How to Buy Live Octopus & Other Exotic Seafood

Written by ashley bustamante
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How to Buy Live Octopus & Other Exotic Seafood
(octopus image by mangia from

If you are familiar with foreign cuisine, your recipe book might call for some unusual seafood such as octopus, squid or eel. Many of these can be purchased frozen, but if you like to know exactly where your food is coming from, you may opt for the live option. Finding these critters live can be difficult, but if you know where to look, it is possible.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Internet access

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    How to Buy Live Octopus and Other Exotic Seafood

  1. 1

    Do your research first. In some areas it is illegal to purchase animals such as octopuses, and you may need special permission to purchase them even for cooking.

  2. 2

    Check in Asian markets. Exotic seafood is common in a number of Asian dishes, so you may be able to find live seafood tanks there.

  3. 3

    Look online. There are websites that sell exotic seafood live, but be prepared to pay a lot for shipping.

  4. 4

    Check aquatic pet stores. Occasionally these will carry things such as octopuses, eel and squid.

  5. 5

    Check classified ads online and in the newspaper. Occasionally you will find seafood farmers who will have what you're looking for.

Tips and warnings

  • If you know of a restaurant that serves the dish you are thinking of preparing, you may consider asking them where they purchase their ingredients.
  • Be careful about what you eat. Always make sure that the creature you buy is safe for human consumption and be sure it is prepared correctly.

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