Spanish-Inspired Tuna Patties And Shortcut Aioli Recipe

These Spanish-inspired tuna patties are as versatile as they are simple to make. Canned tuna, a Mediterranean delicacy, is combined with a medley of ingredients including roasted red peppers and smoked paprika, then pan-fried in olive oil to create a delicious patty that will transport your tastebuds to the charming cobblestone streets of Spain.

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Whether you are looking for an afternoon snack, a tapa to serve with a chilled jug of sangria, or a crisp, delicious filling for a sandwich, these tuna patties by recipe developer A.J. Forget fit the bill. They are quick to throw together from primarily pantry ingredients and, after a quick trip to the skillet, are excellent for nearly any occasion.

The dish is completed with a shortcut aioli, a zingy, garlicky sauce which pairs perfectly with the sweet, smoky tuna patties and can be thrown together in seconds. As quick to make as it is delicious, this recipe will certainly find its way into your regular repertoire.

Gather the ingredients for Spanish-inspired tuna patties and shortcut aioli

For this recipe you will need canned tuna, mayonnaise, white wine vinegar, garlic, eggs, panko breadcrumbs, roasted red peppers, yellow onion, parsley, smoked paprika, salt, and olive oil. Just a little bit of chopping, and you are ready to cook. And for those of you who hate all the "paperwork" that comes with peeling and mincing garlic, here's a little trick to peel garlic like a pro.

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Step 1: Make the aioli

Make aioli by mixing together mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, and 1 teaspoon minced garlic. Set aside.

Step 2: Mix up the tuna patty ingredients

Add tuna, eggs, panko breadcrumbs, roasted red pepper, onion, parsley, paprika, salt, and remaining vinegar and garlic to a large bowl. Mix well.

Step 3: Form the patties

Form tuna mixture into 8-10 evenly sized patties.

Step 4: Heat the oil

Bring a large skillet to medium-high heat and add olive oil.

Step 5: Fry the patties

Add tuna patties to the skillet and fry for 3-4 minutes on each side, until brown and crisp.

Step 6: Garnish and enjoy

Serve immediately on a bed of greens or a bun, if desired, with plenty of aioli.

What is shortcut aioli?

These days, aioli is a pretty loose term on restaurant menus, essentially used to refer to any infused mayonnaise. Stop into any gastropub, and you are likely to see menu items served with a variety of sauces termed "aioli." It is not uncommon to see such varieties as cilantro, truffle, basil, or even cranberry aioli. Cuisine is a constantly changing landscape, and the term aioli has come to represent a lot of things — but it does originate from a single sauce that is not, in fact, mayonnaise-based.

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Aioli originated in the Mediterranean, with both France and Spain sometimes claiming credit. In its original form, aioli was simply an emulsion of garlic and olive oil, a finicky and pungent sauce heady with garlic zing. In the northwest Mediterranean, this is still the aioli of choice, but in most of the world, aioli has drifted toward mayonnaise with the introduction of eggs. Eggs make the mixture more stable, but they essentially turn the sauce into a flavored mayonnaise.

In this recipe, we make a shortcut aioli using store-bought mayonnaise. This allows us to, in just a few seconds, whip together a stable sauce infused with plenty of garlic and a little bit of white wine vinegar, which perfectly complements the tuna patties. It is not the original aioli, but it is quick, and boy is it good.

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What is the best type of tuna to use for tuna patties?

These tuna patties are packed with flavorful ingredients, so this recipe will work with whatever variety of canned tuna you prefer. However, with cans containing different types of tuna — most often albacore or skipjack, each packed in either water or oil (sometimes even olive oil) — there can be a lot of questions about which is the best choice.

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The variety of fish you choose is largely a matter of personal preference. Skipjack is a more oily fish, which means that those tins tend to be more flavorful than albacore. If you like the taste of tuna as much as the other ingredients in the patties, opt for skipjack. Or, if you are looking to change things up, you could even try Atlantic mackerel.

When it comes to oil-packed versus water-packed, there are more guidelines. Oil-packed tuna tends to be both more moist and more flavorful, but the oil also means that it is richer by itself. Oil-packed tuna would work just fine in this recipe, but it is often reserved for preparations in which the tuna will be served un-doctored, such as atop a salad. For preparations such as this, with plenty of other components in the patties, water-packed tuna works great.

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Spanish-Inspired Tuna Patties And Shortcut Aioli Recipe

5 (16 ratings)

Perfectly crispy and boasting smoky paprika flavor, these tuna patties come together in 20 minutes and pair wonderfully with a quick garlicky sauce.

Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
7
minutes
servings
4
servings
plate of tuna patties and aioli
Total time: 17 minutes

Ingredients

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon minced garlic, divided
  • 1 (12-ounce) can tuna, drained
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup diced roasted red pepper
  • ¼ cup diced yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil

Optional Ingredients

  • Fresh greens, for serving
  • Bun, for serving

Directions

  1. Make aioli by mixing together mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, and 1 teaspoon minced garlic. Set aside.
  2. Add tuna, eggs, breadcrumbs, roasted red pepper, onion, parsley, paprika, salt, and remaining vinegar and garlic to a large bowl. Mix well.
  3. Form tuna mixture into 8-10 evenly sized patties.
  4. Bring a large skillet to medium-high heat and add olive oil.
  5. Add tuna patties to the skillet and fry for 3-4 minutes on each side, until brown and crisp.
  6. Serve immediately on a bed of greens or a bun, if desired, with plenty of aioli.

Nutrition

Calories per Serving 463
Total Fat 39.0 g
Saturated Fat 6.1 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 121.9 mg
Total Carbohydrates 8.3 g
Dietary Fiber 0.8 g
Total Sugars 1.2 g
Sodium 430.5 mg
Protein 20.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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