By Steph Farrar
I’m positive Sam was a fish in a former life. If you are what you eat, then I am spot on. He eats more fish than most and because of it has moderately high cholesterol. I should encourage him to get into swimming again. Or maybe start eating Cheerios?
Neither one of us enjoy the gym, although I’m comfortable in one. If I need to sweat out some aggression and it’s 102 degrees outside, I can turn on some music and zone out for hours an hour. Sam, however, does not like the meaty vibe in our local L.A. Fitness. It's not hard to understand why... not only does it reek Studio City, but in general, it just reeks. He been known to use the pool because, as I said, he was a fish.
Last year, when I began cooking more than usual, he built me a kitchen cart from scratch. It decorates one corner of our kitchen which has lovely natural light. It folds down easily, flush with the wall, so when needed we can exit our side door. It's stained a nice cutting board color and anchored to our freshly painted white walls. This table made its debut with the Tomato Tarte Tatin, but I knew for a while I wanted a cart for that corner. In fact, before Sam made the table, I purchased a cart from Target. It was the exact size of the corner, or so I thought. There is truth here, but I neglected, after spending nearly 4 hours of my life building it, to include the length of the doorknob into my calculations. So in order to roll it into its corner, I had to remove the doorknob.
Needless to say, I had to return it. And since I put the damn thing together, they only took it back for store credit. I can always use credit at Target but I’d like the cash back. Whatever. Target Shmarget.
Anyway, I mention the table cause I wanted to present this gorgeous tuna burger on my newest addition. The table wasn't ready when the sandwiches were, but they still look delicious on the cutting board. And they were. The soy glaze and that dripping mustard blew Sam’s head off. Which he needed after about 6 straight hours practicing nineteen new songs he had to perfect for upcoming tour. I only made two sandies, but this recipe makes 6 burgers. If you can, use La Brea Bakery ciabatta-like burger buns, baked for a few minutes.
It’s official. He’s a fish and this is his favorite new sandwich. I win.
Ahi Tuna Burgers with Soy Glaze
adapted directly from August 2012 Cooking Light
1/2 cup mayonanaise
3/4 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
3 tbs Sriracha
2 lbs. cold sushi-grade ahi tuna, cut into cubes
2 1/2 tbs Chinese hot mustard
2 small garlic cloves, finely grated
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Canola oil, for brushing
6 hamburger buns
3 tbs Soy Glaze (recipe below)
thinly sliced scallions, baby lettuce, sliced tomatoes
In a bowl, whisk the mayo, soy sauce, sesame oil and 2 tbsp Sriracha.
In s food processor, pulse one-third of the tuna at a time, until finely chopped. Transfer for a bowl and repeat with all the tuna.
Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat.
Mix the Chinese mustard, garlic, 2 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper into the chopped tuna. Use lightly moistened hands and form the tuna into 6 round patties.
Brush with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over high heat, turning once until lightly charred on the outside, 3-4 minutes total.
Spread the buns with the mayo, top with patties, drizzle 1 1/2 tsp Soy Glaze and 1/2 tsp Sriracha. Top with scallions, lettuce and tomato.
Whisk 2 tbsp cornstarch with 1 tbsp water.
In a small saucepan, whisk 1/2 cup soy sauce with 1/2 cup sake, 1/2 cup mirin, and 1/2 cup sugar.
Simmer over moderate heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves, 2 minutes.
Whisk in the cornstarch until slightly thick, 2 more minutes.
Transfer to a heatproof jar and cool. Stays in the fridge for 2 weeks.
p.s. I stole a bite.