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Your favorite octopus dish?

I was just writing on my blog (for address see my profile!) on how I intend to give up octopus. But I'm already thinking about all I might be missing!

Besides sushi/sashimi, Sicilian-style pasta with seafood, and simple Mediterranean grilled dishes, what are some of your favorite preparations? (For instance, doing a search, I noticed that a lot of you have eaten live babies. How'd that work out for you?) Can you *do* much else with it besides grill it or eat it raw?

Well, now that I've asked that, I do remember an AMAZING dish of braised/BBQ'd baby octopus over ink polenta at Boston's Neptune Oyster a couple of years back. But what else?

Thanks, mighty hounds!

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  1. I have a friend who will not eat squid or octopus because he believes they are intelligent, sentient beings.

    13 Replies
    1. re: MysticYoYo

      Precisely why I intend to give it up. Unfortunately, I also believe it's delicious!

      1. re: MysticYoYo

        If you don't mind, I'd like to know more about that aspect of eating squid and/or octopus.

        I love them fried with a squeeze of lemon and in seafood salad. The local Shaw's supermarket has been getting seafood salad more often, along with a very good Maine shrimp salad.

        I am interested in understanding the critters involved, and making some better-informed choices.

        1. re: chowfamily

          Here's a tidbit: they (octopodes; I don't know about squid) apparently have the intelligence level of housecats.

          1. re: tatamagouche

            Mmmm,spicy braised house cat!...
            Sorry, TTMG, I'll never give up the cephalapods...I made the best octo I've ever done today, coincidentally...I had made a Mediterranean fish soup the other day, with just white fish and too much tomato...bleh...I strained out all the fish, then quickly braised the octo in EVOO and garlic for a few minutes...Added a splash of white wine, then added the too tomato-ey broth from the soup...Cooked over low heat for an hour (yes, it's true,2 minutes, or an hour) and added some steamed potato chunks, and the rest of the solids from the soup...I was in heaven...

            1. re: galleygirl

              Mmm...GG, you're already stirring regrets about my decision! (BTW I referred to you using your screen name on my blog the other day...I hope that's OK...)

              1. re: tatamagouche

                Fame, either that, or notoreity!

                I'm planning of buying another pound of the critters (I got the baby ones, muy cheaper) and doing it again tonight...I feel like the "water" moment in Helen keller, becasue they ended up so tender..I've never gotten the hang of the two minute thing, but this really worked...

              2. re: galleygirl

                You've made pops al suc... Catalan baby octopi simmered in olive oil, garlic and tomatoes.

              3. re: tatamagouche

                My housecats are some of the most intelligent beings I know, and my experience scuba diving has changed the way I think about some other critters as well. Oysters, lobster and others remain fair game for now - greedy me!

                Ironically, I did have some great octopus salad over the weekend, and more than a few oysters.

                Octopus is delicious.

                1. re: chowfamily

                  Oh, yeah, marinated in seafood salad. How did I forget that one?

                  1. re: tatamagouche

                    By the time the octopus make it to the market or the plate it is already a done deal, so why not have it with the respect it deserves? At least that is what I tell myself, as a Monday morning shell-fish vegetarian with excuses.

                    I have seen them swimming alive in the ocean, and they are beautiful, interesting creatures.

                    1. re: chowfamily

                      Aquatarian, that's my new term.... ;)

            2. re: MysticYoYo

              A vegetarian then? To the best of my knowledge, or at least off the top of my head, all animals are sentient. If you poke a nematode it will react.

              1. Korean Nakji Bokum (Spicy Stir Fried Octopus).
                Recipe available for anyone interested.

                4 Replies
                1. re: hannaone

                  I am interested in recipe if you wish to post it on Home Cooking Board!

                  1. re: hannaone

                    I'm going to agree with you about the nakji bokum. Absolutely love that stuff.

                    1. re: hannaone

                      I don't think I've ever had nakji bokum, but there is this bottle called kimchi-no-moto in Japan. It's an instant mix that you can use to make kimchi nabe. However, my uncle used it once to marinate octopus, and I was skeptical, but it was delish.

                      I also like it marinated in equal parts evoo and lemon juice w/ parsley. Some people add shoyu to this; I like it just like this.

                    2. hmmmm would looking at those youtube videos of people eating live octopus help your transition? hehe.

                      1. You've presented something akin to, "I've stopped eating people, but before I go, I'd like to ask you cannibals your favorite recipes".

                        For what its worth a) simmered for a minute in light teriyaki, served with the reduced teriyaki sauce, and b) stir fried with super high heat for 20 seconds, served with a simultneous prepared molten sauce of toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, cilantro, green onion, chopped chile,...

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                          Yeah, I know...I never said I was principled...Your dish sounds dandy!

                        2. I prefer a dry rub with spanish paprika and a bit of chipotle powder, and I grill it over smoky mesquite. Cooks quickly; usually precedes a grilled meat main course.

                          Also, it is essential to a diligent mixed ceviche.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Veggo

                            I'm not sure I've ever had it in ceviche. If you've got a recipe, you should post it on Home Cooking—not for *my* sake, of course!

                            Why oh why *did* I start this post? :)

                          2. Ceviche at Rincon Limeno
                            Nakji Bokum at Buk Kyung
                            Wood-grilled at Prezza

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: gini

                              No fair, I'm no longer in Boston! Can I have some nakji bokum vicariously please? What is it?

                                1. re: hannaone

                                  Oh, sorry, I see I missed your reference above. Thanks!

                            2. Greek-style -- fresh off the grill, with s&p and a squeeeeeeze of lemon.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: linguafood

                                My local Greek resto grills it, cuts it into bite size bit and uses olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, capers, chopped onions, and chopped tomatoes. UNfreakingbelievable.

                                1. re: Phaedrus

                                  You can't beat a nice Greek octopus salad.

                              2. Just when I need it most, reinforcement of my decision to swear off octopus arrives. How could I deny them their wacky sex lives? (If link doesn't work, try cutting and pasting.)


                                1. One of my favorite octopus dishes was at Harry's Bar in the Zona Rosa (Liverpool) in Mexico City. It was a fairly simple presentation of pulpo en chipotle - served more like a stew than a sauced dish - octopus, a thick chipotle gravy, onion, garlic. Harry's was a regular hangout because it was about the only place we could go out and watch NHL hockey in the entire city (this was back in 1994). And while they were known for steaks, I'd say I had the pulpo on more than half my visits there. Wish I had the recipe for it, but we never asked.

                                  1. Portuguese octopus and rice. Elemental.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: limster

                                      If I stop eating them, will they stop killing them?

                                      Answer to your question: grilled, with olive oil and spices.

                                    2. Takoyaki is probably the most common form in which I eat octopus, and I certainly enjoy it. There's something delightfully playful about the way they're prepared and eaten with what amount to long toothpicks.

                                      1. I have seen in Japanese preparation where they beat on the octopus with dikon radishes to tenderize the octopus. My question is: why dikon radishes? Why not something else?

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Phaedrus

                                          Hah, that's funny. Maybe it's like waving a bottle of vermouth over a glass of gin; supposedly something of the radish gets imparted to the octopus.

                                        2. Slowly braised in rose wine...absolutely delicious.