Thai Tuna Cakes


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Skill Level: Medium
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Inactive Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 4 Minutes


1 lb. fresh sushi-grade tuna steak, 2 tbs. fresh cilantro, chopped, 2 tbs. scallion – finely chopped, 1 tbs. mayonnaise, 1 tbs. olive oil, 2 tbs. canola oil, 1 tsp. fresh ginger – minced, 1/2 tsp. fresh scotch bonnet pepper – minced, Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

The key to delicious tuna cakes is to avoid overcooking. The goal is a medium rare center, and it’s best to cook on the stovetop for precise heat control. To achieve the greatest flavor, prepare Thai dipping sauce 30-minutes prior to cooking the tuna.


With a razor sharp knife, cut tuna into 1/4″ cubes, trimming away any dark impurities. Coarsely chop tuna by hand until it begins to hold together. Transfer to a chilled bowl resting in a bowl of ice. Gently stir in cilantro, scallion, mayonnaise, olive oil, ginger, scotch bonnet pepper, salt and pepper to taste. Shape tuna into equal 1″ thick patties. Refrigerate, uncovered for at least 20 minutes and up to four hours.

Heat canola oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Cook tuna cakes until lightly browned on both sides but still pink in the center, no more than four minutes total. Do not overcook.

Thai Dipping Sauce


1/4 c. fresh lime juice, 2 1/2 tbs. sugar, 2 tbs. fish sauce, 1 1/2 tsp. rice vinegar, 1 1/2 tsp. fresh cilantro – coarsely chopped, 1 tsp. garlic – minced, 1/2 tsp. scotch bonnet peppers – minced


Combine ingredients in a small bowl and stir until the sugar dissolves. Let stand at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors an opportunity to develop and blend.