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Just got some beautiful octopus. What to do now?

Yukari Jul 7, 2009 03:41 PM

My husband works for a seafood company and yesterday we did a tour of an octopus processing plant in Japan. We graciously received some to take home. There are many great ideas for Japanese recipes, but we want to try octopus as it is eaten outside of Japan.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Will be posting results on our blog.

  1. Yukari Jul 12, 2009 06:46 PM

    Great suggestions. Thanks! We made the Galacian style octopus last night and loved it. Also tried a grilled Greek style one but prefer the octopus in salads. Will post photos on my blog with the results. Arigato!

    1. Sam Fujisaka Jul 9, 2009 07:05 AM

      Sakamoto-san, funny, I get octopus so rarely, I only cook it as in Japan.

      1. tommyskitchen Jul 8, 2009 07:45 PM

        Interesting thoughts from all - Saw some fresh baby octopus in my Asian market today - Anyone have any thoughts for those? I'd hate to boil them very long...Do they have beaks?

        1 Reply
        1. re: tommyskitchen
          Boccone Dolce Jul 9, 2009 04:32 AM

          The most amazing baby octopus salad I had was at an Italian restaurant- they were so tender and the dressing was perfect-i guess it's kind of close to what Matt shared but I don't recall any actual 'salad greens' in it- just the cut veggies.

        2. thew Jul 8, 2009 04:34 PM

          shake,shake,shake,shake,shake,shake,shake,shake,hands?

          1 Reply
          1. re: thew
            Veggo Jul 8, 2009 06:13 PM

            thew is being way too polite. Beat it like a rented mule. And again and again......

          2. BigSal Jul 8, 2009 03:30 PM

            I enjoy Pulpo a la Gallega (Octopus Galician style). This is a very simple and tasty Spanish preparation for octopus. You boil the octopus until tender, season with salt, paprika and olive oil. This is often served with boiled potatoes (which also taste delicious with the olive oil/paprika) and crusty bread.

            1. m
              MattInNJ Jul 8, 2009 12:12 PM

              Octopus Salad!

              To Prepare Octopus:

              * 2 pounds raw fresh octopus (large)
              * 4 quarts water
              * 2 teaspoons rock salt
              * 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
              * 1 small lemon, cut in half
              * 4 whole garlic cloves, peeled
              * 2 whole bay leaves
              * 2 green onions rimmed to 5 inches whole

              The Salad:

              * 1/2 medium green bell pepper, diced
              * 1/2 medium red bell pepper, diced
              * 1 small red onion, diced
              * 4 garlic cloves peeled, minced
              * 1/4 teaspoon ground black peppercorns
              * 1 teaspoon pulverized rock salt
              * 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano (1 teaspoon dried)
              * 1/3 cup pitted black olive
              * 1/3 cup capers
              * 1/2 cup olive oil
              * 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
              * 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
              * 4 lettuce leaves, washed and patted dry
              * 1 bunch of watercress, washed, with large stems removed
              * 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

              Garnish: 4 thick slices of tomato, cut in halves, 4 lemon wedges, 4 lime wedges
              Preparation

              1. Rinse octopus thoroughly in warm running water for 1 minute. Then place in a stockpot with 2 to 3 quarts of water. Add whole rock salt, whole peppercorns, lemon, garlic, 2 bay leaves, and green onions.
              2. Place on high heat and bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and continue cooking for approximately 1 hour or until octopus is tender. The octopus must be completely covered with water while cooking; when water level diminishes, add more, otherwise the meat will not become tender.
              3. The cooking time will be affected by the size of the octopus. As you check for the water level, also check for tenderness of the meat by sticking a fork through the fattest part of the tentacles. The fork should go through without effort when the meat is done and ready to be taken out.
              4. Once done, transfer octopus to a colander and place under cold running water. Slide your hand up and down the tentacles so as to remove the top layer of the slippery tissues. The octopus head has an inner lining; turn the head inside out and remove the tissue.
              5. To make the salad, dice the octopus into pieces approximately l/4-inch thick. Using a glass salad bowl (wood or metal will adversely alter the taste), combine octopus meat, diced green and red peppers, red onion, minced garlic, ground black peppercorns, pulverized salt, oregano, olives, capers, olive oil, lime juice, red wine vinegar, and 3 bay leaves. Toss vigorously, then cover and store at room temperature (but away from direct heat) for at least 1 hour.
              6. To serve: layer individual salad plates with green lettuce leaves and a bed of watercress. Using a slotted spoon, scoop a mound of octopus salad onto the plate, then sprinkle chopped cilantro on the top.

              1. Veggo Jul 8, 2009 11:58 AM

                In Mexico, it is popular in ceviche mixto, with shrimp, fresh fish, sometimes conch, with lime juice and pico de gallo. Also good on the grill with a chipotle rub, if you can properly tenderize it.

                1. JungMann Jul 8, 2009 11:35 AM

                  I was going to pick up octopus last week for a red wine braise with chorizos, but the pleasant surprise of finding softshell crabs distracted me. Chorizo might be hard for you to obtain in Japan, in which case I might try a pulpo a feira recipe instead.

                  1. Pata_Negra Jul 8, 2009 05:03 AM

                    i like octopus in several ways depending on the time of year. have you tried it in a stew? "Polvo Guisado” (octopus stew: http://www.portuguesecooking.com/recipes/main_dishes/octopus_stew ). Arroz de Polvo (Octopus Rice: http://www.portoexpress.com/idxp2.htm ). i rather like to eat octopus salad as much as i can while in Portugal [don't like to boil the creature myself at home...].

                    1. scubadoo97 Jul 7, 2009 06:44 PM

                      Try this method from Harold McGee

                      http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/05/din...

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