ahi burger with nori fries 
On a recent visit to Joule, I had the great fortune of tasting their nori butter, which is a geniusly simple combination of soft butter and flakes of seaweed paper.  Now, thinking of seaweed as a seasoning and not just a wrap, I was inspired to create these nori fries.  And since fries need a burger, why not continue the Asian theme with a classic ahi tuna burger.  Pickled ginger replaces standard pickles, and a pungent wasabi garlic mayo adds a little kick and sweetness to the dish.

Total kitchen time: 45 mins
Makes: Burgers and fries for 4

Shopping list:

Ahi Tuna Burgers

  • 1.5 lbs ahi tuna steak
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. red chili oil
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tsp. peanut oil, for cooking
  • 4 sesame seed brioche hamburger buns
  • 1 handful watercress
  • 1/4 cup pickled ginger
  1. Preheat the peanut oil a heavy-bottomed skillet or griddle over medium heat.
  2. Slice the ahi steak into 1/4” strips, then chop into 1/4” cubes.  Combine with the green onion, garlic, ginger, sesame seeds, honey, soy sauce, red chili oil and beaten egg in a medium bowl.
  3. Divide the ahi mixture into 4 equal parts and form into 1” thick patties.  Press each patty firmly together to hold its shape. 
  4. Carefully transfer to the skillet and cook to medium-rare, about 1 minute per side.
  5. Assemble the burgers by topping the bottom bun with some watercress, then the ahi patty, followed by a little pickled ginger.  If you like, spread a little wasabi garlic mayo on the top bun.

Nori Fries

  • 2 lbs. French fries, prepared
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 sheet toasted nori (seaweed paper), crumbled (about 1 tbsp.)
  • Sea salt, to taste
  1. Make your fries, or heat up some decent frozen ones. 
  2. In a large bowl, toss together the fries with the olive oil and crumbled nori.  If necessary, add salt to taste.

Wasabi garlic mayo

  • 2 tbsp. wasabi powder
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tbsp. mayonnaise
  1. Combine all ingredients. Duh.

This turned out to be a really tasty summer dinner, and I may have to carry around a jar of nori to sprinkle over my fries at Dick’s.  What’s your favorite French fry topping?  Leave your answer in the comments below.