in the raw January 27, 2009

TunaburgerAC1I'm not sure about in other places but here in Atlanta, the burger craze is in full effect. They have reached cult status here in our town with the opening of Flip, the burger "boutique" concept of Richard Blais – yes, of Top Chef fame.

The wide variety of burgers there at Flip – from the lamb burger to the Vietnamese "bun mi" burger – really inspired me. My favorite that I've had there was the steak tartare – a really delicious twist on a classic. It got my mind working on a version that incorporated one of my favorite things on earth: tuna tartare. With a slab of really fresh tuna, some wasabi and a couple other simple (and high quality ingredients) – this came together brilliantly. The play of the toasted bun with the tooth of the raw tuna and the crunch of the frisee was pretty sublime. It was also a lot of fun to let your mind wander and come up with your own answer to the question – what defines a burger?

The full story is available here at Atlanta Cuisine in page 16 of the January issue.

Tuna Tartare Burger – serves 2 large burgers or 4 smaller "slider" sized burgers

  • 1 pound fresh ahi tuna
  • 1 small handful chives – minced
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 large high quality hamburger buns – brioche would be a nice touch here!
  • 3 tbsp. creme fraiche
  • 1 tsp. prepared wasabi
  • 1 large handful of frisee or other greens

For the wasabi creme fraiche: Bring creme fraiche up to slightly below room temp. Mix with wasabi paste and set aside.

For the tuna tartare: Using a very sharp knife, dice tuna in small 1/4 – 1/2 inch dice. Place tuna in a bowl set inside an iced bowl to keep the tuna cold during assembly. To the tuna, add the liquid ingredients and stir carefully not to break up the fish. Throw in minced chives and gently stir again. Salt and pepper the tartare to taste. If not serving immediately, keep the tartare on the iced bowl to keep it cold.

Assembly: Lightly toast hamburger buns or cut-out rounds of brioche. Spread a scant smear of wasabi creme fraiche on the bottom of the bun. Top with the tartare in whatever ratio you want and will accommodate the number of burgers you're making. Top with a small handful of frisee or other greens. I like serving the burger open face with the bun on the side and let your diners decide their best plan of attack.


Tony Clark Jan 27, 2009 09:01 am

After working as the Assistant/Dishwasher on this project I can tell you that the burger was outstanding.

Mary Jan 27, 2009 10:01 am

That sounds (and looks) delicious!

Emily Jan 27, 2009 01:01 pm

I absolutely love tuna tartare and this burger looks amazing. Quick question, where do you buy your tuna?

Natalia Jan 27, 2009 09:01 pm

i can’t help but be a purist when it comes to burgers because i must admit they are my favorite.
a greasy, gooey, cheesy burger is just like heaven.
but this, i must say, looks rather delicious.

tami Jan 28, 2009 11:01 am

I tend to buy it only at WF – most of it I see other places isn’t red enough for me. That brown murky color doesn’t cut the mustard for me.

bettyjoan Jan 28, 2009 01:01 pm

This looks great–LOVE tuna tartare. Haven’t had the tartare burger at Flip, but I was gaga over the bun mi. Yum.
Great to meet you last week! We should get together again when I’m not all germy and ticked off. ;-)

Lorenzo Jan 29, 2009 02:01 pm

Careful, or Blais will adopt this one!
Also, I have found that the ahi at DeKalb Farmer’s Market often looks just as good as that at Whole Paycheck that I used to buy for eating tartare or sashimi style.

brilynn Feb 3, 2009 07:02 pm

This sounds wonderful! I wish I could get high quality tuna here so that I could give it a try.