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Old 11-27-2017, 12:29 PM   #1
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Octopus Questions

Hello everyone. I'm new here and hope that I am posting this question in the right place.

There are scores of methods to cook octopus to ensure that it's "tender". There are also many preparations prior to cooking which supposedly reduce cooking time as well as ensuring tenderness. One method is to pound it against rocks (probably an old method from the Old Country). This method would probably be very messy in the kitchen and might yield widely different results depending on what kind of pounding tool is used, evenness of pounding, and duration of pounding. I'd also think that too much of this would cut/deform the tentacles and cause the suckers to dislodge.

I have found that LOOOOOOONG boiling time is the only way to fully tenderize this noble animal's flesh. I'm talking 2 1/2 - 3 hours for a 7 pound animal. Time is not an issue. The downside is that in order to go from "cooked, but rubbery/tough" to "cooked and melt in your mouth tender" that final 1-2 hours of cooking causes STARTLING additional shrinkage.

Example: Buy a 7 pound frozen octopus, which will leave about 5 1/2 pounds after thawing. Cook for about an hour will leave about 4 pounds of rubbery fish. Cook an additional 1 1/2 hours will leave about 2 1/2 pounds of very tender fish.

So, in my opinion, the additional cooking time renders every last drop of water out or the creature, causing the flesh to fully tenderize...........but at an alarming reduction in size.

Sorry for the long winded post. How does my reasoning sound to all of you? Are there any tips on how to have a tender octopus without the drastic reduction in weight after cooking?

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Old 11-28-2017, 07:27 PM   #2
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I've never had "melt in your mouth octopus" before, but the best I've ever had, the most tender was simply cleaned and very quickly charcoal grilled over high heat (a small bellow was used), then served with a drizzle of top quality olive oil, lemon, and fresh parsley.

The legs were grilled separately from the sliced body since they were of different thicknesses.
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Old 11-28-2017, 07:57 PM   #3
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My understanding is that octopus has to be either cooked hot and fast, or cooked for a long, long time. In between those two extremes you get rubber bands.

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Old 11-28-2017, 08:16 PM   #4
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I've also never had "melt in our mouth" octopus.
When I have them I have them as sashimi or sushi.
I've also had them in Mexican seafood soup a few times.
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Old 11-28-2017, 08:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caseydog View Post
My understanding is that octopus has to be either cooked hot and fast, or cooked for a long, long time. In between those two extremes you get rubber bands.

CD

similar to cooking calamari...


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Old 11-28-2017, 08:42 PM   #6
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Three minutes or three hours..
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Old 11-28-2017, 09:54 PM   #7
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In 2012, FrankZ and Kathleen had success with octopus..
Octopus

A couple years later, they also did one with their new (to most of us), Anova Sous Vide.

I sure miss seeing them around here!!
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Old 11-29-2017, 12:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Three minutes or three hours..
^^^ This ^^^

You can quickly stir fry octopus and it will be perfectly edible. Go beyond that point, and you have to cook it for a while to tenderize it.
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Old 11-29-2017, 09:41 AM   #9
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Roadfix, Buckytom,

Well, maybe "melt in your mouth" is not quite it. I think "fork tender" might explain it OK although I like Kathleen's description better here in post #9.:

Octopus


My point being that the flesh becomes much more tender if cooked past about 2 hours at a covered low/medium boil.

I know that the Greeks grill it. It would be great to know just how much shrinkage occurs with the "hot and fast" method.

My Christmas gift to my family is to make Frutti di Mare for our Christmas Eve meal. The ingredients are boiled shrimp, octopus, calamari, scungilli and chopped celery and parsley in a sauce of EVOO, garlic, lemon juice and oregano salt pepper to taste. I don't think that grilled octopus would go well here since all the fish is boiled. It would probably overpower the dish to the exclusion of the other fishes.

I might try grilling a "test" octopus to see how it works out using the above link as a guide.
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Old 11-29-2017, 11:32 AM   #10
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Let us know of your results, ya mook. (I just saw your name and location).

Maybe for the next family get together: (NSFW)

https://youtu.be/5Lg-uDy9wsc
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