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Old 03-19-2008, 09:02 AM   #1
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Octopus.. Have you tried it?

Sometime this spring or summer I plan to buy an octopus and cook its legs (tentacles) on skewers over an open flame. Apparently I am going to treat them similar to a shishkabob but with a light spice rub and sauce.

Has anyone tried octopus? If so how was it? How did it taste, how was it served, where were you etc.



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Old 03-19-2008, 09:05 AM   #2
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The local and good "oriental" buffet has a cold baby octopus salad, with
spicy seasoning and vegetables.
It's just there. I don't find a lot of flavor in it, and if cooked wrong you might
as well chew on a bicycle tire, LOL!

And I feel bad about eating the poor little aliens. Smart creatures!

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Old 03-19-2008, 09:08 AM   #3
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I agree with GrillingFool. It does not have much flavor at all. I have had it countless times and 99% of the time it has been like chewing on rubber. It is not something I seek out, but if it is on a plate served to me then I will eat it.
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Old 03-19-2008, 09:11 AM   #4
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I've had the octopus salad, too. I think it's a texture thing - as mentioned, it doesn't have a lot of flavor on its own, but it soaks up a marinade or rub. Like other shellfish, it's too easy to overcook it and make it rubbery.
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Old 03-19-2008, 09:25 AM   #5
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I have had octopus a few times, mainly marinated, and heaps of baby occies. Also had squid and cuttlefish. Deep fried S&P squid tentacles are so delicious!! They are my favourite item at dim sum!

Most of the occy, big and small, has been chewy - I have even had a baby octopus' head bounce off my plate when I tried to cut it and bounce to the floor below in the restaurant. Properly prepared and cooked it is really nice and tender. Simply prepared has always been the go, even when marinated. A lot of the marinated ones seem to have an issue with the chilli as the chilli doesn't seem to permeate the octopus, only the liquid so you get two tastes instead of one pleasantly flavoured occy.

Cuttlefish has only been in Chinese restaurants and I couldn't tell much between the squid and the cuttlefish, but that could have been the additional flavours.

Squid is the only one I have cooked myself, and apart from the ubiquitous squid rings (fresh, frozen, crumbed, marinated, etc), a very bad attempt at d/f squid tentacles, I have stuffed a squid with spinach and ricotta and covered in a tomato sauce for a slow cook in the oven. Squid you either cook very, very fast, or very, very slow. Ever only heard of octopus being cooked slowly though.

I think with all of them though, be thorough in your preparation, that can be a killer when you go to eat. Rick Stein I think cooked octopus in one of his series.

This was on tv here a while ago. It was prepared by a chef from a Tapas restaurant in Sydney (?), which I gather is meant to be the best in Australia for Tapas. Never heard of it personally before this show but other side of the country!
Pulpo alla Gallega (Gallician Octopus)

Here are another couple I recall seeing a while ago:
Amalfi coast - A Mediterranean recipe - Regional dishes
Too many restaurants, not enough time...
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Old 03-19-2008, 09:34 AM   #6
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love it love it love it.

good fresh octopus has a really subtly sweet flavor, most notable in sashimi.

i've had it grilled, which was good, and served cooked-but-cold in a greek type salad.

too bad there's only 8 legs...
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Old 03-19-2008, 09:36 AM   #7
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Dice it up and make takoyaki.
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Old 03-19-2008, 09:37 AM   #8
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Oh yeah, I forgot sashimi!! That was probably the best way I have had full sized octopus! Not as good as salmon or tuna but still good!
Too many restaurants, not enough time...
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Old 03-19-2008, 10:53 AM   #9
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I first had octopus when I was stationed in southern Spain. I thought it was wonderful, and it was generally prepared one of two ways; cold, cut into hunks lightly seasoned with herbs and drizzled with olive oil (yum); hot, deep fried babies. I think the trick, like many other things, is to avoid over cooking it.

Most recently, I had fried baby octopus as part of some Mexican dish. It was disgustingly rubbery .
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Old 03-19-2008, 02:07 PM   #10
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Oh, I'm with buckytom, love it! The trick with octopus (like squid) is cook it for a short time (no more than a few minutes) to get a chewy texture but not tough (I think that's how it's cooked for sashimi). I've heard that a long, slow cook creates a very tender meat but cooking it too long will make it tasteless and dry.

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