Monday, April 19, 2010

Curry Tuna Burgers

I think in my "about me" page or maybe in a previous post, I've mentioned that my greatest asset in the kitchen is my resourcefulness. Although I like me a good recipe, and most of the treats I post on this blog start with some kind of recipe, at least half the meals I prepare for my family start with an ambitious effort to use up the random things we have in our kitchen. Most of the time, dinners are okay, even good. (It helps that the random things we generally have in our kitchen are pretty tasty to begin with.) But occasionally, like last Monday, I actually hit the jackpot. In my ambitious effort to work through our produce drawer and pantry...

I ended up making what I think might be the newest "regular" dinner in our house: tuna burgers with a whole lotta curry. (Because, as I noted recently, we LOVE curry in this here household.) In addition to curry and mustard and the usual things you see in a curry recipe, I also used amchur powder, one of the tasty randoms in our cupboards.

It's dried mango powder, I believe, and it adds a tart, bright flavor to a dish, in the same way a squeeze of lime or some fresh lime zest would do. So if you don't have amchur powder, just substitute either of those (approximately half a lime's worth of juice or 1 teaspoon lime zest).

The recipe below is the exact recipe I used to make the burgers, typed after the fact. But before we get there, let me suggest some ways to modify it so that YOU can be resourceful, in the event that you don't have all of the seventeen (yikes!) ingredients listed below. I think the only absolute essentials are the tuna, curry, eggs, lemon juice, and cilantro. Other than that: you could substitute plain yogurt for mayonnaise; the jalapenos could be omitted entirely (but they do give the burgers a nice spice) or substituted with a teaspoon of Cholula or Sriracha; diced bell peppers could replace all or part of the celery and carrots; any kind of onion could be used in lieu of the scallions and/or shallot; in place of the bread crumbs, you could use a little flour or cornmeal - I'd start with two tablespoons and go from there.

Curry Tuna Burgers
From Yours Truly Thank You V. Much
Yield: about 10 burgers (but we each ate 2)

1 lb tuna (two 12 oz cans, rinsed and drained)
½ cup mayo
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons curry (I used muchi, but any kind you like will do)
1 teaspoon dry yellow mustard
1 teaspoon amchur powder
2 scallions, finely chopped
½ cup finely chopped celery (2 ribs)
½ cup finely chopped carrots (about 1 medium)
1 shallot, finely chopped
½ cup sprouts, chopped (optional)
¼ cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup chopped parsley (or more cilantro)
1-2 jalapenos, seeds removed and diced
2 eggs
½ cup panko bread crumbs or toasted bread crumbs

Mix all ingredients except bread crumbs until well-combined and still quite wet. Add just enough bread crumbs to make the tuna mixture tacky rather than wet. Form into patties about 4-5 inches in diameter. (My mix made ten burgers.) In a nonstick skillet coated with oil, in two or three batches, cook the patties over low heat and for 5-6 minutes on one side, or until starting to brown. Gently flip the burgers and cook them for 3-4 minutes on the other side, until browned and cooked through.

Serve with mayonnaise or plain yogurt on English muffins or hamburger buns or maybe homemade whole wheat bread (yum). Lettuce, sprouts, tomato and avocado would all be good additions. Seriously, these are curry-mania-delicious. I want one right now.


  1. I want one now too, they were really tasty. Good job on inventing a recipe with random food in our pantry.

  2. I second that, they were delicious. You are so clever!