I have been doing quite a few fish recipes lately and am LOVING it! My grilled octopus salad is one that I am SO glad I put up on the site as I hadn't cooked octopus in a while and to be honest I don't know why. I think most people get a little freaked out by the look of octopus but have no doubt had a bad experience with rubbery/chewy octopus. WELL, all that stops now. Read on for my simple tips on cooking octopus and you will be questioning why you were ever afraid in the first place!
The octopus that you will get from your fishmonger will most likely be raw. In fact, octopus is pretty much never eaten raw as it's pretty tough and chewy. Even when you eat it as sushi it is often gently boiled and cleaned first. Funny story - a vlogger once tried to eat octopus when it was still alive and the octopus fought back and stuck to her face #fool. Therefore I would always recommend cooking octopus before eating it. Check out my helpful tips below!
ESSENTIAL to cooking octopus. Yes, you can just chuck it on the grill but by the time it cooks it will be shrivelled, chewy and probably burnt too. Not appealing to you? Didn't think so, read on and learn how to make my delicious grilled octopus salad.
Rinse the octopus under cold water and then place it into a large saucepan covered with cold water. You can add lemon, bay, garlic etc to the water if you like too. Bring the water to a simmer, reduce the heat and simmer for 1-2 hours in the water. The octopus should be tender enough to just pierce easily with a knife. Any less and it's tough and anymore and it's mush.
Once cooked remove from the heat and allow the octopus to continue cooking in the water as it cools. This will give you the perfect texture of octopus. By cooling it in the water it will allow the octopus to not shrivel up massively. If you remove it and plunge it in cold water the tentacles will shrivel up more. Cooling it in the water also allow the suckers to stay as intact as possible.
Once the water is cooled, remove the octopus and chill in the fridge. This will allow any excess water to drain but also allow the suckers/tentacles to harden which helps if you are going to grill it. Water on a grill equals moisture which means it won't char up the way you want it to
Once you have followed these simple steps, cut the tentacles into individual pieces. Heat up that BBQ or grill pan, oil and season your octopus and grill it for 2 minutes per side until charred, crispy and heated through.
Can I Freeze Octopus After Cooking?
After you have boiled the octopus and let it cool down completely you can definitely freeze it. The meat is cooked through at this point so vacuum pack it or place it in a ziplock bag and freeze away. That way you can just defrost and grill it next time you want some. Also, remember when freezing anything it's best to label and date it so you don't come across it in a year and think "when the heck did I put this in here"!
Octopus works GREAT with citrus and spice. Think lemony hummus, harissa, chorizo, nice citrus or saffron risotto, paella. All these dishes are cracking with octopus. So with this in mind, I created this delicious grilled octopus salad full of beautiful Meditteranean flavours.
Spicy fried chorizo, salty olives, bright & sweet sundried tomatoes, acidic and juicy oranges, fresh parsley and some simple boiled potatoes. All combined together in a bowl and tossed with a simple vinaigrette. This grilled octopus salad is as tasty hot as it is cold!
So as you can tell from the grilled octopus salad we have used Mediterranean flavours. When I think of grilled octopus my mind jumps to Spain, Italy, Greece & Portugal. Sitting in the warmer weather, drinking good wine amongst family & friends. That's exactly the ethos behind this wine - Heirloom Vineyards 2019 Touriga. Touriga, known as Touriga Nacional in Portugal is considered one of their finest grapes. Typically small grapes with low yields that produce intensely drinkable wines. It's a wine that works AMAZINGLY with food and one that will get better and better over years. All the more reason to pick up 6 of them 😉
Heirlooms version is exactly as described above. The beautiful intense colour of what can only be described as purple-blue. Once you pour a glass you will get what I am trying to describe. Notes of lavender, pencil, orange and darker fruits are backed up with similar on the palate. Tannins are plentiful but after an hour in the decanter, they mellow out wonderfully, acid aplenty (which is why it's so great with food) along with generous berry and balanced oak. I have a few 2013 sitting in the cellar and as I write this I am tempted to stop and just crack one open....... would it be wrong to pick up your daughter from daycare smelling of wine?
Alternative Seafood Recipes
Inspired to cook more seafood? Check out some of these delicious recipes!!
Crispy Fish Tacos by Yours Truly
Honey Soy Salmon & Veggie Stirfry by Kylie Archer of 'Kidgredients'
Baby Cuttlefish Salad by Amy Chung of 'The Devil Wears Salad'
Kingfish Crudo by Yours Truly
Healthy Asian Salmon Salad by Kim Morris of 'My Sugar Free Kitchen'
Gin & Beet Cured Salmon by Yours Truly
Thai Inspired Prawn Salad by Alexandra Cook of 'It's Not Complicated Recipes'
Spanish Fish Stew by Yours Truly
Happy Cooking & Happy Eating Friends!!
- 600 g octopus
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 3 baby potatoes
- 1 orange segmented
- 1 chorizo sausage diced
- 1 spring onion sliced finely
- 6 olives cut into quarters
- 1 tbsp capers
- 1 handful dill
- 12 sundried tomatoes
- 1 handful parsley
- 2 tbsp orange juice
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- salt & pepper
- 1 garlic crushed
- Place octopus in a pot of cold water and bring to a simmer, reduce heat and simmer for approx. 1 hour *see tips*
- Allow octopus to cool in water, remove and place on a tray lined with a towel and allow to cool further in fridge for minimum 1 hour *see tips*
- Cut tentacles into individual pieces, oil and season them.
- Cook on BBQ @ 200c for 3-4 minutes total
- Boil the potatoes until you can pierce them with a knife easily - approx 12 minutes. Cool them and then cut them lengthway into small wedges
- Segment orange and squeeze juice from remaining orange bits you cut away from the fruit for dressing – you should get a couple tbsp
- Cut chorizo in ¼ lengthways and then into 1cm pieces – fry for 3 minutes just before grilling the octopus
- Add all salad ingredients together and toss in a bowl
- Add squeezed orange juice, olive oil, garlic & seasonings together, whisk to combine and set aside
- chef knives
- chopping board
- mixing bowl x 2
- measuring utensils
- large saucepan
- BBQ or Grill Pan
- when cooking the octopus you may need to weigh it down so that it is submerged in water. I used a lid from a saucepan that was smaller than the actual saucepan
- allows the octopus to cool in the water as it is very delicate and you don’t want to damage the tentacles
- allow the octopus to further cool on a lined tray. This will help harden the tentacles and soak up any excess water. This is important so you can crisp up the tentacles nicely!