Broaden your ‘burger’ horizons

Summertime is a great time to fire up the grill and toss burgers on top to sizzle to flame-licked perfection. With Canada Day and Independence Day on the horizon, you might already be planning your holiday party menu. Delicious burgers are often a given.

While beef, pork and bison tend to be the burger bases of choice, raw tuna is another “meat” that is both sturdy and fatty enough to stand up to burger formation and grilling without the addition of binders and starches. “Miso Tuna Burgers” from “Mastering the Grill” (Chronicle Books) by Andrew Schloss and David Joachim can be a perfect first foray into tuna burgers for grillmasters who want to try something different this summer.

Miso Tuna Burgers

Makes 4 servings

11⁄2 pounds tuna steak, hand-chopped into small chunks

1 tablespoon miso paste

1⁄2 teaspoon prepared wasabi

1 teaspoon soy sauce

4 scallions, roots trimmed, cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces

Oil for coating the grill grate

1 tablespoon mild-flavored oil, such as canola

4 hamburger buns, split (or sliced crusty bread)

1. Heat the grill as directed.

2. Chop the tuna finely enough so that when you press some between your fingers it clings to itself, but not so finely that it becomes mushy.

3. Remove the fish to a bowl and mix in the miso, wasabi, soy sauce, and scallions until well blended; do not overmix. Using a light touch, form into 4 patties no more than 1 inch thick. Refrigerate the burgers until the grill is ready.

4. Brush the grill grate and coat it with oil. Coat the burgers with the 1 tablespoon oil, put them on the grill, cover and cook for 6 minutes, flipping halfway through, for medium-rare; do not cover the grill after flipping. Add a minute per side for medium-done.

5. To toast the buns, put them cut-sides down directly over the fire for the last minute of cooking.

6. If serving the burgers directly from the grill, place them on the buns. If the burgers will sit, even for a few minutes, keep the buns and burgers separate until just before eating.

Chef’s tip: Garnish with pickled ginger or daikon, wasabi mayonnaise, or a drizzle of teriyaki sauce.


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