or arugula


  1. Combine the wasabi, mustard and water in a small bowl.
  2. Scrape it into a food processor along with the pepper, salt, ginger, garlic, and oil.
  3. Pulse it all together to make a flavorful paste.
  4. Add the tuna and pulse just to combine—be careful not to over process the tuna as you want your burgers to have texture.
  5. Form the mixture into 4 burgers and set in the refrigerator for at least an hour (up to overnight) to let the flavors really settle in.
  6. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet. Add the shallots and sauté for about 10 minutes, until they get soft and sweet and a little brown. Reserve.
  7. Preheat your grill, grill pan or heavy-duty skillet over high heat. Rub the tuna burgers with a little oil and cook for 2 or 3 minutes a side, to desired doneness. Grill or toast the buns. Spread the buns with the mayo, pile on the sautéed shallots and a sprouts or arugula and tuck in the burgers.

Soy & Sesame Mayo

Yield: 1/2 cup


  • ½ cup mayonnaise (reduced fat or regular)
  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • Sriracha or your favorite hot chili sauce, to taste


  1. Whisk all ingredients together, adding Sriracha to reach desired level of heat.

-Adapted from My Father’s Daughter by Gwyneth Paltrow


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