Tuna Burger

087/18: Tuna Burger in Rice Buns

087/18 – Tuna Burger in Rice Buns:

Since signing up for Facebook and posting my cooks on there I connected with Scott Fraser from Angus & Oink and we have been chatting about cooks, ingredients plus travels around the world and their influence on our cooking. Through these conversations Scott asked me if I wanted to have a go at coming up with some recipes. First up: Tuna Burger in Rice Buns.

The Concept:

One of the rubs Scott sent through was Japanese Yakiniku Togorashi. Yakiniku is a Japanese word for Grilled Meat and Togorashi is Japanese for Chilli. I had a look at the rub ingredients and a few stood out: Sesame seeds, Nori Seaweed, Orange Peel and Ginger. The first thing that came into my mind was Tuna, I had been meaning to cook more Tuna and this would give me good reason to do so. A burger could work but to make it slightly different how about some rice buns? Yuzu mayo for a citrus kick to go with the orange in the rub but with a hint of Wasabi for a bit of a kick. Seaweed square instead of cheese and again to go with the seaweed in the rub then topped with pickled ginger to go with the ginger in the rub again. For the sesame seeds I remembered I had some Katsuo Mirin Furikake (Bonito flakes and Sesame Seeds) from a previous cook which could be used to top the rice bun. Sounded a bit mad but I wanted to give it a go!

The Fish:

Our local fishmonger is awesome, top quality fish and if you ask in advance he will try to get hold of anything you want. For this cook I asked for some Tuna steaks and what he had was Sashimi grade Tuna! The colour was fantastic and the fish looked top quality.

Tuna Burger

The Prep:

As the Tuna was such good quality it seemed a shame to try and mince it. I also wasn’t sure how well it would mince, maybe it would clog up the mincer? I had a chat with our fishmonger and he said he normally chopped his finely for exactly that reason. Decision made!

Tuna Burger

It wasn’t an easy job and took a while to chop up into small pieces.

Tuna Burger

Both fully chopped.

Tuna Burger

Time to use the rub. The salt in the rub is fairly big which if you were using it directly on the surface of meat or fish before cooking would be fine but I wanted to mix this in to the Tuna so I ground it down a bit in a pestle and mortar. I used 4% of the fish weight (500g) so 20g total.

Japanese Yakiniku Togorashi

Tuna and rub mixed together. I did look at using the burger press or using a ramekin as a mold but it was easier to shape the burgers by hand.

Tuna Burger

The Nori Seaweed was cut into squares about the size of the burgers. We got this from the supermarket.


Tuna Burger

The wasabi was mixed with Mayo and Yuzu Juice. You could substitute Wasabi with horseradish and Yuzu with lime juice. This wasabi was from the supermarket.

Tuna Burger

Short grain rice, Yuzu juice, Mirin and Katsuo Mirin Furikake were all ordered online from Oriental Mart.


I cooked the rice using a method from an old Delia Smith book! 6 fl/oz of rice, 12 fl/oz of boiling water. Put both in a pan, stir it around, put the lid on, drop the heat to minimum and leave it for 25 minutes. With the rice cooked I dissolved some sugar in heated mirin then added this to the rice. The reason for this is boiled rice can be pretty boring taste wise so adding a bit of sugar and mirin was going to help lift the taste a bit, the stickiness would also (hopefully) help bind the rice together as buns. As with the Tuna burger I tried a burger press and a mold but it was easiest to shape them by hand.  Tuna Burger

The Cook:

The Kamado Joe Big Joe was fired up with Oxford Charcoal Oak Lumpwood. Once it was up to temperature I put the griddle plate on and left it to heat up. After 5 minutes the griddle was warm so I carefully lifted the rice buns up with a thin but wide spatula then placed them on the griddle. The rice is already cooked so the idea is just to give them a quick fry to toast the outside a bit and help it all stay together – under a minute per side.

Tuna BurgerTime to cook the burgers. Tuna Burger

A couple of minutes on one side then flipped over. Couple more minutes then taken off the heat.

Tuna Burger

Time to Serve Up:

The bottom rice bun had the Yuzu, Wasabi Mayo spread on it.

Tuna Burger

Then the Tuna Burger placed on top. 

Tuna Burger

A Nori seaweed square.

Tuna Burger

And some pickled ginger (from the supermarket)

Tuna Burger

Topped off with the upper rice bun and then sprinkled with the Katsuo Mirin Furikake which added a bit of colour to the bun to make it look more like an actual bun!

Tuna Burger

Time to Eat:

The Tuna Burger was served with Flat Rice Noodles which had been fried and then seasoned with the same Angus & Oink Japanese Yakiniku Togorashi rub.

Tuna Burger


It was great fun to come up with a recipe, gather the ingredients, prepare it, cook it and then eat it. I was a bit nervous as I went to eat the first bite but I soon realised all of the individual components had worked well together and it was a really tasty dish! The rub itself looks and smells nice, it worked well with the tuna but was also fantastic on the flat rice noodles! The Tuna was top quality and was complimented by the rub, the Yuzu and Wasabi Mayo had a good citrus tang to cut through the fish with a nice, gentle kick from the Wasabi. The rice buns worked really well and although they look quite difficult to make they weren’t actually that hard to cook.

Overall a really tasty dish and it might not look like much in terms of quantity but we struggled to eat it all!

Appreciate there are some fairly unusual ingredients used in this recipe but Lime can be used instead of Yuzu, use standard buns instead of rice buns, the Katsuo Mirin Furikake isn’t essential as it’s mainly cosmetic.

Cook Difficulty: 3/5 
Cook Duration: Short: 2/5
Cook Equipment: Kamado Joe Big Joe
Cook Method: Direct / Griddle
Charcoal: Oxford Charcoal Oak
Smoking Wood: N/A
Cook temperature: Hot
Cook time: 8 minutes ish
Internal temperature: N/A
Notes: No major changes



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