Tuna-Avocado Sushi Burger with Zesty Sunomono Salad, Tempura Flakes, and Wasabi-Ginger Mayo

Pairs well with:

Sauvignon Blanc

With hints of passion fruit, melon, and citrus, this wine beckons you to kick back and find a perfect porch swing.


2 avocados, seeded
2 ½ pounds fresh sushi-grade ahi tuna, ground in a food processor
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
½ teaspoon rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper

Wasabi-Ginger Mayonnaise
1 cup mayonnaise
¼ cup prepared wasabi
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
2 tablespoons soy sauce

Zesty Sunomono Salad
1 English cucumber, large, peeled
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
3 (6 ounce) cans lump crap meat

Tempura Bits
Vegetable oil, for deep frying (enough to fill large sauté pan halfway)
2 cups tempura batter mix
Ice cold water, at least 2 cups, will not use it all

Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6 sesame seed buns


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

To make the patties, begin by preparing the avocado stuffing. Spoon out 6 individual tablespoon-size balls of the avocado. Form balls into little patties. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine the tuna, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, ginger, chives, and black pepper. Divide the mixture into 12 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the buns. On 6 of the tuna patties, place an avocado patty, pressing down lightly. Place remaining patties on top, press, and seal edges to totally enclose filling, forming 6 final patties. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. (The burgers must be very cold to hold their shape when cooking.)

To make the Wasabi-Ginger mayonnaise, combine mayonnaise, prepared wasabi, ginger, and soy sauce in medium sized bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

To make Zesty Sunomono Salad, slice cucumber very thinly and sprinkle with the salt. Set aside to allow salt to draw out some moisture from the cucumber. In a large bowl, mix rice wine vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, and hot pepper sauce. Add crab meat to the mixture, mix well. Set aside. Using paper towels, soak up the moisture from the cucumbers. Add cucumbers to the crab meat mixture. Cover and set aside until ready to use.

Place a large, heavy nonstick fireproof sauté pan on the grill. Add enough vegetable oil to fill half of the pan. Heat oil to 350 degrees F (check temperature with a food thermometer). Meanwhile, put tempura batter mix into large bowl. Gradually add ice cold water to the mix until you get a creamy, slightly runny consistency (much like pancake batter). When the oil is ready, drop in spoonfuls of batter. Let cook for about 1 minute or until golden. Remove from oil and place tempura onto paper towel lined plate. Set aside until ready to use.

When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, until done to preference 3 to 4 minutes on each side for medium doneness. During the last 2 minutes of cooking, place the sesame seed buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of grill rack to lightly toast.

To assemble the burgers, spread a generous amount of Wasabi-Ginger Mayonnaise over the cut sides of the buns. On each bun bottom, place a tuna burger, equal portions of Zesty Sunomono Salad, and top with equal portions of crumbled tempura flakes. Add the bun tops and serve.

Makes 6 burgers.