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Gochujang Mayo Tuna Patties

These Korean flavor infused tuna patties are so delicious and flavorful without being overbearing. What’s more, it is breaded with panko breadcrumbs outside, making it especially crunchy and even more scrumptious.

It’s definitely one of our favorite ways of enjoying canned tuna! 

Gochujang mayo tuna patties served with two different dipping sauces

What is Gochujang Mayo Tuna Patties

Gochujang mayo tuna patties are made with canned tuna, eggs, finely diced vegetables, a bit of flour, fine sea salt and black pepper. (Up to this point, these are the same ingredients I used in my traditional Korean tuna pancake recipe! Mind you, the cooking technique is a bit different, so don’t discount either of the recipes! ๐Ÿ˜‰)

What’s special about these tuna patties is that they are seasoned with gochujang (korean chili paste) and mayonnaise. Believe it or not, they go really well together. The slightly spicy (but not hugely noticeable) yet full of savory flavor gives a nice kick to otherwise bland canned tuna. Also, they provide extra moisture to the patties making them even more desirable!

On top of that, panko breadcrumbs are mixed in the patties, providing a nice little surprise texture. Then finally, it is generously coated with panko breadcrumbs again for the outer layers, giving us so much pleasure when you bite them. 

Do you want to make these with me? 

Tips for Success

  1. Drain – Make sure you drain the tuna well. I would do this as the first step of preparation, using a sieve. Unnecessary liquid increases the chances of patties falling apart.
  2. Dice – Make sure to dice the vegetables finely. If it’s a bit chunky, again, it increases the chances of patties breaking or falling apart.
  3. Substitutions
    • One of the key ingredients used here is panko breadcrumbs. If you have trouble finding it, you may substitute it with regular breadcrumbs in equal portion. But the results are far superior when you use panko breadcrumbs in my opinion. On a side note, I also tried using polenta as it seemed to be a popular healthier alternative, but I have to say, it does not taste good. The texture isn’t right either.
    • Another ingredient you might ask for substitution I suspect is gochujang. If you don’t have access to gochujang, you could try it with sriracha sauce. I never recommend sriracha sauce as a universal substitute for gochujang, but in this recipe it can work. Though, gochujang gives stronger and more balanced flavor in gochujang mayo sauce, so you may have to play with other ingredients for it to work as well as gochujang. E.g. possibly more salt and more panko breadcrumbs, as sriracha sauce is not as thick as gochujang. Just note that I didn’t perform extensive testing with sriracha sauce with this recipe.
  4. Cook Slowly – Be sure to cook the patties slowly over medium low heat with a lid on. Otherwise, it will burn the outer layers really fast while resulting in undercooked patties.
  5. Minimize Flipping – I only flip the patties twice during 15 mins of cooking. Less flipping means less chance of the patties breaking apart.

Tuna patty dipped in a spicy mayo dipping sauce

How to Serve 

We normally eat these tuna patties with cooked rice, pickled radishes and radish kimchi. It makes a great banchan (Korean side dish). Of course, you are welcome to add any other Korean side dishes you may know of.

Also, I haven’t tried it yet, but I think they will be excellent as a burger patty too. 

For the dipping sauce (because it’s always good to have some), we serve these tuna patties with gochujang mayo dipping sauce (for adults), ketchup (for kids) and Korean soy dipping sauce (for someone who appreciates Asian flavor).

In particular, gochujang mayo dipping sauce really intensifies the flavor of gochujang mayo tuna patties. It’s quite addictive as well.

Lastly, you can pair the patties with tartar sauce or aioli too. How versatile!

More Recipes with Tuna

A can of tuna can be turned into other delicious recipes. Check my other recipes out!

INGREDIENTS FOR TUNA PATTIES (Makes 10 Small Patties)

Main

  • 185g/6.5 ounces canned tuna, well-drained
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 20g/0.7 ounces green onion, finely chopped
  • 45g/1.6 ounces onion, finely chopped
  • 20g/0.7 ounces red bell peppers or cayenne chili, seeded and finely chopped
  • 20g / 0.7 ounces green bell peppers or cayenne chili, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tsp all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise (I used Hellmann’s real mayonnaise)
  • 1 tsp gochujang (Korean chili paste)
  • A few sprinkles of ground black pepper
  • 1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) or regular breadcrumbs, divided into two half cups
  • Some cooking oil (I used rice bran oil)

Gochujang Mayo Dipping Sauce

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp gochujang (Korean chili paste)

Soy Dipping Sauce

* 1 Tbsp = 15 ml, 1 Cup = 250 ml

** If you want to learn more about Korean ingredients, check my essential Korean cooking ingredients list!

 

HOW TO MAKE GOCHUJANG MAYO TUNA PATTIES

1. Make your choice(s) of dipping sauce by whisking all ingredients in a bowl(s). Set aside.

2. Whisk well mayonnaise (2 Tbsp) and gochujang (1 tsp) in a small bowl. Combine canned tuna, eggs, green onion, onion, bell peppers, flour, salt, gochujang mayo sauce from earlier, and a 1/2 cup of panko breadcrumbs in a mixing bowl. Mix them well.

Gochujang mayo tuna patty ingredients in a mixing bowl

Place the remaining panko breadcrumbs in a wide bowl (e.g. pasta bowl). Shape the mixture into small balls. I use an ice cream scoop to make even sized patties.

As you make small balls of mixture, gently place them on panko and roll around to coat. Gently flatten the balls into patties with your hands. Coat with more panko and set aside. Repeat this with the remaining tuna mixture.

Shaping tuna patties

3. Stove Top Method – Preheat a skillet over medium low heat. Once heated, add some cooking oil and spread well. Gently place the tuna patties into the skillet (without over crowding) and cover with the lid, cook for 5 mins.

Add some oil over the tuna patties and flip them. Cook for a further 5 mins, covered. Flip once more and cook another 5 mins, or until golden brown.

Pan frying tuna patties

Air Fryer Method – Spray the fryer basket with cooking spray. Gently place the tuna patties in the basket (without over crowding). Set the air fryer to 180 C / 356 F and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Then flip the patties with tongs and cook for 8 to 10 minutes more, or until golden brown.

Oven Method – Preheat oven at 200 C / 392 F. Line a large baking sheet with baking paper. Gently place the tuna patties and lightly spray with cooking oil. Bake for 10 mins. Remove the tray from the oven, flip the patties, and lightly spray with some cooking oil. Return to oven and bake for another 10 mins or until golden brown. 

4. Serve warm with your choice of dipping sauce (e.g. gochujang mayo dipping sauce, ketchup, soy dipping sauce, aioli, or tartar sauce). 

Gochujang mayo tuna cakes served on an oval plate

How To Store

One of the beauties of these tuna patties is that they are still tasty even after being reheated, without loosing too much crunchy texture.

You can refrigerate the leftover patties in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days. Enjoy reheated or cold.

For longer term, you can freeze them in an airtight container as well. These should be good for at least one month. 

 

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Gochujang mayo tuna cakes served on an oval plate

Gochujang Mayo Tuna Patties

How to make Korean style tuna cakes - "Gochujang Mayo Tuna Patties". These are very easy to make and super delicious to eat. They have lots of savory flavor and crunchy texture!
4.92 from 12 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side dishes
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: gochujang mayo, tuna cakes, tuna patties
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 16 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 141kcal
Author: Sue

Ingredients

MAIN

  • 185 g canned tuna (6.5 ounces), well-drained
  • 2 large eggs , beaten
  • 20 g green onion (0.7 ounces), finely chopped
  • 45 g onion (1.6 ounces), finely chopped
  • 20 g red bell peppers or cayenne chili, (0.7 ounces), seeded and finely chopped
  • 20 g green bell peppers or cayenne chili, (0.7 ounces), seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tsp all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise (I used Hellmannโ€™s real mayonnaise)
  • 1 tsp gochujang (Korean chili paste)
  • A few sprinkles ground black pepper
  • 1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs), or regular breadcrumbs, divided into two half cups
  • Some cooking oil (I used rice bran oil)

GOCHUJANG MAYO DIPPIING SAUCE

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp gochujang (Korean chili paste)

SOY DIPPING SAUCE

  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce , regular (My go to soy sauce is Kikkoman brand)
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar

Instructions

  • Make your choice(s) of dipping sauce by whisking all ingredients in a bowl(s). Set aside.
  • Whisk well mayonnaise (2 Tbsp) and gochujang (1 tsp) in a small bowl. Combine canned tuna, eggs, green onion, onion, bell peppers, flour, salt, gochujang mayo sauce from earlier, and a 1/2 cup of panko breadcrumbs in a mixing bowl. Mix them well.
    Place the remaining panko breadcrumbs in a wide bowl (e.g. pasta bowl). Shape the mixture into small balls. I use an ice cream scoop to make even sized patties.
    As you make small balls of mixture, gently place them on panko and roll around to coat. Gently flatten the balls into patties with your hands. Coat with more panko and set aside. Repeat this with the remaining tuna mixture.
  • Stove Topย Methodย โ€“ Preheat a skillet over medium low heat. Once heated, add some cooking oil and spread well. Gently place the tuna patties into the skillet (without over crowding) and cover with the lid, cook for 5 mins. Add some oil over the tuna patties and flip them. Cook for a further 5 mins, covered. Flip once more and cook another 5 mins, or until golden brown.
    Air Fryerย Method โ€“ย Spray the fryer basket with cooking spray. Gently place the tuna patties in the basket (without over crowding).ย  Set the air fryer to 180 C / 356 F and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Then flip the patties with tongs and cook for 8 to 10 minutes more, or until golden brown.
    Oven Method โ€“ย Preheat oven at 200 C / 392 F. Line a large baking sheet with baking paper. Gently place the tuna patties and lightly spray with cooking oil. Bake for 10 mins. Remove the tray from the oven, flip the patties, and lightly spray with some cooking oil. Return to oven and bake for another 10 mins or until golden brown.
  • Serve warm with your choice of dipping sauce (e.g. gochujang mayo dipping sauce, ketchup,ย soy dipping sauce, aioli, or tartar sauce).

Notes

* 1 Tbsp = 15 ml, 1 Cup = 250 ml
** If you want to learn more about Korean ingredients, check my essential Korean cooking ingredients list!

Nutrition Info (per serving)

Calories: 141kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 335mg | Potassium: 86mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 152IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionistโ€™s advice.

Tried this recipe?I love hearing how you went with my recipes! Rate this recipe with a comment below and tag me on Instagram @MyKoreanKitchen.

 

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Written by: Sue

Last Updated: August 8, 2020
Sue and My Korean Kitchen Profile

Welcome to my Korean kitchen! Iโ€™m so happy that you're here. I am Sue, the creator behind My Korean Kitchen (since 2006). I love good food and simplifying recipes. Here you will find my best and family approved recipes. Thanks for stopping by!

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48 thoughts on “Gochujang Mayo Tuna Patties”

  1. Lovely!! I will make double next time as they are really nice cold as well. I doubled the gochujang and left out the mayo and panko only using panko for dipping. I only used one egg. I can imagine two makes them less crumbly and delicate but one is enough. Thank you!!!

    Reply
  2. THESE ARE TO DIE FOR. I am so happy I stumbled upon your website. I don’t leave reviews very often, but hot dang these are amazing. The gochujang/mayo sauce is a wonderful addition ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
  3. So happy with how these turned out! I follow WWe and these were so low on points value too which was a bonus. They were super tasty and very easy to follow the recipe. I like your tips at the start of the recipe too, very helpful. I’m also a fan of your popcorn chicken, my favourite so far.

    Reply
  4. Hi Sue, This sounds awesome will have to try it soon. I came up with my own recipe recently, Gochujang Ice Cream. ๐Ÿ˜ My wife who is Korean thought I was crazy, my in-laws in Korea had not heard of it either. I have made it 3 times now and I have officially converted my wife over ๐Ÿ˜ƒ. I personally think it tastes amazing. All you do is buy your favourite ice cream, allow it to soften slightly, place it in a large bowl and mix with a spoon or a electric beater on low 1 tsp of Gochujang for every 250ml of ice cream. Either eat it straight away or place it back in the ice cream container for later. The ratio of Gochujang to ice cream gives a slight warmth afterwards and a awesome subtle Gochujang flavour. Have you heard of this before? If not I would love it if you would give it a go and let us know what you think. Of course the better quality of ice cream you use the better it tastes. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
  5. Hi Sue! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Maybe it’s kind of a weird question but I wondered if the tuna could be replaced by something not fishy?
    My mother unfortunately has an allergy on fish and other seafood but this seems to be a dish she could like.

    So if you’ve got any recommendations on how to change it, I would be glad hearing from you!

    Hope you’re doing well and stay healthy! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
    • Perhaps try canned chicken? ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m just randomly guessing it. Sorry, I can’t give you solid advice when I haven’t tried it.

      Reply
      • Hmmm never heard of canned chicken, I should have another look at our local store. If I’ll find any, I’ll let you know how it went ๐Ÿ™‚

        I tried your tuna recipe the other day and what to say – it was awesome! Definitely one of my favourite dishes among Bibimbap ๐Ÿ™‚
        Love the way you provide background information on each of your recipes and how you build up the instructions. They’re so easy to follow and understandable even if your completely new to the Korean kitchen.

        I’m always happy hearing from you in your newsletter and to know you’re doing well! ๐Ÿ™‚

        Reply
  6. These were absolutely delicious. Super easy to make too. Thanks!

    Canned tuna is always good is you buy a quality brand (MSC certified of course) and is a standard store cupboard item. I had all of the ingredients already so nice to have such an easy go-too recipe.

    Reply
  7. I noticed that you recently changed this recipe – it didn’t used to have the mayo or gochujang, and I think only 1 egg. Were there any other changes (or is there a way I can access teh old recipe?)? I made the old tuna cake recipe several times and really liked it!

    Reply
    • Hi Beth, Yes, I updated this recipe recently and I do think this version is better. But here’s the old version that you’re after. Enjoy! & Hope you give the new one try too. ๐Ÿ™‚

      INGREDIENTS FOR 4 MEDIUM TUNA CAKES

      MAIN

      – 185g/6.5 ounces canned tuna (net weight of the tuna 130g/4.6 ounces, FYI, the tuna was in spring water), drained
      – 1 large egg, beaten
      – 20g/0.7 ounces green onion, finely chopped
      – 45g/1.6 ounces brown onion, finely chopped
      – 1 red cayenne chilli (15g/0.5 ounces)
      – 1 green cayenne chilli (10g/0.4 ounces)
      – 1 tsp all purpose flour
      – 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
      – A few sprinkles of ground black pepper
      – (optional) 1/2 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs) โ€“ Use this if you love crunchy texture. It also helps with holding the tuna cake firm.
      – Some cooking oil (I used rice bran oil)

      * You can replace the chillies with bell peppers/capsicum.

      DIPPING SAUCE (MIX THESE IN A BOWL UNTIL THE SUGAR DISSOLVES)
      – 1 Tbsp soy sauce
      – 1 Tbsp water
      – 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
      – 2 tsp white sugar

      * 1 Tbsp = 15 ml, 1 Cup = 250 ml

      STEPS

      1. Combine all the main ingredients (except for the panko if youโ€™re using it, and the cooking oil) thoroughly in a mixing bowl. Divide the mixture into four sections to make 4 medium sized tuna cakes. (You can make smaller or bigger cakes per your preference. Just know that the larger the cake, the longer it takes to cook.) Make round shaped patties with each divided mixture.

      2. (Optional) Coat each tuna cake with the panko.

      3. Heat a non-stick frying pan (or well-seasoned cast iron skillet) over medium-high heat and add some cooking oil. (If you are using panko, add oil more generously.) Gently place the tuna cakes into the pan and cook both sides until browned, about 3 to 4 minutes each side. (Panko crumbed patties will take slightly longer to cook. For these, once both sides are golden brown, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook covered until the inside is cooked.)

      4. Serve with the dipping sauce. (They taste best while still hot.)

      Reply
  8. These were really tasty! Normally canned tuna is a little disappointing for me. This is one of the best recipes I’ve found to use it up.

    Reply
  9. Hi Sue, I’m making a double batch since my can of tuna is bigger. Would you suggest freezing some before cooking or after? I’m guessing before right? I’m going to air fry them. I’ll come back to rate later in the week after making them ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
    • I prefer freezing it after cooking. ๐Ÿ™‚ You can reheat as frozen in the air fryer as well. It tastes just the same. But that’s just me. I worry that the patties might break apart while freezing if it’s before cooking. LOL.

      Reply
  10. Hi Sue!
    Digging through my cupboards, I found a packet of Starkist Tuna (“Spicy Korean Style with Gochujang”). Seems like it might be a good shortcut, since there aren’t any Korean markets near me. I’m going to try using it in this recipe tomorrow…wish me luck! Love learning from you and your website.

    Reply
  11. Hi Sue

    It sounds awsome will try both very soon.

    Which is better to use .. tins of Tuna in Oil or Tuna in Water?

    cheers

    Mike

    Reply
  12. yummy –
    I didnt have the peppers so I used smoked chilli peppers and whole green peppercorns. I also subbed in fresh fennel for the scallions.
    I love your recipes! Thanks and keep them coming

    Reply
  13. Hi, these sound delicious! I wondered about making them for my son, who is 7 but he doesn’t like ANYTHING spicy. So would they still be good if you left out all of the peppers? Could you create a version with canned chicken and it still be good as well? Would love your advice. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Hi Kelli, Yes, you can skip the peppers. If you want to add some colors, you could use bell peppers/capsicums instead. I haven’t tried it with canned chicken, so I can’t tell you much opinion on that. ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy!

      Reply
  14. I havenโ€™t made tuna patties for a long time. Alas, our Coral Hawaiian tuna is too wet and mushy and by the time you squeeze out the water(or oil), you really need two cans, so I buy a more expensive, solid-pack brand and use 2 cans anyway. I use gochugaru and finely diced jalapeรฑo peppers since we canโ€™t get cayenne peppers. Since you posted the recipe, I am motivated to make it again. BTW: since tuna patties can be a bit dry, I sometimes use a little mayo or even a couple of ounces of mashed tofu to add moisture.

    Reply
    • Hi Zen, did you use panko? Panko should have helped.
      Also/Or you can add more flour and egg to make them more cohesive.
      Finally, don’t turn the pancakes around too much while cooking. Once should be sufficient. Hope they turn out better next time!

      Reply
      • I made very similar salmon patties with my home smoked salmon. Turned out very good, but a bit dry since I put panko in the mixture too. Added some chopped capers, dill and garlic chives also. Next time will add some green/red peppers and will do a trial patty and if needed I’ll add a spoonful of mayo to the mixture.

        Reply
        • Your smoked salmon patty sounds very delicious! Did you pair it with the dipping sauce? I found that the dipping sauce really moisten a lot. Anyway, hope your next one turns out even better! ๐Ÿ™‚

          Reply
  15. Im happy i found your website! Ive just recently been introduced to korean food and i would like to try my hand at a few easier dishes. Looking forward to making this recipe this week.

    Reply
  16. Hi Sue,

    This recipe is definitely a keeper and I will make this soon. I feel so lucky that I found your website.

    Throughout my Air Force career, I was fortunate to meet many women from Korea who introduced me to recipes like kimchi and bulgogi. Korean food is great because it is delicious and healthy.

    Thank you,
    Chuck

    Reply
  17. This recipe is similar to my mother’s recipe. My mother is not Korean, so that’s ironic. The exception is that my mother didn’t use panko, and she only used bell peppers not the hot ones. Isn’t it amazing how different cultures can make similar dishes? I wish my mom had your dipping sauce, though. Catsup and tartar sauce aren’t as tasty.

    Reply
    • I know, it’s amazing! I hope you get to try my tuna cake recipe with the dipping sauce! They’re seriously the best combo! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Reply

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