Rare Treat of The Week: Grilled Octopus

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It’s that time of the week again! Are you looking for an extra special addition to your meal routine? Surprise your dinner guests with this uniquely grilled octopus dish.

Buying Your Octopus Meat

“Where do I find an octopus?” you may wonder. Though it’s not quite common to find this mystifying sea creature at your supermarket, it’s smart to call ahead to your grocery store or go-to fisherman to ask if they can fulfill your octopus request. It is alright if the only available option is frozen. In fact, your octopus meat will tenderize as it thaws. This works in your favor, as it makes for a tastier, more enjoyable finished product.

Yet, if you are looking for a fresh catch of this mollusk, your local fish market or an online vendor is your best bet. Moreover, as you surf the web for fresh octopus, choose a company that ships within 1-2 days of catching it. This ensures that your meat remains fresh for your meal. 

How Much Octopus Should I Get?

This bulbous-headed animal shrinks greatly in size when you cook it. Therefore, it is best to allocate about one pound of octopus per head if you plan to serve this dish as a main course.

Cooking Your Octopus

Typically, octopus appears on the menu of a fancy, five star restaurant. That changes today, as you create this classy, gourmet meal from the comforts of your own home. This guide will take you step by step to make this rare treat of grilled octopus, and plate it to perfection.

Step 1: Prepare Your Meat

First off, handling the eight limbed, tentacled flesh. If your meat is frozen, thaw it out in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. Be sure to ask the seller that they properly clean the octopus. More specifically, it is best that you confirm with the fishmonger or store butcher that they have removed both the beak and ink sac.

Step 2: Tenderize

To begin, lay your whole octopus flat on a cutting board with the tentacles facing upward. Then, take a wooden spoon or meat mallet and pound the octopus. Start from the center and work your way outward with each tentacle.

Step 3: Boil

Next, fill a large pot with enough water to fully submerge the octopus. Bring it to a boil over high heat. At the point of boil, add in 3 tablespoons of kosher salt. 

Then, use tongs to grasp the head of the octopus. Let the tentacles dangle. Dip them in the boiling water for 2-3 seconds at a time, then pull them out. Repeat this process until the tentacles start to curl up. 

Now, fully submerge the octopus in the water, reduce heat to low, put a lid on, and simmer for 45 minutes to one hour until tender. You know the meat is tender enough when you are able to stick a fork through it easily.  

Once you finish boiling, remove from heat, strain the cooked octopus in the sink, and cool it for at least 30 minutes. 

Step 4: Grill

Start up your outdoor grill until it reaches a medium high heat. 

After, pat your octopus flesh dry. Once you have done that, drizzle a generous amount of olive oil or melted butter and add your desired seasonings. 

Place your seasoned mollusk on the grill. Let it grill for 3 to 4 minutes on each side to achieve that charred perfection. 

Step 5: Serve

Lastly, remove your grilled meat, cut into pieces and plate it on a sharing size dish. Come in with a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, squeeze lemon juice and shake salt and pepper over to enhance the flavor. Finally, add some thyme for a polished garnish. 

Final Thoughts

Voilà! You are a master cook now. Your cookout will be the talk of the town, the one that served octopus fresh off the grill. How unheard of! Now, go shock your guests with this winner dish. Enjoy and happy hunting!

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Mariah Stolkins

Mariah Stolkins

Food Critic/Blogger

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