Yellowfin Tuna Versus Cheeseburgers


Reader Alexia H. sends us this story:

Many years ago, my husband went to the doctor without telling me. He was only twenty-seven years old but had recently experienced chest pain.

There wasn’t much cause for concern. My husband was the picture of health. At 6 feet 5 inches, and a little over 220 lbs, with a lean muscular frame, no one would surmise that he would have any health issues.

But my husband had a dirty little secret — he loved cheeseburgers. Almost every day, for his lunch, or for a snack, my husband usually doubled-up or sometimes tripled on this American favorite.

My husband thought he was perfectly fine because he went to the gym religiously and had a body that looked like a chiseled work of art.

Back to the doctor’s visit.

The results were in on the cause of the chest pain; my husband’s cholesterol and blood pressure were astonishingly high. My husband’s carnivorous diet of mostly red meat, –burgers, fries and steaks had taken a toll.

With numbers as high as my husband’s were, at such a young age; we knew we had to make some serious changes in our lifestyle and diet.

We switched from a diet heavy in red meat and saturated fats to lean cuts of white meat and fatty fishes.

Salmon, tuna, tilapia, flounder, and other varieties made their daily appearance on our dinner plates.

We found out that we didn’t have to sacrifice taste in making the right choices for our health, and opened our taste buds up to a whole new world of culinary delights.

Within a year, my husband’s cholesterol levels and blood pressure were in the acceptable range.

Just one burger a day has been shown to be detrimental to heart health. A high amount of saturated fats in the diet is one of the main causes of heart disease, the number one cause of death in the United States.

The cheeseburger, an American staple, is loaded with these unhealthy fats.

But there’s hope — you don’t have to write off burgers forever.

There are other versions of the infamous burger that are available for health-conscious foodies. The Yellowfin Tuna is famous for being used in sushi, but did you know it also makes an excellent burger?

Low in saturated fats and high in omega-3 fatty acids, the yellowfin tuna (also known as ahi) is a great substitute for red meat.

If you’re looking for a burger that is bursting with flavor and and provides all the meaty comfort that the all-American cheeseburger does, you’ve found it.

Here’s something to try:

Yellowfin Tuna Burgers

1/3-cup soy sauce
2 tsp. minced ginger
2 large cloves of minced garlic
1-2 tbsp. honey
1-2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1-2 tsp brown rice wine vinegar


1 1/2 pounds yellowfin tuna, free of any skin or gristle
3 teaspoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
4 fresh hamburger buns with seeds
1/4 cup Japanese pickled ginger, optional

Make the glaze: Combine all the glaze ingredients in a 1-quart saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the glaze coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.

Strain through a sieve and reserve in a warm place until tuna burgers are cooked. (The glaze can be prepared up to 2 days ahead and stored, covered, in the refrigerator.)

Make the burgers: Grind the tuna in a meat grinder or chop with a large sharp knife to the texture of hamburger meat. (Do not use a food processor, which will shred the tuna rather than chop it.)

Transfer the ground tuna to a bowl and combine with the garlic, mustard, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Mix thoroughly. Divide the tuna into 4 equal portions. Using your hands, roll each part into a smooth ball and then flatten into a compact patty.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and sear the tuna burgers until browned and medium rare, 3 to 4 minutes a side. Serve each burger on a buttered toasted bun and spread with a tablespoon of warm glaze. Garnish the burgers with equal amounts of pickled ginger slices.

This recipe adapted from “Yellowfin Tuna Burgers with Ginger-Mustard Glaze” on

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Categories : Blog,Cholesterol,Health Benefits of Fish,Seafood Recipes,Tuna,White Fish

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