Yellowfin Tuna Burger with Japanese Cucumber Relish & Wasabi Aioli

Sure a tuna burger isn’t exactly Asian. But the bold flavors work so well with tuna that I am sure I’ll be forgiven for this one.

Yellowfin Tuna Burger with Japanese Cucumber Relish & Wasabi Aioli 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 2Source Adapted from McCormick & SmickPublished

Choose something sustainable like pole-and-line caught yellowfin, yellowtail or albacore.


  • 2 teaspoon wasabi powder
  • 1 teaspoon orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 3 tablespoon pickled ginger, chopped
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, separated
  • 1½ cup japanese cucumber thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 red onion, half cut into rings and the other half cut into ¼‑inch dice, separated
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • .75 pound yellowfin tuna, roughly chopped
  • ½ tablespoon asian chili paste
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 whole wheat buns, lightly toasted
  • canola oil for saute pan
  • alfalfa sprouts, to taste


Make the wasabi aioli: Combine wasabi powder, orange juice, lime juice, 1 tablespoon pickled ginger in the bowl of a mini food processor, or mortar and pestle. Puree or grind until completely smooth. Scrape the mixture into a bowl. Add 1‑cup mayonnaise and mix well to combine. Refrigerate the aioli until ready to use. You will have more than you need, but it will keep for up to 2 weeks refrigerated. Make the relish: Combine the cucumber slices, red onion rings, rice vinegar, sugar and ½ teaspoon salt in a bowl; toss to combine. Set aside at least 1 hour. Or refrigerate up to 1 day before using. Make the burger mixture: Pulse the tuna in a food processor 12 or 15 times, scraping down the sides halfway, to create pea-sized pieces. You may alternatively use a chef’s knife. Scrape the tuna into a large mixing bowl and add the diced red onion, remaining pickled ginger, chili paste, soy sauce, sesame oil, remaining 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, Panko breadcrumbs and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Blend well and form into 2 one-inch thick patties. Place on a plate and refrigerate, covered for at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours. Lightly oil a cast iron or non-stick skillet and then heat it over medium heat. Gently lay the tuna patties onto the heated surface. Let them cook undisturbed, about 3 minutes until browned on one side. Flip and cook an additional 3 or 4 minutes until barely cooked through. Make the burgers: Lay the buns out on a work surface. Put a small amount of sprouts on the bottom halves, then some of the Japanese cucumber relish. Top each with a tuna burger, then spread a bit of the wasabi aioli on top of them. Cover with bun tops and serve.