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Fresh Tuna Burger?

This summer I'm following the TV series of Tuna Wars while creating a series of tuna recipes. I know the series is inspirational to us fishermen, especially when it comes to tuna fishing. To start things off, I'll show you how to make some fresh tuna burgers.

This new recipe is totally Americana! Beginning with a traditional tartar sauce, then adding lettuce, tomatoes and--wait for it--beacon! To top it off, the tuna burgers go straight to grill for some smokey goodness. Only fishermen can catch and truly make fresh tuna burgers!

Where did I get my fresh tuna? My buddy Dave just got back from a long range tuna trip to Mexico's Clarion Buffer Zone. Here's Dave's story.

Yellowfin Tuna Fishing

Dave's 115 pound yellowfin!

The Challenge of Catching Giant Tuna, by Dave Thiessen

Fishing for tuna is tons of fun. Especially when a hungry school charges the boat and pretty much everyone with a line in the water hooks up. With that said, I love fishing for giant tuna even more. But targeting giant tuna is not for everyone. It requires vast amounts of patience and incredible attention to detail.

First, there is the patience to tolerate—or enjoy—the four day ride down to the lower zone along with the four day ride back. Beyond that, there is the patience to devote the necessary time at the rail. It is not uncommon to fish from dawn to dusk--plus get up in the middle of the night--just for one or two bites per day, and some days you get no bites at all. Making that bite turn into a fish on the deck is no sure thing either. That's where the attention to detail comes in.

Your connections have to be perfect, your equipment in tip top shape, and your technique up to snuff. If there is a weakness anywhere, the giant tuna will find it and that one bite becomes a pulled hook, a broken line, or whatever. But when it comes together, the fish that hits the deck can be a dream come true.

My biggest fish this year was only 115 pounds, or not quite half the size of my personal best. It was still fun to catch and I'll be back next year to take another shot at improving on my personal best. Until then, I'll savor delicious fillets prepared with one of Yanni's latest recipes. What's cooking Yanni?

fresh tuna burger

Grilled American Tuna Burgers (4 burgers)

1 pound frozen tuna (I created ground tuna from frozen tuna with the help of a hand-held grater, more details in the video)

1 large tomato sliced

1 head of lettuce


4 tablespoons sweet relish

1 ½ tablespoons fresh dill, chopped

1 red onion, sliced

8 strips of thick bacon, fried

4 sesame seed buns

1 egg

½ lemon juiced

1/8 cup of bread crumbs, unseasoned


Coarse black pepper

¼ cup of vegetable oil and basting brush

Time To Make Your Fresh Tuna Burgers!

1. Start by preheating your grill. Also, fry up your bacon strips, set aside.

2. Next, in a large mixing bowl, combine the cold ground tuna, egg, bread crumbs, lemon juice, dill, 1 tablespoon salt, and pepper. Then mix until all the elements have combined. Before forming the patties, wet your hands. Then, grab a baseball sized sized piece of meat, turning it into a ¾ inch thick hamburger patty. Remember, one pound of fish should yield four patties.

3. In the mean time, before grilling, clean your grill, and bring your grill temperature is close to 500F as possible.

4. First, apply a coating of vegetable oil, with the basting brush on both sides of the tuna patties. Now, grill the tuna patties for no more than 3-4 minutes per side, just achieve a light brown color. Before flipping the patties, baste the tuna patties with a little more vegetable oil. Remember, don't over cook your fish!

5. Now, assemble the tuna burgers. First apply the mayonnaise on the top and bottom buns. Next, lay slices of red onions, lettuce and tomato onto the bottom bun. Now add the tuna patty, a dollop of sweet relish, two strips of bacon then finally the top bun. Serve and start telling you fish stories while you eat!


Here's a great way to support Fisherman's Belly. Use our amazon links to purchase items you may need. You don't pay extra but, Amazon sends us a small commission on your purchase. Just click on the links below to take a look and shop around. Thanks, Yanni ____________________________________________________________

➤ 30 Day Free Amazon Prime Membership

KITCHEN GADGETS & INGREDIENTS FOR THIS RECIPE 🌶 ➤ Large Hand Held Box Grater Stainless Steel ➤ Ex-Large Bamboo Cutting Board 18"x14" ➤ Commercial Plastic Cutting Board 24"x18" ➤ 12-inch Titnaium Bonded Cuda Knife ➤ Pro Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl Set of 6 ➤ Orange Citrus Juicer/Squeezer ➤ Measuring Cups, 4-Piece Set, Stainless Steel ➤ 12-inch Chef's Knife ➤ Wusthof Pro Cook’s Knife 12-inch Rectangular Prep and Serving Tray 19.5x11.5” ➤ Stainless Steel Spatula ➤ Ceramic Oval Serving Platter 15"x10"

PHOTOGRAPHY EQUIPMENT USED 🎥 ➤ Canon EOS 70D Food Photography & Video ➤ GoPro HERO4 Black

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Meet The



I'm a fisherman and a cook, and I love to do both. My name is Yanni and welcome to my website, Fisherman's Belly. Here, using your fresh fish and everyday ingredients, you can learn to cook hand-crafted easy fish recipes. 

See you on the water and in the kitchen. Yanni

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Thanks for submitting your question. I'll get back with you as soon as possible. Yanni

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