This vegan watermelon tuna burger recipe is one of the most fun recipes I’ve worked on in a while! Toasted buns are topped with vegan wasabi mayo, Asian Slaw, vegan watermelon tuna steaks, avocado, and sushi ginger. They are flavorful, savory, tangy, salty, slightly sweet, and even a little fishy! If you want to try a fun, new recipe, definitely give my vegan watermelon tuna burgers a try!
As crazy or weird or gross as it may sound, I have created a recipe for watermelon tuna!! Think ahi tuna steaks, but vegan! I marinate thick slabs of watermelon in soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, miso paste, dulse granules, and chili powder. This marinade gives the watermelon a fishy, savory, salty, and slightly umami flavor. I allow the watermelon to marinate for 24 hours so the watermelon can absorb all of those delicious flavors. The next day I slow roast them at a low temperature, so they cook very evenly to retain moisture and become super tender.
The watermelon tuna “steaks,” “burgers,” “patties,” WHATEVER you want to call them, taste savory, tangy, salty, umami, slightly sweet, and even fishy. You can still taste the watermelon a tiny bit, but it’s more of a subtle sweetness that you can taste rather than pure watermelon flavor. The fishiness comes from the dulse granules, a seaweed type, and the rest of the ingredients are what give the watermelon its tangy, salt, and umami flavor. These vegan tuna steaks do not taste like an exact replica of real ahi tuna, but they make for an incredible, cruelty-free alternative!
Let’s Talk Burgers
I think this vegan tuna burger recipe is SO fun. I first toast a whole wheat bun, then spread a hefty amount of wasabi mayonnaise onto each slice. Then I build the burger with homemade Asian slaw, a watermelon tuna steak, thinly sliced avocado, and sushi ginger. I guarantee you’ve never had a vegan burger like this before. It is so unique, packed with flavor, and even visually beautiful!
If you make any of my recipes, don’t forget to post a picture to Instagram, tag me @chefsummerstorm, and #gardengrub so I can see your recreation!
How to Make Vegan Watermelon Tuna Burgers
Watermelon Tuna Steaks
You Will Also Need
- 2 whole wheat buns, lightly toasted
- 2-4 tbsps sushi ginger
- 1/2 of an avocado
- *Suggestion: serve burgers with sweet potato fries
Watermelon Tuna Steaks
- Add all ingredients (except for the watermelon) to a small mixing bowl and stir until well combined. Place the watermelon steaks and marinade in a container, making sure the steaks are entirely submerged/coated in the marinade.
- Marinate them in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line a large sheet pan with a piece of parchment paper.
- Drain and shake off the excess marinade from the watermelon. I like to also lightly dab the watermelon with a piece of paper towel to prevent the marinade from burning in the oven. Then, place them on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake them on the middle oven rack for 1 hour, flipping them halfway through.
- Allow the watermelon tuna steaks to completely cool down at room temperature before assembling the burgers.
- Add all ingredients (except for the coleslaw veggies) to a mixing bowl and whisk until well combined. Then, toss in the veggies and stir until evenly combined.
- Let the slaw marinate for 20 minutes.
- Add the wasabi powder and water to a small bowl and stir until a paste has formed. Let this rest for 5 minutes to activate the flavor.
- Add the mayonnaise and stir until evenly combined.
How to Assemble a Burger
- Lightly toast a bun. Spread roughly one tablespoon of wasabi mayo on both slices. Top the bottom bun with half of the Asian slaw, followed by one watermelon tuna steak, 1/4 of a thinly sliced avocado seasoned with a tiny pinch of salt, one to two tablespoons sushi ginger, and finish with the top bun!