First of all, let me say that if you can find authentic, unadulterated Wasabi, then good for you! The powdered and prepared stuff labeled ‘Wasabi’ that you’ll find in most supermarkets has quite an interesting list of ingredients; including some I’d prefer not to use (artificial colorings, flavorings, etc).
On that note, I plan to make my own wasabi in future by using Coleman’s Mustard Powder, unadulterated horseradish and a touch of food coloring. You might want to do the same if you care about what you eat but then again, the amount of ‘wasabi’ in this recipe won’t kill you (unless you overdo it). You’ll have to play around with the amounts to get the result you want.
Happily, the Tahitian wild-caught Yellowfin Tuna that I used here registered ‘normal’ for background radiation on my pocket Geiger counter (I’m looking after everyone’s interests here as well as my own!).
BTW, another great resource for information about Pacific seafood is the Monterey Bay Aquarium not just for monitoring pollution levels but it also educates us on which fish are endangered, because as they point out; “There are only so many fish in the sea and the choices we make today determine the fate of tomorrow’s ocean wildlife”. Quite so.
But back to the eating part. These wonderfully spicy little tuna burgers/sliders only take a couple of minutes to prepare and another 3 or four to cook. They’re ideal as a quick appetizer/hors d’oeurve – or 4 people could have three each. Either way, they’re delicious and just increase or decrease the amount of wasabi to taste. Use mini-baguettes, ciabatta rolls or slider buns to serve.
(Makes twelve mini-burgers/sliders)
18 oz (500g) of Yellowfin tuna, cut into chunks
4 green salad (spring) onions, sliced thinly
2 teaspoons of Wasabi paste (increase/decrease to taste)
2 tablespoons of raw sesame seeds
1 oz (28g) of cilantro/coriander leaf, chopped (reserve about a quarter, un-chopped for decoration)
2 tablespoons of low fat mayonnaise
Approx 2 inches (5cm) of English hothouse cucumber, cut into thin slices
Warm up your buns or bake them according to instructions if they’re only part-cooked.
Pulse the tuna in a food processor until roughly chopped then transfer it to a large bowl and add the green onions, sesame seeds, one teaspoon of the wasabi paste, the chopped coriander/cilantro and a grind of sea salt.
Mix everything together well and with wet hands, form into twelve small burger patties.
On a preheated BBQ grill, stovetop grill pan or skillet, cook them for 2-3 minutes each side.
Mix the remaining wasabi paste with the mayo; split the buns open, spread each side with a little spicy mayo, add a couple of slices of cucumber to the burgers and serve them immediately.