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Fresh Tuna Burgers with Ginger & Cilantro

Scott Phillips

Servings: four.

The key to a good tuna burger is to avoid overprocessing and overcooking. Cook them on the stovetop so you have better heat control and can ensure that they stay a nice, moist medium rare inside. Serve with the Thai-Style Dipping Sauce.


  • 1 lb. fresh sushi-grade tuna fillet
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped red onion or scallion
  • 2 Tbs. mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. minced fresh hot green or red chile, such as cayenne, Thai bird, or serrano
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. canola oil
  • Thai-Style Dipping Sauce 

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 320
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 160
  • Fat (g): 18
  • Saturated Fat (g): 2.5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 6
  • Cholesterol (mg): 45
  • Sodium (mg): 1000
  • Carbohydrates (g): 10
  • Fiber (g): 0
  • Protein (g): 27


  • With a very sharp knife, cut the tuna into 1/4-inch dice. Alternatively, cut the tuna into 1-inch chunks and pulse in a food processor until just chopped, about 4 quick pulses. take care not to overprocess. Gently stir in the cilantro, onion, mayonnaise, ginger, chile, 3/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Shape the tuna into 4 equal 1-inch-thick patties. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 20 minutes and up to 4 hours.

    Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the tuna burgers until nicely browned on both sides but still pink in the center, 2 to 4 minutes total. Don’t overcook or the burgers will be dry.

Serve with Rice Noodle Salad and Lemongrass Lemonade to drink.


Rate or Review

Reviews (21 reviews)

  • JonathanBS | 04/10/2022

    This was delicious! I served it with the suggested Thai-Style Dipping Sauce and Rice Noodle Salad. I made a slight variation by substituting some sriracha aioli for the mayonnaise, and some nice fresh standard grade tuna for the sushi-grade tuna. When I make it net time I'll probably bump up the portion sizes a bit.

  • Indyroma | 04/05/2021

    I have made this recipe many times now, and it is DELICIOUS. I do not buy sushi grade tuna fillets because it is too pricey - I just buy frozen Ahi tuna steaks and dice them when thawed. The dipping sauce is great (which I double) - and it is a cheap but very delicious meal (when using the steaks).

  • beartrouble | 07/04/2018

    This recipe is as absurd as can ever be suggested. SUSHI GRADE tuna is two to three times the price of beef tenderloin which is already too pricey to use except for top-end, "I am more pretentious than you" carpaccio or tartare. (Top sirloin works better for those and tastes better.)
    If you are going to lay out the big bucks for sushi grade anything use it as the price demands: in sushi or something raw but don't waste it in a burger,

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