Spicy Tuna Burgers – August Kosher Linkup

A few years ago, I bought a meat grinder. I was excited to grind my own meat and make burgers and meatballs all the time. Turns out, I didn’t use it much. I don’t really eat that much meat, though I did make these amazing brisket burgers. Then I realized that I can use it for things other than just ground meat. Tuna! Since I’d be grilling these anyway, who cares if I meatify them? So off to the store to buy some amazing tuna. 

I found this recipe in Bon Appetit and changed it up a bit. I decided to put the mayo inside the burger instead of just on the bun for even more depth of flavor. I’m glad I did. These burgers were spicy and moist, just the right meal for a summer night. They were hearty, too, so one burger is really enough per person.

Make sure to buy the freshest fish possible, especially if you’re searing it. You can also cook it through, but rare tuna is much better than well-done.

I served these with some homemade burger buns. You can use store bought ones (live near Pomegranate? Their buns are amazing!), but burger buns are fun and easy to make, so you might want to give them a try.

Spicy Tuna Burgers, adapted from Bon Appetit August 2012:

Makes 6 big burgers


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 3/4 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons sriracha
  • 2 pounds sushi grade tuna, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 hamburger buns
  • Baby lettuces


1. In a bowl, whisk mayo, soy sauce, sesame oil, 2 tablespoons sriracha, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper. Set half aside.

2. In a food processor or meat grinder (I used a meat grinder), grind the tuna. If using a food processor, pulse the tuna in 3 batches until finely chopped. Transfer to the bowl with half the sauce.

3. Light the grill or grill pan.

4. Gently mix the tuna with the sauce and shape into 6 4-inch burgers.

5. Oil the grill so the burgers don’t stick.

6. Grill for 3 minutes on each sde, until rare on the inside and charred on the outside.

7. Serve on buns spread with half the sauce and some baby lettuces.


  • I have always thought of a tuna burger as a slab of freshly seared tuna on a lightly toasted garlic-oiled ciabatta roll… I like what you have done here – but I don’t have my own meat grinder to make it myself. Perhaps the vitamix could grind this a little if I add some olive oil or the soy sauce at that point.

    • jessica matthews

      I know grinding tuna in a food processor is possible, so maybe the vitamix would work. And this is so much tastier than just a slab of tuna!

  • ive tried making this before, but your method seems to be a much better one! and i love sriracha in everything!!

  • Ronnie Fein

    I never thought to moisten with mayo, but I bet the burgers are not only moist, but tender as well as rich and tasty. I don’t love tuna, but love the meat as burgers. I like the sriracha addition too.

  • Yum! I love fresh tuna burgers! These look fantastic. This also makes me want to get a meat grinder.

    • jessica matthews

      I absolutely love my meat grinder! But you really don’t need one to make this. You can use your food processor, too. Just pulse and watch it carefully.

  • Sarah Klinkowitz

    I love seared tuna, and this looks absolutely delicious.

  • Chanie@BusyInBrooklyn

    I love that you did a tuna burger, I’m so bored of meat, I could use the change!

  • This sounds delicious. Makes me want to get a meat grinder!

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  • Melissa {lilmisscakes}

    This looks fantastic! I love the idea of grinding the fresh tuna to make a spicy burger. And are those homemade buns? Impressive!

    • jessica matthews

      of course the buns are homemade! they’re so easy to make.