Spicy Tuna Burger

SAM_5903

Sometimes you want a big, juicy burger you can sink your teeth into and come out of with a face full of ketchup-and-mustard-covered happiness.SAM_5906

I rarely feel that way. Never had a hankering for red meats and don’t expect that to change anytime soon. I like the elk meat my dad sends with me–it’s lean, antibiotic-free, and clean eating all the way–but to be perfectly honest, I usually reach for the shrimp, salmon, or chicken first (and in that order).

Does anybody else feel this way? I wonder. The one red meat I’ve never had a craving for, ever, is pork. Living in the pork capitol of the Midwest, Iowa, I sometimes feel like a social oddity. “How can you not like bacon?” I’m often asked. And I often restrain myself from asking, “How can you?” Yuck.

My purpose in sharing these observations with you is to explain why I enjoyed this recipe so much and why it might be a nice burger fix for those who feel as I do. I want the protein, but with my meats of choice.SAM_5908

Thanks to my lovely friend Sareena for pointing me towards this delicious recipe. And you know what’s so great about a small can or package of tuna? It’s about all you need to make one good-sized burger patty. Solo culinaires, rejoice!

Ingredients

1 small can or package of tuna, chunk light

1.5 T Panko crumbs

dash of red pepper flakes

bigger dash of cajun seasonings, if you have themSAM_5900

Directions

-Depending on how you want to prepare the burger–stove top or oven–you’ll either spray a non-stick pan with olive oil cooking spray or a broil-safe pan, respectively. Heat stove to medium-high heat or set broilers on high.

-Drain extra oils from the tuna meat. Place on a plate and begin to add in the crumbs and seasonings ’til well blended. Form into a patty. Here’s a trick: press your thumbs in the center to make it a little thinner in the middle, but don’t go donut hole, which will be too thin. Just a little thinner so that when the patty cooks and swells more in the center, the final patty will be about even in size.

-Broil for 5 minutes, flip and broil 3 more minutes. If you’re pan frying, each side will take about 6-7 minutes, but take care and flip delicately. These patties can break much easier than regular meat.

Once you get a nice, crispy golden-brown coating on each side, you’re set. Place on a whole-wheat bun, lettuce wrap, or whatever method suits your needs and top with your favorite fixings.

I didn’t try it on this one, but I have to say that some grilled pineapple or mango slices would be so delightful on this burger. Avocado, too.

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