The sushi burger

Make some room in your calendars because this burger is not an elective. I would say that it's a mandatory recipe for anyone who enjoys cooking. Although I didn't make up this recipe, I decided to call it sushi burger. Oh yeah! Japanese-American fusion. Call me Ferran Adria. Actually, don't.

Why did I call it sushi burger? Well, I didn't burn my brain for this one, it's pretty obvious. Because it's a tuna burger and it has wasabi, ginger, cucumber, avocado and sesame seeds (on the bread). The only missing ingredient is rice (not that rice is important in sushi at all...) Anyway, it's my burger and I decide how to call it. Well, it isn't my burger, but I decided to rename it anyway.

I'm super proud of the sushi burger. I had been thinking for weeks trying to find a recipe to use a huge tuna steak that had been sitting in the freezer for a while. Finally, I was able to sleep well. I had also been wanting to make these burger buns from smitten kitchen, so this was just the perfect occasion. Yay happiness!

To be honest, it took a long time to make this. The night before I took the tuna out of the freezer and put it in the fridge. In the morning I made the dough for the buns, which is a light brioche dough. There is nothing like working with a buttery dough because it smells awesome and it doesn't stick when you knead it. I put the dough in the fridge and I left for work (yes, I work, sometimes). In the evening I got home and I shaped the dough into balls. I went to the store and bought the ingredients I needed. I came back and preheated the oven. Then I chopped the tuna, the scallions and grated the ginger to make the burgers. I put the bread in the oven. I made the wasabi mayo and I cut the cucumber and the avocado. I took the bread out of the oven. I cooked the burgers. During the whole process I took multiple photos (except when making the burgers. Sorry, I forgot). Then we put everything together and we ate 2 burgers each.

Friends, when I had the first bite, I realized that all the work had been totally worth it. Trust me, this is not a regular burger. It's a burger made with quality tuna, sushi-inspired ingredients and a home made brioche roll. Plus you are not going to find this at any American or Japanese restaurant.

What if I don't have so much time?- you ask.- Then buy burger buns at the store.

What if I don't have tuna in my freezer?- Then you must be weird. Just kidding, just go buy some tuna.

What if I still don't have enough time?- Then buy a plane ticket to DC and I'll make them for you!

What if I don't have the money for the ticket? -Then go to McDonald's and stop asking so many questions.

Sushi burger
Makes 4. Adapted from Merrill of Food52.

1lb / 500 g good quality tuna
4 scallions, chopped
1tbsp grated ginger
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cucumber
1/2 avocado
1 box alfalfa sprouts
1/2 cup/ 100ml mayonnaise
1 tbsp wasabi
1tbsp chopped pickled ginger
4 burger buns (see recipe below) 

Finely chop the tuna, almost like if was ground meat. Put it in a big bowl. Add the chopped scallions and grated ginger. Season with salt and pepper. Add the egg and mix everything. Shape the mixture into 4 hamburgers and put them on a tray. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix the mayonnaise, the wasabi and the chopped picked ginger. Refrigerate.

Take the burgers out. Heat a nonstick pan with 3 tablespoons of oil. Fry the burgers, 2 minutes on each side, os less if you like rare tuna (I do).

Peel and slice the avocado. Peel the cucumber and slice it into wide ribbons using a peeler. Serve the burgers in the buns with the wasabi mayo, some slices of cucumber, some slices of avocado and some alfalfa sprouts.

Brioche burger buns
Makes 8. Adapted from smitten kitchen.

1 cup / 230ml  warm water
3tbsp / 45ml warm milk
2 tsp / 6g active dry yeast 
2 1/2 tbsp / 33 g sugar
2 2/3 tbsp / 35g unsalted butter, softened
3cups / 420g bread flour
1/3 cup/ 50 g all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp / 8 g salt
2 eggs (one for the dough and the other one for brushing egg wash)

In a glass measuring cup combine the water, milk, sugar and yeast. Stir well and let is stand for 5 minutes. Meanwhile beat 1 egg.

In a big bowl combine the flours and salt. Add the butter and mix with your hands, to achieve a crumbled texture. Add the liquid mixture and the egg to the flour mixture and mix with a spatula or a dough scraper. When the flour and liquid are incorporated, cover the bowl with plastic and let it stand for 5 minutes. Scrape the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 8 minutes. Grease a big bowl with butter and put the dough inside. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. You can also leave it a room temperature for 1 to 2 hours, until doubled in size.

Arrange 2 baking sheets floured with parchment paper. Scrape the dough onto a working surface and divide in 8 equal parts using a sharp knife or a scraper. Flatten each piece and shape it into a ball. Place the balls on the baking sheets, 2 inches apart from each other. Cover loosely with buttered plastic wrap and let them proof for 1 hour.

Put a deep baking pan with water in the lower part of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F / 200°C. Beat an egg and brush the buns with it. Sprinkle some sesame seeds over the buns. Bake one tray for 15 minutes in the center of the oven. If they get too dark, cover with foil and lower the temperature a little. Keep baking till the end. Let the buns cool on a wired rack. Bake the second tray. 


  1. Maria, these look incredible! Those buns look amazing, and I feel like you posted these burgers specifically for me-- I saw wasabi guacamole on a restaurant menu and have been trying to think of something I could put it on to have an excuse to try it out... I was leaning toward fish tacos but now I'm definitely going to try these instead

    1. Thanks Jessica! You should definetily make these and try them with that wasabi guac. They are really yummy and so fun because they are really different from a regular burger. And the buns are really good too!

  2. What a brilliant idea - sushi burgers! I must try this asap!