Nawabi Tuna Kebab Burger

These hand packed fish patties take the burger up a notch. Flash-fried, they’re still moist inside. Indulge yourself or your guests (Nawabs were Ottoman nobility, after all), and serve them with one or more of your favorite sauces.




Dipping sauce:

4 tablespoons sriracha sauce

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

½ shallot, minced

1 garlic clove, minced


1 lb fresh tuna, salmon, or halibut; skinned, filleted, and cut into cubes


Fresh ingredients:

1 shallot, rough chopped

1 garlic clove

1 jalapeño, seeded for less heat and chopped

2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, stemmed and finely chopped

1 tablespoon mint leaves, stemmed and finely chopped

½ teaspoon dried thyme

2 tablespoons lemon zest (approximately 2 lemons)

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated


Dried spices:

¼ teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted

2 cloves

¼ teaspoon allspice 

¼ teaspoon cayenne powder

½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper

½ teaspoon salt


1 egg, beaten

1 cup unrefined coconut oil (1 inch of oil in your frying pan)


Make ahead: You can refrigerate or freeze uncooked burger patties to defrost, cook, and serve later. 

1. Preheat oven to 375ºF (for well-done kebabs).

2. Mix the dipping sauce ingredients in a blender and set aside. Check seasoning.

3. In a food processor, pulse fish with fresh ingredients to a rough (ground beef) consistency. Transfer to a glass bowl.

4. Grind the dried spices. Gently stir into the fish mixture and add the beaten egg. 

5. Shape the fish mixture into burger-size patties. 

6. Heat unrefined coconut oil in a skillet (large enough to hold patties without crowding). You need 1 inch of oil in your frying pan. When oil is shimmering, fry burgers until both sides are golden brown (about two minutes per side). 

7. For well-done burgers, finish in the hot oven for about four minutes.

8. Serve hot with dipping sauce and/or any of my other sauces.



Clove: The Spice Wars in the early 1600s were fought over the clove. The oil of clove is a mild analgesic, which also has circulatory and anti-inflammatory benefits, and was the dentist’s drug of choice for pain relief, long before there were drugs to choose from.