Friday, January 30, 2009

Tuna Burgers with Carrot-Ginger Sauce for Tyler Florence Fridays

My TFF recipe for this week, Tuna Burgers with Carrot-Ginger Sauce, is from Food Network Magazine (Feb/March 09) although it can also be found on the Food Network site here. It's from "Comfort Food Light", where Food Network stars (even Paula Dean!), lighten up comfort food dishes. I love ahi tuna and liked the idea of all the Asian flavors in this recipe.

The magazine says: "The fat in this burger is the heart-healthy, good-for-you kind from tuna, avocado and extra-virgin olive oil."

Tuna Burgers with Carrot-Ginger Sauce
Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence for Food Network Magazine
(Makes 4 servings)

For the Sauce
1 small carrot, roughly chopped
1 1/2-inch piece ginger, peeled
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
Pinch of sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the Burgers
1 pound sushi-grade tuna
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup spicy sprouts, for garnish
4 whole-grain hamburger buns
1/2 avocado, sliced

Prepare the sauce: Pulse the carrot and ginger in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce and sugar and process until smooth. Drizzle in 2 tablespoons water and combine; season with salt and pepper. Transfer the sauce to a bowl and set aside.

Prepare the burgers: Chop the tuna into chunks. Wipe out the food processor and add the tuna; pulse a few times to break up the pieces. In a bowl, mix 2 tablespoons olive oil, the soy sauce, lime juice, cilantro and ginger; season with salt and pepper. Pour over the tuna and process until well blended. Form into 4 patties; brush each lightly with the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil.

Preheat a grill or grill pan. Once hot, add the burgers and cook for 2 minutes on each side for rare, or to desired doneness.

Toss the sprouts in the carrot-ginger sauce. Place the burgers on buns and top with avocado and sprouts.

Per serving: Calories 435; Fat 22 g (Sat. 3.8 g; Mono. 11 g; Poly. 6 g); Cholesterol 43 mg; Sodium 662 mg; Carbohydrate 28 g; Fiber 5 g; Protein 32 g

Notes/Results:  Excellent!  The tuna burgers are quick and simple to make and the carrot-ginger puree adds a big punch of flavor. The ginger adds a great kick and I like the idea of tossing the sprouts in it so you aren't getting too much sauce. I was lucky enough to get some locally caught ahi tuna and most of the vegetables were locally grown and many were from my CSA box. I used some sprouted grain sesame hamburger buns from Ezekiel and added some baby spinach and julienned carrots for some extra vitamins and nutrients. In keeping with the Asian flavor profile, I served the burgers with some marinated Japanese Cucumber Salad (my recipe is below), for a nice light crunch. This recipe is another keeper, healthy and delicious and the flavors would also work nicely with salmon and other fish, as well as ground turkey. Yeah Tyler!

I also made a delicious salad the next day with a warmed tuna burger on top of spinach and romaine, with avocado, radish sprouts, carrots, tomatoes, the marinated cucumbers and some ground flax seed and dressed it with the carrot-ginger sauce.

Japanese Cucumber Salad

2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 pinch sugar
salt and black pepper to taste
1 Japanese cucumber

Mix vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, salt and pepper together in a bowl. Thinly slice cucumber and place slices in bowl, tossing them in marinade.  Refrigerate for an hour or two and serve. 

Take a look at what the other Tyler Florence Friday bloggers made, get their feedback on the Tyler recipes they chose this week and learn how you can participate in Tyler Florence Fridays at the TFF site here.

Happy Aloha Friday!


  1. yummy this sounds filling yet healthy!

  2. This looks great! I have been meaning to try tuna or salmon burgers for a while, and I've really been on a ginger kick lately (gorging myself on dark chocolate covered ginger, that is). How do you know if the fish in your supermarket is sushi-grade or not? Does it have to be labeled as such or do you have to ask?

  3. Now that is a great feast! A delight for the senses, to be sure. I love that it is so healthy and so wonderfully colourful and flavourful.

  4. Wow - it's all so healthy I can't stand it!

    Seriously, what a delicious, healthy lunch/dinner. It all looks so good!

  5. Now you are making me drool. Never thought of making any kind of fish burgers before. However I don't know what sushi-grade is.

  6. mmmm. I've made salmon burgers before and they are messy, but yummy (recipe is on the Crispy Cook) but now I'll have to try this tuna burger recipe. I'm about ready for some BBQ weather (10 degrees and icy today!).

    My Language of Baklava post is up if you would like to check it out.

  7. That is one big burger, how delicious!! And such great flavors! Your cucumber salad looks yummy, too.

  8. Kat--thanks! it was really good.

    Joanne--usually it is marked or you can ask. I think personally that for a burger, as long as it is a good quality tuna without a lot of fatty muscle you are fine. I bought a local tuna that was not sushi grade and it worked well and was much cheaper. When I am eating it raw, then I buy the sushi grade.

    Natashya--thanks it was full of flavor and color!

    Megan--I love it when it tastes so could you don't even know its healthy! ;-)

    Ivy--sushi grade fish generally is a higher grde fish that is frozen at a higher temperature for a period of time to make sure any bacteria are killed and you can safely eat it raw. As I mentioned to Joanne, I think you can use a good grade of tuna from a reputable source and be fine since you are cooking this.

    Rachel-yea! I will come check it out. I have to get working on mine. Am thinking about kibbe. ;-)

    Reeni--thanks! It was good and very filling! ;-)

  9. sounds seriously delicious. i love asian flavors, ahi tuna and all things ginger. bookmarking this one!

  10. This sounds yummy! Did you sprout the radishes?

  11. Karen--thanks! I love Asian flavors and ahi too!

    Pam--no but they came from my CSA box. I have never done my own sprouts before but it would be fun to try.

  12. AMAZING soups! I love your mom's chicken barley, I'm going to try that!


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