Recipes: Asian-Style Tuna

I’m not a huge fan of burgers, mostly because I find them so difficult to eat without the patty edging its way out the back of the bun and all of the juices running down my arm. However, I absolutely loved this first recipe. It’s light and fresh tasting, combining the flavours of Japan and South-East Asia into a western dish. Fusion at its best. The sweet and crunchy pickled salad takes this burger from pretty good to spectacular.

I had a piece of tuna left over from making the burgers, so the next day I turned it into a fresh and tasty lunch bite, using up some of the ginger-lemon mayonnaise in an Asian-flavoured coleslaw-style salad. Versatility with ingredients means less waste and easy throw together meals!

Asian Tuna Burger

Asian Tuna Burger

Asian Tuna Burger


For the pickle:

2 Kirby cucumbers, thinly sliced (either into rounds or ribbons)

1/4 medium red onion, thinly sliced

3 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tbsp + 1 tsp sugar

salt and pepper

For the burger:

2 tsp finely grated fresh ginger

1 clove garlic

1 green chile, seeded and minced

2 tbsp fish sauce

2 tbsp coriander, finely chopped

1 tbsp basil, finely chopped

680g sushi-quality tuna

1 1/2 tbsp vegetable or groundnut oil

1 1/2 tsp Asian sesame oil

4 seeded burger buns

2 tablespoons finely chopped dry-roasted peanuts

For the ginger-lemon mayonnaise:

1 cup mayonnaise

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp coriander, finely chopped

2 tbsp spring onion, finely chopped

1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

2 tsp finely grated fresh ginger

zest of 1 lemon

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

black pepper


For the ginger-lemon mayonnaise:

– combine all ingredients, cover and store in the fridge until needed

For the pickle:

– place cucumber and red onion in a bowl with vinegar, 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp salt and a pinch of black pepper, then cover with cling film and leave at room temperature for at least 1 hour

For the burger:

– grind garlic, ginger, chilli and remaining 1 tsp sugar in a pestle and mortar to form a paste, then stir in fish sauce, coriander and basil

– slice tuna into 1/2cm cubes (or smaller for a ‘smoother’ textures patty), then combine with the paste and refrigerate for 15 mins.

– shape mixture in 4 1″ thick patties, then wrap each burger tightly in cling film and refrigerate for a further 20 minutes to firm up

– heat a large skillet over a medium heat

– combine sesame and vegetable/groundnut oil in a small bowl, then brush each burger with the oil

– fry the burgers for about 3 minutes on each side for medium-rare, then set aside

– meanwhile, drain your cucumber and red onion salad

– oil the same skillet with your oil mix, then slice burger buns in half and place cut-side down in skillet to toast

– to assemble your burgers, spoon 1 tbsp ginger-lemon mayo onto the bottom bun half, then place on burger and top with pickled cucumber and red onion

– place on top of bun and serve

*serves 4 (or 2 hungry bellies!)

Seared Tuna with Asian Coleslaw Salad

Seared Tuna with Asian Coleslaw Salad

Seared Tuna with Asian Coleslaw Salad


1 sushi-quality tuna steak

1/4 avocado, cubed

4 cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 medium carrot, julienned

1/4 orange bell pepper, julienned

1/2 beetroot, julienned

4 sugar snap peas, julienned

handful of cos or gem lettuce, shredded

handful of fresh coriander, torn

handful of fresh basil, torn

1 tbsp ginger-lemon mayonnaise (see recipe above)

1 tsp groundnut oil

salt and black pepper


– heat a skillet over a medium-high heat

– rub tuna steak with oil and season well with salt and pepper

– sear tuna for 30 secs-1 minute, depending on how ‘raw’ you want it (don’t forget the ends!)

– toss together all coleslaw ingredients and mix with mayonnaise

– place coleslaw on plate, season and set tuna steak on top

*serves 1

**upon reflection, this dish would look much better if the tuna was sliced, then place on the coleslaw

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