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Mar 11, 2005 09:41 AM

octopus question

  • q

i'm looking at a recipe that recommends freezing and defrosting octopus before cooking in order to tenderize it.

but i think that the octopus in the market is already previously frozen and defrosted. i'm worried that double freezing and defrosting would turn it to mush. or cause it to dry out or something.

should i freeze and defrost, or not? what do you do?

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  1. I've never done that. All of the octopus that I've had has already been frozen. A nice long, slow simmer has always been sufficient, I've never had a problem.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Allison
      King of Northern Blvd.

      I've always been told to slam it in the sink a few times...I've never not done it to test it out so I can't say whether it works or not but it always comes out fine. I think Mario Batali says to throw a cork in the simmering water, Why? I do not know....

    2. In Spain many people freeze the octopus overnight (8 hours or so--not really enough time for it to freeze rock hard). This is supposed to tenderize it a bit. But this is for fresh octopus. I've also seen folks on the coast beating the octopus against rocks after they are caught.

      I've never dealt with frozen octopus, but I would think that you would want to use it as quickly as possible after defrosting it and wouldn't want to refreeze it.

      1. j
        JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)

        You could always go the Iron Chef route and beat the living daylights out of the thing with a daikon radish. Not only does it help tenderize the octopus, it imparts some of the daikon's delicate flavor to the octopus too.

        1. This may sound silly, but I had an octopus in my salt water tank, and just the intelligence of the thing impressed me so much that I will not eat octopus anymore. Squid is another matter :)