Cooking with Octopus


If you’ve never cooked with octopus before, you’re really missing out. All over the world, people are eating octopus. You can prepare the arms or other body parts in various ways, usually depending on the type of octopus. In America, it’s a little less common to see people eating octopus. But throughout the Mediterranean and different parts of Asia, octopus is a delicacy. Read on for a delicious octopus recipe.

You can find octopus dishes at tons of sushi bars, plus Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, and some Italian restaurants. The most popular way to eat an octopus in Greece is to grill it. It really is delicious! But, you can also eat octopus in salads, stews, or pasta. Of course, gourmet chefs have created more elaborate dishes, but for me, simply grilling it works even better!

You don’t have to be an expert chef to cook with octopus, but it’s definitely intimidating. I’ve heard that you should cook two pounds of octopus for about 30 minutes or a little longer. A 12- to 16-ounce octopus cooks in less than an hour. If you put a bunch of them in a pot together, it would be way faster than to try to cook a massive four-pound octopus. Check the octopus with the sharp-point of a thin=bladed knife. When it’s faced with little resistance, your octopus is done. Don’t cook it any longer or it may dry out and become tough.

Try this delicious recipe: Octopus with Macaroni

* 2 lbs. fresh or frozen/thawed octopus
* 1 C. onions, finely chopped
* 1/2 C. olive oil
* 1 C. tomato sauce
* salt
* pepper
* 8 C. hot water
* 1 lb. cut or elbow macaroni

Place octopus flat on cutting board and pound well to tenderize. Cut off head and stomach, just below the eye. Discard head with hard parts. Peel off and discard the outer purple stomach membrane. Separate the tentacles with sharp knife and remove as much skin as possible from around and underneath the suckers. Wash and rinse several times to remove any sand particles. Drain and cut into 2-inch pieces.

Combine octopus and onions in large pot and cook over medium heat, without added water, until the natural juices are absorbed. Add oil and sauté 2 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce and cook 3 minutes longer. Add water and bring to a boil. Add macaroni with salt, stir to separate, and return to boiling point. Simmer for about 15 minutes until pasta is tender, stirring frequently to avoid sticking.

Season with pepper. Let stand 15 minutes to absorb the sauce, stirring gently once or twice. Serve warm.

Time needed: 90 minutes cooking

Try this Fish Salad recipe next!

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  • Alli

    I love octopus too but never cook it myself as it isn’t readily available here in NZ. I always order it when overseas though.

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