Spicy Ahi Tuna Sliders with Crispy Maui Onions Strings
I am a huge fan of sliders of all kinds. Those cute little three or four bite burgers that are on almost every pub or chophouse style restaurant appetizer and small plate menu.
When we go out to eat at those kinds of restaurants I often forego the main dish section of the menu and order a few small plates to share instead. Sliders are always one of those choices.
When my buddies at NoshOn.It asked me to participate in Burger Week I knew I wanted to make sliders.
This is probably the biggest blogger turn out yet that has been hosted by Nosh On it. Over 40 bloggers made burgers from sliders to breakfast burgers and any and every kind you could think of. Check them all out HERE. AND at the bottom of the post is the information on the BIG giveaway that is sponsored by Broil King.
Since I don’t eat beef, I knew I wanted to make something slightly different than the norm for a burger and I remembered I had been saving a recipe I had found years ago for ahi sliders, so I went digging through my recipe box to look for it. It’s literally a giant cardboard box used for packing/moving just stuffed with recipes. I also have a recipe confession. I used to steal recipes. Well, sort of.
I used to work in hospitals and clinics and whenever I had downtime I would hunt down magazines from patient rooms to pretend I was taking them back to the waiting room when really I was taking them to our work or break room to look through for good recipes and tear them out. Yup. I am that person. I would rip all of the recipes out of magazines.
And if the recipe was on one page and the photo on another? I would take both out. I would even take recipes out of magazines when I was the patient waiting for the dr. I was a total recipe klepto.
I am sure many people got mad reading those magazines with pages ripped out because often a story would be on one side of the recipe page. I didn’t care. Clearly I was reckless in my youth….stealing recipes and all.
I have quite the collection of torn out of magazine recipes. I even bought a binder with the intentions of hole punching and organizing the recipes. I never got so far as to completing that. The binder is at the bottom of the box under piles and piles of stolen recipes. Now I just take pics of recipes in magazines with my phone. I have a huge folder in my phone’s photo folder full of pics of recipes and menus.
My inspiration for these came from In Style circa March 2008. Their slider was a bit more basic than mine, and it had pickled ginger which I am not a fan of, the husband loves it, me not so much. However I am a huge fan of sunomono salad ( Japanese pickled cucumbers) and i’ts a salad I make fairly often, so I knew I wanted to replace the ginger with that.
I also wanted to have these sliders have the flavors of my favorite order when we go to sushi, the spicy tuna roll. I totally judge sushi restaurants on their spicy tuna roll.
I found out one secret ingredient to spicy tuna is a spice mixture found in Japanese or and Asian supermart called Togarachi. Its so good and spicy! That mixed with mayo and sriracha makes this ahi tuna slider really taste like a spicy tuna roll. I also sear the slider patties so they are still rare in the middle ( you can cook them more well done if desired) and these are melt in your mouth good.
The original recipe has a potato chip in each slider. I wanted to add in a little Hawaiian twist to the recipe so I went with my fave, Maui onions. And I deep fried them. More like flash fried, they are so thin that they didn’t take long to fry. I attempted baking them three times but since they are so thin the onions were burning before the coating got brown and crispy. So I lifted my self imposed frying ban ( Long story I attempted churros once, it wasn’t pretty, so I banned myself for life from ever frying again) and I quick fried these onion strings. Can I tell you I might just be back in the fry game? Just don’t ask for churros.
- 2 lbs sashimi grade ahi tuna, finely diced/minced
- 2 tbsp soy sauce ( I used organic/gluten free tamari)
- 2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/3 c green onion, diced
- 2/3 c mayo (organic or this recipe here)
- 1 Tbsp Togarashi ( Japanese chili spice)
- 3 Tbsp Sriracha
- Crispy maui onion strings
- 3-4 maui or medium sweet onions ( use 3 if using larger sweet onions, maui are on the smaller
- 2 eggs
- 3 cups full fat canned coconut milk
- 3-4 cups flour
- Sea salt
- black pepper
- coconut oil for frying
- Quick pickled cucumbers
- 1-2 Cucumbers ( English or Japanese), very thinly sliced
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp soy sauce or tamari
- 1/4 c rice vinegar
- Wasabi Mayo
- 2/3 c mayo
- 2 tbsp prepared wasabi
- 1-2 avocados, peeled and sliced thin
- Brioche slider buns, sliced in half and lightly toasted
- In a medium bowl whisk the eggs and coconut milk together.
- Peel and slice the onions into super thin rings, a little less than 1/4 inch thick. Cut one side of the rings so they aren’t a solid circle, and place in the coconut milk, gently turning a few times to make sure they are well coated. Let soak for one hour.
- In a large bowl combine the diced or minced tuna, soy sauce ( or tamari) sesame seeds, green onion and black pepper and mix to combine. In a small bowl mix together the mayo, togarachi and sriracha. Add to the tuna and mix well to combine
- Prepare two baking sheets with parchment. Scoop out a heaping 1/3 cup amount of the tuna mixture and place on the cookie sheet and use your hands to shape a 3” patty. Repeat with remaining tuna. You should have 12-14 patties. Let chill for a minimum of 20 minutes.
- In a bowl add the cucumber slices and sprinkle the sugar and salt over them, tossing to coat. Then add the soy sauce and rice vinegar and stir again. Chill until ready to use.
- whisk together the mayo and prepared wasabi. Taste and add more wasabi if more spice is desired. Keep chilled until ready to use.
- In a deep sauce pan or stock pot fill with about 2” of coconut oil and heat to about 350 deg F ( use a candy thermometer to make sure temperature stays even).
- In a large bowl add 1 cup of the flour and 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Drain the onions a handful at a time and coat with the flour mixture, gently shake off excess flour and place in a bowl or on a plate. Repeat until the flour mixture gets too wet and then dump out that flour mixture and start over with another cup of flour with salt and pepper added. Repeat until all the onions are coated with flour.
- Set out a tray lined with paper towels. When the oil is hot, fry about 6-8 onion strings at a time for about 2-3 min. They are thin so they will burn quickly if over cooked. Using a slotted spoon transfer to the paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining onions. Season with more salt and pepper if desired.
- Heat a cast iron skillet over medium and add 1 tbsp coconut oil. Fry 4 patties at a time, 2 min each side, being careful when turning them so they don’t break apart. Repeat until all are cooked.
- Spread wasabi mayo on the top and bottom of the slider buns. Place a few avocado slices on the bottom bun, then a tuna patty, a few of the pickled cucumber slices, a pile of the onion strings and top with the other bun. Repeat with remaining sliders. Serve.
Like I said before, you can check out all the awesome burgers from #Burgerweek HERE, and below are the other bloggers that posted their awesome creations today with me. Check them all out too!
Rachel Cooks – Taco Turkey Burgers
Handle the Heat – French Bistro Burgers
Chez Us – All American Cheese Burger
Cookie Monster Cooking – Mediterranean Burgers with Whipped Feta
10th Kitchen – Prosciutto Wrapped Burgers with Cantaloupe Slaw
Another way to check out all these awesome burgers and sliders is on our Pinterest board for #Burgerweek. Check out out HERE and pin away!!