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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.

Thanks..:)

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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
POLIPO AFFOGATO IN OLIO - OCTOPUS IN OIL
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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!
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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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Old 03-19-2008, 02:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQ Mikey View Post
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.

Thanks..:)
I love it, but before you "shish kebab" it, you will have to boil it first. Otherwise it will burn long before it gets cooked to tenderness.
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Old 03-19-2008, 02:15 PM   #12
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Quote:
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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.
Not so, GG. Octopus needs to be boiled first, before preparing it however you have in mind. Undercooked, and it will be tough and rubbery. I've never had it overcooked, so I'm not sure what that does.
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Old 03-19-2008, 03:09 PM   #13
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from "The Splendid Table"...

"...The stumbling block, according to reigning "wisdom," is that octopus is so tough that extraordinary measures must be taken to tenderize it. And if you ask five different people what these measures are you are likely to get five different answers, all arcane - which goes a long way toward explaining why no one cooks octopus at home. A Greek cook may tell you to beat it against some rocks (actually a contemporary would probably tell you to throw it against the kitchen sink repeatedly). A Spanish cook will dip it into boiling water three times, then cook it in a copper pot - only copper will do. An Italian might cook it with two corks. The Japanese rub it all over with salt, or knead it with grated daikon, then slice the meat at different angles, with varying strokes.

These methods work, but so does cooking octopus slowly, with no further ado. No one wants rubbery octopus (although sushi-style octopus is nearly rubbery), but if octopus is properly handled, without fuss, it is reasonably tender. It remains chewy, but so does lobster, or sirloin steak.


Octopus is much like squid: If you keep the cooking time minimal, under five minutes or so, you get a chewy but not unpleasant texture; this is a good technique for octopus salad or sushi. But for most preparations, long, slow cooking, which yields a tender texture, is best. (If you cook it too long, it becomes dry and tasteless.)"
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Old 03-19-2008, 03:12 PM   #14
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It remains chewy, but so does lobster
Not to get off topic, but lobster should not be chewy.
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Old 03-19-2008, 04:05 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQ Mikey View Post
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.

Thanks..:)
I had octopus in a seafood mix pack my dad picked up from the grocery store.
I didn't find it too different from calamari. I enjoyed it.
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Old 03-19-2008, 04:14 PM   #16
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Quote:
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it has been like chewing on rubber
I will have to disagree - it's like chewing on ear cartilage
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Old 03-19-2008, 04:14 PM   #17
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Quote:
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I will have to disagree - it's like chewing on ear cartilage
Personal experience?
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Old 03-19-2008, 04:23 PM   #18
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My boss once took me out (this was about 8 years ago) to a good sushi place. There they thin sliced it, then slapped it on the table so it puffed up before serving it to you. It is not bad that way.
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Old 03-19-2008, 04:53 PM   #19
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I have only had it raw, sashimi, and the baby stuff in salads and Chinese food. Every time it has been rubbery and did not have much taste, at least to me. Would try it again in the right place, but I have had no success so far.
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Old 03-19-2008, 04:57 PM   #20
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Ok , well, I simply couldnt wait and broke down today. I went to a local sushi resteraunt and had Yellowtail and Salmon rolls and 2 shashimi grade octopus strips.

As for the octopus...
They were delicious and the texture was ideal, not rubbery at all, not too chewy. It has a slight sweetness to it which is hard to describe. Not unlike alot of other seafood, I'd compare the taste to crab but the texture to squid. It also was not salty which someone mentioned earlier. Will try again!
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