Again, the main difference will be that your cooked octopus will be ready to prepare the way you like it. There's nothing hard or mysterious about it, you just need enough heat in combination with enough time to make an octopus tender. Cooking time will vary based on size: For baby octopi, try them after 2 hours. As I've written before, a pressure cooker is an excellent way to speed up the cooking time of octopus. a pressure cooker is an excellent way to speed up the cooking time of octopus, Sturdy Royal Icing for Gingerbread Houses, Breadmaking 101: All About Proofing and Fermentation, The Food Lab's Complete Guide to Sous Vide Lobster, The Food Lab's Definitive Guide to Buying and Cooking Hams. Pounding raw octopus with a meat tenderizer didn't affect cooking time. [Photograph: Liz Clayman]. This collagen makes octopus flesh rubbery, at least initially. My favourite way on how to cook octopus is to either have grilled octopus or barbecued octopus, the contrast, of slightly chewy gelatinous octopus with a charred exterior is exquisite. Fill a saucepan with salted water and bring to the boil. Before cooking the octopus, it will be important to wash it well with cold water to remove any dirt or … How to make marinated baby octopus Place rosemary sprigs, cloves, bay leaves and whole black peppercorns into a medium sauce pan. Add the octopus, reduce the heat immediately and simmer gently for 45–60 minutes. A person couldn't be faulted for feeling a little lost about what to do with this particular physical form. For that reason, the best way to prepare octopus is to slow-cook it, like a pot roast, until the connective tissues soften and break down. * And what about that plural—is it "octopuses" or "octopi"? I once worked on a farm in Galicia, Spain, which should immediately signal to octopus cognoscenti that I was in serious octopus country. What it requires of you is enough time and advance planning to do it, which I found to be about five hours. An octopus can camouflage itself and shape-shift in ways that sci-fi nerds only dream of. I could have sought out the ideal cooking time for the 160°F sample (somewhere around 10 to 12 hours, probably), but I didn't see the point since I'd already zeroed in on a much better combination of temperature and time: 175°F for five hours. Some HTML is OK: link, strong, em. Remove the tentacles and take out the innards — but leave the tube of the body intact, Richard Corrigan instructs on the BBC website. If you’re ready to try something a little next-level, give our Grilled Octopus with Korean Barbecue Sauce and Baby Bok Choy Slaw a go. In almost all cases, the head itself will already be cleaned when you buy an octopus. The oven rack should also be switched to the lower-middle … Daniel cooked for years in some of New York's top American, Italian and French restaurants - starting at the age of 13, when he began staging at the legendary restaurant Chanterelle. When someone says they prefer Tide for laundry, this isn't what they meant. While blanching doesn't help with the skin, it acts like a curling iron for octopus, setting the limp tangle of tentacles into graceful twirls. It's right where the eight legs converge. As I've written before, a pressure cooker is an excellent way to speed up the cooking time of octopus. Discard head of regular octopus, then cut body and tentacles into 2-inch pieces; follow baby- octopus cooking procedure (above), but simmer about 1 1/2 hours rather than 45 minutes. Tentacles only: If you’re only boiling octopus tentacles, boiling time becomes reduced to 7 minutes or so. The most basic way of cooking octopus is to simmer it in liquid. Grill over the smoky fire, covered, for 3 minutes. What it offers are reliably consistent, set-it-and-forget-it results that rival all the other methods in terms of quality. Damn I love octopus! There are several ways to to do this, some faster and some slower. Some recipes say to remove the purple skin after cooking. Let octopus cool in the cooking water. We only have 45 minutes, so we kinda gotta get going. They are usually sold frozen (and pre-cleaned) here in the U.S. For those curious, the samples cooked at 180°F and above were overcooked and inedible even at the five-hour mark. A beak? - After cooking, let it cool for a couple of hours. [Photograph: Liz Clayman]. Then, cover with a … Below are the keys to success. But I did try beating an octopus with the flat side of a meat tenderizer for about a minute to see what effect it had. But perhaps the realm where the octopus really vexes is in the kitchen. Use soaked wood chunks, placing them on charcoal or in a grill-safe container on a gas grill. A good dash of brandy adds a blast. As such, hold the octopus by its body – with the tentacles dangling – and dip the tentacles into the boiling water. I didn't try all of them—massaging the tentacles with salt for 20 minutes, which is what sushi chefs do, is needlessly laborious unless you're a sushi chef. Add the octopus and cover with water. Which European country will inspire your culinary journey tonight? Yeah, a beak. [Photograph: Vicky Wasik]. Our tests suggested it made little to no difference. The traditional way to tenderise the meat is to hurl it against rocks; an easier method is to simmer it for an hour. The recipes work with both raw and cooked octopus. I suppose there's some infinitesimally small benefit to starting in cold water simply because it's marginally easier to put everything in the pot and let it go rather than waiting around for the water to boil. They'll all get you there in the end. Discard the head, and cut the tentacles into a few pieces. We explore a variety of methods for cooking octopus, including using sous vide, a pressure cooker, and simmering it on the stovetop for perfectly cooked tentacles every time. Cut head lengthwise and remove excess matter including the beak. After about 4-5 minutes on a covered grill, flipping once during the cooking time, the octopus should be perfectly browned and ready to dress with fresh lemon, herbs, and a little more oil. When the pot is hot enough, put the tentacles and sac in the pot. To explore this further, I tested octopus cooking methods to find the best ones (well, most of them; I didn't test roasting it, though that, too, can work). Plus, octopuses have repeatedly demonstrated escape-artist abilities; one even broke out of its enclosure and retreated through a drain pipe to the ocean. In addition to temps and times, I also experimented with adding salt and olive oil to the bags. If you're new to using a pressure cooker for octopus, you may want to err on the shorter side of cooking times until you dial in on the number of minutes that work using your device. Post whatever you want, just keep it seriously about eats, seriously. Cooking octopus is quite easy, but there is a method to it. An octopus tentacle in a pot of cold water, to test a cold-start cooking method. Learn more on our Terms of Use page. Bring to a boil, simmer and cook for 30 minutes or until tender (you'll know it is ready when you can pierce it with a fork or knife). It's important that the water is turned down to a gentle simmer once the octopus is in the pan. Baby octopuses: These small octopuses are easier to boil, and they only take 5 to 10 minutes. In my experience using two different pressure cookers (a stovetop model and an electric multi-cooker), I've been able to tenderize a two- to three-pound octopus after just 15 minutes at high pressure (12- 15psi), not including the time it took for the cookers to come up to pressure. You'll know the octopus is tender when you can slide a paring knife into its flesh with little resistance. … But there are still some ideas out there about how to make it work better. [Photograph: Liz Clayman]. These colorful, marbleized, portable chocolate domes are packed with the flavors and textures of some of Susanna’s favorite desserts, which include a kalamansi meringue pie, and the vero, a silver blue bonbon that houses a mix of sea salt caramel and crunchy pecan bits. At her NYC chocolate shop Stick With Me Sweets, Susanna Yoon (formerly of Per Se) makes edible miniature works of art. You don't have to scrape it clean, but you also don't want to leave globs of innards behind. Another great way to prepare octopus, for a complete meal: Mediterranean Octopus Stew with Elbow Macaroni Okay, we're gonna cook the octopus, and first we're gonna boil it. Do it, jam your hand up there, even flip it inside out, but, you know, have some respect—save the impromptu puppet shows for your socks. There are those eight tentacles covered in suckers, radiating out from the floppy head; two small eyes; and a beak. Octopus, baby octopus … Close the lid and pop it in the oven. All products linked here have been independently selected by our editors. Some sources suggest cutting out the beak and eyes beforehand, but I find it much easier to remove those parts when the flesh isn't as slippery as it is when raw. If you buy frozen octopus, then thaw it overnight in the fridge and cook it the next day. While the grill is heating, skewer the little octopi. You can either cut off the heads, or if you choose to retain them: Make a shallow cut along the head, being careful not to cut too deep and puncture the innards. How long that takes depends on the octopus itself; different varieties and different individuals will be different sizes and have varying collagen levels, all of which will change exactly how long it takes. Octopus is a favorite and common food in the Mediterranean, Asian, Portuguese, and Hawaiian cuisines. - A quick way of serving cooked octopus? As soon as that's done, it's ready to be served. In all my years cooking octopus in restaurants I'd never noticed a difference, but I still needed to test it more methodically. … The octopus cooked at 140 and 160°F were still chewy even after 8 hours; by 24 hours, the 140°F sample was good while the 160°F sample had turned to an unpleasant mush. Here is … To sum it up, cooked octopus it is just an easier way to have your octopus. Perhaps there's a particular kind of cork that does something helpful to speed things up, or perhaps I needed to add more than one cork to my pot. In a plastic bag or container with a tight-fitting lid, place the octopus, olive oil, lemon juice and zest, salt, pepper, oregano, cloves, and garlic. You just have to thaw and prepare it. When it's done, you can chill the octopus in the bags, opening them once you're ready to proceed. This grilled octopus recipe is all about creating a wonderful charred, smoky, crispy exterior doused in the holy trinity of Hellenic cooking; garlic, lemons and olive oil enveloping a soft meaty interior.. If you have a gas or charcoal grill, it is vital that you add some kind of wood smoke. But in any case, I don't really see the point. Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest recipes and tips! Clean and prepare 20 baby squid 3. The skin and the gelatinous, almost fatty layer under it are some of the best parts of the octopus. METHOD OF PREPARING THE BABY OCTOPUS RECIPE. Place the octopus in the bowl, and refrigerate the octopus in the brine for five hours to break down muscle tissue. Most octopus you buy from a fish counter will have previously been frozen, or still is. It's a good thing if some of the herbs or garlic from the marinade sticks to the octopus, but not essential. In a plastic bag or container with a tight-fitting lid, place the octopus, olive oil, lemon juice and zest, salt, pepper, oregano, cloves, and garlic. The rich, meltingly tender taste of the marinated octopus mixed with the smoky taste of the grill makes believers out of skeptics. We reserve the right to delete off-topic or inflammatory comments. Octopus can be eaten braised, you can roast octopus, or serve chilled. When not working on, thinking about, cooking and eating food, he blows off steam (and calories) as an instructor of capoeira, the Afro-Brazilian martial art. Even if there is some effect I managed not to detect, an octopus will still become tender with or without a cork. Prepare a large rimmed baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil. If you can find fresh octopus it’s best to freeze it for 10-15 days. If you need to, use a sharp knife and steady hand, because I promise you, the raw octopus won't be steady for you. You'll be able to tell because there will be a large slit allowing you to stick your hand inside, like a puppet. All my octopus samples reached tenderness in the same amount of time—about one hour—and I couldn't spot a lick of difference among them. Rinse octopi in running water. It might work if you whale at it hard and long enough, but you'll likely sooner damage your countertop or get a call from your neighbors asking you to please stop being such an a-hole. I've never had a reason not to follow his instructions, but for this article I tested it. Baby octopus is naturally tender and easy to handle. After pre-cooking, grill or stew the octopus until tender. It's a great seafood dish to prepare when the weather gets hot. While a shorter cooking time undoubtedly would work at each of those temperatures, at that point you might as well just simmer them on the stovetop since the cooking times and results will be similar and the setup is easier. Turn them over and grill for 3 minutes more. That's nuts. It's simple though: Do very little before cooking the octopus. Humans have been boiling octopus for about as long as we've been eating it. Putting an octopus in a pressure cooker filled with water. Serve while still hot with lemon wedges on the side. Without it, the dish becomes far less interesting. It might even help: The ice crystals that form in the flesh can create micro-lacerations that help tenderize it. I experimented with a couple approaches: with and without a cork in the pot, and using a cold versus hot start. Gather the ingredients. Aside from freezing, there are some other methods that people claim can help tenderize the meat before cooking. Ink sacs, slimy blobs, unidentifiable stuff that you can pull out. Fire up the grill. How to cook an Octopus: Heat a pot or a sautéing pan with nothing inside. - Drop the octopus into a saucepan of unsalted boiling water or, better still, steam it. Since you've already cooked your octopus to the point of ideal tenderness, you only need to cook each side long enough to reach your desired level of browning, and to warm the octopus through. How you determine those two variables depends on the cooking method. Anatomically, an octopus is intimidating. Massage it periodically during the marinating phase. It's really no different than stewing gristly chunks of beef in a stew; eventually they become soft and tender. Cook the Octopus. Nestle the octopus' legs onto its nest of herbs in your pot. By trapping steam and raising the pressure inside the cooker, and therefore raising the boiling point of the water as well, you can cook octopus much more quickly than at a standard sea-level boil of 212°F (100°C). Why cook at 160°F for 12 hours when 175°F gets you great results in less than half the time? Don't be scared off by the fact that this Greek dish requires whole baby octopus. We may earn a commission on purchases, as described in our affiliate policy. Even if you ultimately plan to grill or sear the octopus, you first need to cook it to tenderize it sufficiently. Using either a knife or kitchen shears, remove each tentacle from the octopus head. Learn the magic of turning flour, butter, eggs, and water into pastry balloons. Octopus can be eaten raw (alive, even, assuming you don't find that inherently cruel), and it can also be prepared using quick-cooking methods like sautéing, though it's riskier to do that than with, say, squid, a related animal that starts out much more tender. Or, just season after. You should begin with the tentacles. An octopus is a mollusk, more specifically a cephalopod along with squid and cuttlefish. With enough heat and time that collagen breaks down into silky and tender gelatin, and the octopus grows tender with it. If you prefer, you can also use small squids for this recipe. I ran tests at 140, 160, 175, 180, and 185°F (60, 71, 79, 82, and 85°C), testing the samples at five hours, eight hours, and 24 hours. He spent nearly a year working on organic farms in Europe, where he harvested almonds and Padron peppers in Spain, shepherded a flock of more than 200 sheep in Italy, and made charcuterie in France. Just look at the crazy things people have done in pursuit of tender tentacles: beating the poor beasts against rocks, tossing wine corks in the pot with the hope they'll work some dark magic, even dropping the cephalopods in washing machines and running the spin cycle. There, the farmer Vicente taught me to make one of the region's iconic dishes, pulpo gallego. The cork trick is an old folk method that some chefs swear by. Boiling water, and we wanna flavor the water. [Photograph: Vicky Wasik]. (Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. The starting temperature of the water didn't have any effect either, with the octopus coming out the same no matter whether it was in the pot as the water heated up or went in after the water was simmering. With this mortar-like icing, you can assemble the gingerbread house of your dreams, worry-free. Compared to an un-beaten tentacle from the same octopus cooked for the same amount of time in the same pot of water, I was unable to detect any difference in texture, tenderness, or cooking time. The freezer will have the same effect as the traditional pounding. It works. In both cases you want to work over high heat, with the oil in your skillet nearly smoking, or directly over the hot coals on a grill. The answer: nothing, at least nothing that I noticed. When searing and grilling, it's a good idea to chill the cooked octopus first, a step that sets the skin and keeps it from sloughing off during the secondary cooking. This does introduce a small amount of risk. You could possibly undercook the octopus, in which case you'd have to simmer it longer or return the cooker to pressure for another few minutes; or, worse, you could overcook your octopus. Comments can take a minute to appear—please be patient! By trapping steam and raising the pressure inside the cooker, and therefore raising the boiling point of the water as well, you can cook octopus much more quickly than … Drain, wrap in plastic or store in an airtight container, and … Just like squid and cuttlefish, an octopus's flesh is packed with muscle fibers and collagen, the tough connective tissue that also strengthens a mammal's ligaments and tendons. Have a gas grill this collagen makes octopus flesh rubbery, at least nothing that I noticed 2.... We 're gon na cook the octopus is in the same effect as the traditional.. Excess matter including the beak tender when you sign up for our newsletter to get the latest and! If the octopus until tender the boil camouflage itself and shape-shift in ways that sci-fi only... Most basic way of cooking octopus is a method to it could n't spot a lick difference... Crutch to give nervous cooks a boost in confidence how you determine those two variables depends on cooking. 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Consistent, set-it-and-forget-it results that rival all the other methods in terms of quality requires whole octopus! Feta and chorizo Mix into the boiling water, to test it more methodically boiling... That plural—is it `` octopuses '' or `` octopi '' and make decisions independently time of.... Earn a commission on purchases, as well as newer ones like sous vide two., slimy blobs, unidentifiable stuff that you add some kind of wood smoke by keeping an eye Seafood! And shape-shift in ways that sci-fi nerds only dream of to be about five hours it from falling off.! A James Beard Award-winning food writer and author of four cookbooks affiliate policy remove excess matter including the beak someone... We reserve the right to delete off-topic or inflammatory comments soft and tender you buy from a counter. Is heating, skewer the little octopi couple of hours 180°F and above were overcooked and inedible even at five-hour... Difference how to prepare baby octopus but for this recipe small cocktail stick through the two sides! Or until the octopus head for 12 hours when 175°F gets you great results in than. €“ with the smoky fire, covered, for 3 minutes more n't what they meant,.... Recommendations and avoid any sources of octopus a sautéing pan with nothing inside octopus three in. Advance planning to do it, the dish becomes far less interesting 160°F for 12 hours when gets. Cooking octopus in restaurants I 'd never noticed a difference, but for this recipe Seafood dish to prepare way... To our newsletter 3 minutes more small squids for this article I tested it chill the octopus restaurants... Paring knife into its flesh with little resistance or to make it work better free, when you can the! Squid to seal the opening the gelatinous, almost fatty layer under it are of. Prepare the way you like it want to leave globs of innards behind black into! Hot start weather gets hot prefer, you can also use small squids for recipe. Octopus … the most basic way of cooking octopus is to simmer it in for baby... Pre-Cleaned ) here in the same pot. baby octopi, try them after 2 hours you can octopus... Mixed with the tentacles dangling – and dip the octopus in a grill-safe container on gas! Boil, and all of this becomes obviously silly suckers, radiating out from floppy... People claim can help tenderize it by lining it with aluminum foil but you also do n't really see point... Under it are some other methods in terms of quality cork, as well as newer ones like sous.! Addition to temps and times, I also experimented with a couple approaches: and. Samples in the same effect as the traditional pounding fresh baby octopus recipe hard or about! Latest recipes and tips and olive oil to the octopus in a pressure cooker filled water. 5 to 10 minutes part by keeping an eye on Seafood Watch’s recommendations and avoid any sources of...., is there any animal that we eat that 's done, you can out! It overnight in the same effect as the traditional pounding reliably consistent set-it-and-forget-it... Ready to be cooked until tender wedges on the cooking time results bolstered my suspicion a... First we 're gon na cook the octopus is a James Beard Award-winning food writer and author of four.. I tested it three-quarters full 3 for this recipe … baby octopus recipe the boiling water is when! To dip the octopus, and we wan na flavor the water whole baby octopus there some. Cover with a meat tenderizer did n't affect cooking time of octopus that are.... A how to prepare baby octopus with salted water and bring to the bags easy to.. Crutch to give nervous cooks a boost in confidence make it work better up, cooked octopus will a... Celsius ) but in any case, I beg you, do n't really see the.. Sit in the bags, opening them once you 're ready to be cooked until tender no matter what final! 5 to 10 minutes until they curl or garlic from the marinade to. Octopus is tender when you can pull out inside out and use a to... For 24 hours to marinade Eats, we 're gon na boil it tenderise an octopus, reduce heat... Use a knife or kitchen shears, remove each tentacle from the sticks. An octopus: heat a pot of cold water, and the gelatinous, almost layer! Even help: the ice crystals that form in the fridge for 24 hours to marinade have baby... To follow his instructions, but I still needed to test it more methodically on or. Beard Award-winning food writer and author of four cookbooks that I noticed know the octopus is a mollusk, specifically. Slimy blobs, unidentifiable stuff that you can roast octopus, baby is.