These Asian style tuna cakes are made with fresh ahi tuna steaks, a few pantry staples and topped with a spicy wasabi mayo. They are a fun twist on tuna cakes that can be pan fried or baked.
This post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Fresh Ahi Tuna Cakes
I love making tuna cakes with canned tuna as an easy and protein packed lunch or dinner. These tuna cakes are a step up from that as they use fresh ahi tuna in place of canned tuna.
These ahi tuna cakes are seasoned with garlic, ginger, soy sauce and scallions. They can be pan fried or baked to golden perfection and are topped with a spicy wasabi mayonnaise.
Serve these fresh ahi tuna cakes with your favorite vegetable and starch, and you have yourself a delicious and well rounded Asian inspired meal.
Why You’ll Love these Fresh Ahi Tuna Cakes
- They are made with just nine ingredients, many of which are pantry staples.
- These tuna cakes use ahi tuna for superior taste and freshness.
- They are easy to make.
- You can cook them two different ways: pan fried or baked
- The wasabi mayo compliments the fresh tuna perfectly
- Ahi tuna: Look for a fresh tuna steak that has a rich, red color.
- Panko breadcrumbs: to help bind and also provide texture.
- Egg: the egg acts as a binding agent.
- Garlic: main aromatic in these tuna cakes.
- Ginger: adds a nice zesty punch.
- Soy Sauce: for umami flavor
- Scallions: adds some crunch and freshness to the tuna cakes.
- Sesame oil: adds a touch of toasty sesame flavor that compliments the tuna.
- Sesame seeds: optional, but add a nice taste and texture to the exterior of the tuna cakes.
- Wasabi: You can use wasabi powder to make a wasabi paste at home or use store bought wasabi paste.
What You’ll Need
- Mixing bowl
- Small ramekin
- Cutting board and knife
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Frying pan (for pan fried method)
- Baking sheet (for baked method)
Using a knife, mince the ahi tuna. I do this by cutting the fish into approximately quarter inch cubes and then running my knife through the cubes of tuna to mince it.
Add to a mixing bowl with minced garlic, grated ginger, panko breadcrumbs, whisked egg, soy sauce, scallions and sesame oil. Mix well until everything is well combined.
Cover and chill mixture for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the wasabi mayo by combining the wasabi and mayonnaise in a small ramekin and mixing until combined.
Once the tuna mixture has chilled, section into 8 portions and form into patties. Sprinkle sesame seeds on both sides of the tuna cakes and press down to adhere (optional).
To Pan Fry: Heat 1-2 tablespoons of high smoke point oil (such as avocado oil) in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add tuna cakes and fry for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and crispy on the outside.
To Bake: Add tuna cakes to a parchment lined baking sheet. Baked at 450 degrees for 14-15 minutes.
Where can I find wasabi?
You can purchase either wasabi powder and mix with water to make a paste or buy a ready to use paste. Wasabi paste or powder can be found in the Asian section of most grocery stores (including Target and Walmart), on Amazon and at Asian markets.
Why are my tuna cakes falling apart?
Since we are using fresh tuna, these tuna cakes can be very fragile. If the mixture is a too wet, add more breadcrumbs, 1 tbsp at a time, until the mixture holds together. Additionally, ensure you refrigerate the mixture as a cold mixture will hold together better. Lastly, use an ice cream scoop to form even sized balls and carefully pack into patties.
Can I prep these ahead of time?
Yes, you can either prep the mixture or form into patties and refrigerate up to overnight.
Which cooking method is better?
Both cooking methods are great! The pan fried method gains additional flavor from the oil it is cooked in and develops a lovely exterior crust. The baking method provides an evenly cooked tuna cake with great texture throughout.
- Tuna: 1/2 lb of leftover cooked tuna or canned tuna can be used in place of ahi tuna
- Panko breadcrumbs: Sub regular unseasoned breadcrumbs or gluten free rice crumbs.
- Soy sauce: Tamari or coconut aminos work in place of soy sauce.
- Wasabi: If you can’t find wasabi, sriracha or chili paste works great in place of wasabi for a spicy mayo.
More Recipes You’ll Like
- Burger Bowls with Special Sauce
- Copycat Quinoa Cowboy Veggie Burgers
- Coconut Shrimp with Cilantro Lime Rice and Mango Salsa
- Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Mango Avocado Salsa
- Summer Shrimp and Corn Risotto
Fresh Ahi Tuna Cakes
- 1 lb ahi tuna
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 3 tbsp ginger grated
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 5 scallions chopped
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp wasabi
- Mince ahi tuna by cutting into small cubes and then running knife through tuna many times to create a fine dice.
- Add to a mixing bowl with minced garlic, grated ginger, panko breadcrumbs, whisked egg, soy sauce, scallions and sesame oil. Mix well until everything is well combined.
- Cover and chill mixture for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the wasabi mayo by combining the wasabi and mayonnaise in a small ramekin and mix until combined.
- Once the tuna mixture has chilled, section into 8 portions and form into patties. Sprinkle sesame seeds on both sides of the tuna cakes and press down to adhere (optional).
- To Pan Fry: Heat 1-2 tablespoons of high smoke point oil (such as avocado oil) in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add tuna cakes and fry for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and crispy on the outside.
- To Bake: Add tuna cakes to a parchment lined baking sheet. Baked at 450 degrees for 14-15 minutes.