The octopus is a boneless and fleshy mollusc cephalopod similar to the squid, oyster and snail. It is a staple in Asian and Mediterranean cuisines -- the Greeks lightly grill this seafood and serve it as part of a meze, the Japanese prepare it into sushi, while the Portuguese, Spanish and Italians add it to a variety of foods including salads, stews, pastas and risottos. Octopus contains collagen which if not cooked properly, can taste rubbery. Frozen octopus tends to soften well and tenderises quickly when cooked correctly.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Kitchen scissors
- Coarse salt
- Bay leaf
- White vinegar
Thaw 1.36 Kilogram of frozen octopus overnight in the refrigerator. Use kitchen scissors to cut and discard its head, mouth and eyes. Rinse the octopus in plain water. Three pounds of octopus is sufficient to serve approximately five people.
Fill a stockpot with water. Add 3 tablespoons of coarse salt and 1 bay leaf. Set it on high heat and bring to a boil.
Dip the octopus into boiling water briefly. Use a fork to pierce the thawed octopus, then dip the octopus' tentacles first, followed by the rest of the body and remove. Repeat the procedure at least three times, or until the tentacles have curled up.
Add 1 tablespoon. of white vinegar to the boiling water. Immerse the octopus in it and simmer for an hour or until it becomes tender. Insert a thin-bladed kitchen knife in the thickest portion of the tentacle to test for doneness. If the knife passes through the tentacle easily, the octopus is tender and done.
Drain the octopus and cool. Use kitchen scissors to cut the body of the octopus into thick chunks and the tentacles into 1/2-inch-thick rings.
Tips and warnings
- Sprinkle olive oil and lime juice according to taste on the cooked octopus and serve.
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