Photo by Andrew Cebulka

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4 burgers

    Tuna Burgers
  • 1½ pounds tuna, ground or finely diced by hand
  • 2 tablespoons green onion, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoons crushed red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt sesame oil
  • 4 buns, preferably homemade
  • ½ cup black sesame mayonnaise (recipe follows)
  • 12 slices of tempura avocado (recipe follows)
  • 12 sprigs fresh cilantro
  • Black Sesame Mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup black sesame seeds, toasted
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons water
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seed
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • Tempura Avocado
  • 1 gallon canola oil oil
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup corn starch
  • ⅓ cup + 2 tablespoons ice-cold soda water,
  • Fine sea salt
  • 1 extra-firm, unripe avocado (do not use a soft avocado)


Chef’s Note
Cook a tuna burger as you would a tuna steak, on a very high-temperature grill.


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine tuna, green onion, crushed red pepper, salt, and sesame oil. Mix evenly and form into 4 equal-size patties. Place 4 burgers on a high-temperature grill and cook for 2 minutes on each side. These will be medium rare.
  2. Spread 1 tablespoon of black sesame mayo on the top and bottom of each bun. Place tuna burger on bottom bun, top each burger with 3 slices of tempura avocado and 3 sprigs of cilantro. Finish with top of bun.

Black Sesame Mayo

  1. In a blender, add sesame seeds and purée until smooth. Add egg yolks and water. Blend.
  2. Slowly add canola oil in a very thin stream, allowing mixture to emulsify. Still blending, finish with sesame oil, crushed red pepper, and salt. Refrigerate.
    Yield 1 pint

Tempura Avacado

  1. In a deep saucepan, bring canola oil to 350 degrees.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine flour and corn starch, using a whisk to incorporate evenly. Using a fork, slowly mix in soda water. Do not overmix.
  3. Cut avocado into quarters; remove skin and pit. Cut quarters into thirds to total 12 equal-size slices.
  4. In 2 batches, dredge 6 slices of avocado into tempura batter and add to oil. Cook for 3 minutes. Remove and place on paper towels; season with sea salt.
    Yield 12 slices

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