As if there weren't already enough taco recipes on my site well here is another one - grilled octopus tacos!!! These little beauties are spicy, fresh and 100% moreish. What makes them probably the best tacos I have created yet is these were created with a GREAT cause in mind too - The Hidden Sea Wines. Read on and you will understand why 😉
Why I Love Chargrilled Octopus Tacos
If you are one of the half a dozen avid readers to my blog you will know tacos are eaten on the regular here. Charred tortillas, crunchy cabbage and whether it's fish, steak, pork or in this case grilled octopus you can't go wrong! These ones have plenty spice coming through from the chorizo and a delicious bright and flavourful spicy mango salsa. Pro tip - cook the octopus the evening before (more on this later) and your dinner will be ready in minutes the next day!
Octopus can be one of those things you only eat out in restaurants. It's not the quickest thing to cook and let us be honest can look a little frightening too! Follow my simple recipe below and read my advice on the "best way to cook octopus". You will master this 8 legged beast in not time!
Octopus when cooked correctly is soft and delicate to bite into. It loves to be grilled, well technically not true but it tastes great being grilled 😉 Add some spice through chili, spice rubs and/or chorizo sausage and you have a match made in heaven.
Best Way To Cook Octopus
When cooking octopus the best way to cook it (in my opinion) is to place it into a large saucepan of cold water. Add some aromatics like lemon, bay, salt & pepper and place something to weigh the octopus down. Simmer the octopus on a low heat for approx 1 - 2 hours until fork-tender. This step is important - leave the octopus to cool in the water. The reason for this (yes it's more time consuming) is the octopus is delicate at this stage so any messing about with it will damage those lovely little tentacles.
Once cooled, cut the tentacles into individual pieces, oil & salt and either onto the BBQ or into a grill pan. At this stage, it takes about 2-3 minutes to get a nice char and you are good to go!!
For me, octopus clearly isn't one of those "I'll whip it up now" dishes. I like to either stick the octopus on early in the morning on a day I'm being a domestic god. Alternatively, cook it the night before as I tuck into a nice glass of Hidden Sea Chardy whilst kicking back with my feet up on the couch!
Spicy Mango Salsa
This simple little salsa ticks all the boxes for the grilled octopus tacos. It adds a nice fruity sweetness, bright acidity and a kiss of spice too. Mangoes are just coming close to season end here in Australia so it was only fitting that I sneak them into one final recipe 😉
The Hidden Sea Wines
If there was EVER a good reason to buy wines then these guys have come up with TWO! Number one is clearly because you want to drink great wine - obviously! But, where the guys at The Hidden Sea Wines take it to a whole new level is the goal or mission of the company. For every bottle of wine sold The Hidden Sea Wines will remove 10 plastic bottles from the ocean! If that's not a cause worth buying wine for then I honestly don't know what is - did I mention the wine kicks ass too?
In recent weeks the guys have not only done incredible work recycling all those plastic bottles but have also received some great recognition for it too. Winning a UK Peoples choice award for "wine passion: the story behind the label"
Also, just this week their partner ReSea project became the second organization in the world to be certified to DNV GL's Chain of Custody standard. FYI - DNV GL is the world's largest accredited registrar and classification society which establishes and maintains technical maritime standards. In Lehmans terms, the guys at Hidden Sea are held to the highest standard in the world to verify all plastic they remove is recycled. #goals
I can't emphasise enough though that not only are the guys doing great work in the world but producing a premium product that once in the glass won't last too long there! 😉
Working With The Hidden Sea Wines
This collaboration, unknown to me first started taking effect about 6+ years ago when I worked in NYC. Chris McPherson the somm of the restaurant I managed in NYC is a good friend of Justin (founder of the hidden sea). Our paths crossed a couple times over late-night drinks and chats. Not many that can be remembered too well though after 5 cocktails at 1am. 😉 6 years later here I am living in Brisbane, a slight change of career and doing recipe development for companies across Australia.
We connected again via Instagram as many do these days and got talking about ways to promote the amazing wines and The Hidden Sea mission of removing 1 billion plastic bottles AND recycling them by 2030. It's a good thing we did connect otherwise these deliciously grilled octopus tacos may never have been born!
Naturally, as I was tucking into some of their shiraz and a juicy steak I offered to lend my services to create a recipe and help spread the word too. Justin took it one further said, "let's run a competition and giveaway 5 cases of wine". Go big or go home eh!
Rose Wine Pairing
You guessed it this delicious octopus taco recipe is paired with the even tastier Hidden Sea rose. At $98 a 6 pack AND free shipping not only is it a bargain but as discussed it's all for a great cause too.
Naturally, when I was looking for a dish to pair with a wine called 'the hidden sea' I had to choose a seafood related dish and making octopus tacos was always in the back of my mind too. I hope you can agree (once you have made them) they are bloody epic!
Now to the delicious wine - The Hidden Sea rose. Made using the traditional french method of 'Saignee'. This is where the grapes are crushed and the juice is immediately removed from the skins. This helps give a lighter coloured wine and also prevents tannins. From a tasting perspective, the wine is sunshine in a bottle - strawberries, shortbread & cream is what comes to mind initially, a touch of orange zest, spice and mouth-watering acidity too. It pairs perfectly with the spice levels of the chorizo, the charred tentacles of the octopus and the fresh summer mango salsa too.
It's pretty simple really - friends, rose, octopus tacos and a great cause - what more could you ask for?
Alternative Taco Recipes
It wouldn't be right if the only taco recipe I gave you today was my octopus tacos would it? You can check them all out HERE or click the links below of some of my favourite ones too.
Happy Cooking & Happy Eating Friends!!!
- 500 g octopus (approx 1lb)
- 12 tortillas
- 200 g red cabbage (8oz) thinly sliced
- 1 chorizo sausage
- 1 handful coriander
- 200 g mango fruit (8oz) 2 mangoes
- 1/2 red onion
- 1 red chili
- 2 tbsp lime
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 pinch salt
- Place octopus in a pot of cold water and bring to a simmer, reduce heat and simmer for approx. 1 hour *see tips*
- While octopus is cooking prepare the rest of the ingredients
- 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/grill pan @ 200c/high heat for 3 minutes total
- Slice the thicker ends into bite-sized pieces and leave the curly, thinner end of the tentacle whole
- Peel and slice the mango into small 1cm (approx.) sized pieces
- Finely dice the red onion & chili
- Combine all salsa ingredients together and set aside in the fridge until ready
- Slice the chorizo sausage into small pieces and fry (at the same time as the octopus) in a separate pan on medium/high heat w/ 1 tbsp olive oil
- Warm your tortillas (I like to grill mine personally), top with cabbage, chorizo, octopus, a drizzle of salsa and sprinkle of coriander
- Eat, repeat & sip!
- chef knives
- chopping board
- measuring utensils
- mixing bowl
- large saucepan
- frying pan
- BBQ/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
- allow 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!
- once cooked (and cooled) the octopus can be frozen for future tacos so maybe cook a little extra as TRUST me, you will want to. Once defrosted just char on BBQ/grill to serve.