How to Remove Ink From an Octopus

Written by melissa king
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How to Remove Ink From an Octopus
Octopus is served in dishes such as sushi and calamari. (octopus image by Daniel Wiedemann from

Octopus, a sea-dwelling creature, is a standard ingredient in many Asian seafood dishes. The octopus, which can be eaten either cooked or raw, is often cleaned and tenderised by fishmongers. If you have purchased an intact octopus, or caught a fresh one yourself, the octopus must be prepared before it can be eaten. One step in the preparation process is removing the octopus' innards, including the ink sac. This can be done with a pair of kitchen shears and a knife.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Knife
  • Kitchen shears

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  1. 1

    Place the octopus on a flat surface, such as a baking tray or a cutting board.

  2. 2

    Use a large knife to remove the head, cutting just above the tentacles.

  3. 3

    Cut the head in half lengthwise to reveal its inner contents. Pull out the ink sac, along with the other innards.

  4. 4

    Continue preparing the octopus by turning the tentacle cluster inside out. Squeeze the centre of the cluster to push out the beak. Cut the beak out and discard it.

  5. 5

    Cut the tentacles apart with a pair of kitchen shears. Clean the pieces by running them under cold water.

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