Tuna burgers aren’t quite as popular, in my opinion, as salmon burgers. It’s probably because salmon is more fatty and moist, so burgers made with prepared salmon are more apt to be moist and tender.
Tuna doesn’t have the richness of salmon, but it is delicate and flaky, and can definitely lend itself to a burger-type preparation.
So whenever I grill a large amount of tuna, I saved the leftover tuna for burgers.
The fun thing with tuna burgers is that so many approaches can be taken. Do you want Asian burgers? Easy! Do you want them Indian? Really easy! Mexican? Sure!
For these burgers, I decided on Mediterranean flavors.
Mediterranean-Inspired Tuna Burgers
Leftover grilled tuna, about 8 ounces, at room temperature
2 tablespoons good mayonnaise
Roasted red bell peppers, diced
Kalamata olives, diced
2 shallots, minced
Crumbled goat cheese
Bread crumbs, as necessary
Crumble or chop the tuna and place in a small bowl; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until smooth. Whisk in the mayonnaise. Add the bell peppers, olives, shallots, and parsley and gently stir. Season with the paprika, salt, and pepper.
Combine with the flaked tuna. Add goat cheese to taste.
Slowly add bread crumbs just until the mixture firms up. (See note.) Form four burgers, place them in a baking dish, and refrigerate for at least one hour.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake the burgers until lightly browned, about 15-20 minutes.
I included a capered mayonnaise with these burgers, which I served without bread.
A good mustard or mustard-mayo mixture would be good, too. Or mayonnaise mixed with paprika creme.
I hope you can tell how tender the tuna burgers are.
Note: When I catered ladies’ lunches for one special client, she often asked me to make crab cakes. They weren’t that unique, but I do believe that they were popular because of their moistness. If you make crab cakes or tuna burgers meat-heavy instead of breadcrumb-heavy, they are a little harder to work with, but they will be tastier and much more enjoyable.