A very simple recipe, something I came up with when I didn’t feel like buying another bottle of wine to make my signature octopus dish. It’s not as flavourful, but it still has octopus, so it’s got to be good. (´･ω･`)
Ingredients per serving
1 lb octopus meat
2 brown onions
1/2 red onion
2 tbsp cilantro or parsley
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp oregano
1 bay leaf
salt/pepper to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
0. If the octopus hasn’t been cleaned, clean it first: Cut off the head by the neck, open up its head and remove all its innards, and wash vigourously both the tentacles and the inside of its head. Remove the beak if needed, and try to take out any pieces that feel too crunchy/hard.
Pre-steps (do this an hour before serving)
1. Bring water and a tsp of salt to a boil in a large saucepan, tossing in 2 roughly chopped brown onions and a bay leaf for fragrance.
2. Add octopus to boiling water, turning down heat as needed (so it doesn’t over-boil and STINK THE SHIT OUT OF YOUR KITCHEN)
3. Simmer uncovered on high heat, keeping a steady boil for 40 minutes to an hour, occasionally checking tenderness of the octopus with a fork.
4. Once octopus is nice and tender (you should be able to stab into it with a fork with minimal effort), remove from boiling water and set aside on a cutting board. Let it cool until almost room temperature.
1. Chop up octopus into bite-sized pieces and toss into your serving bowl.
2. Dice half a red onion, toss in with the octopus pieces.
3. Chop up some fresh cilantro or parsley and add it in.
4. Sprinkle in oregano and pepper and splash in red wine vinegar.
5. Mix thoroughly and taste for salt. You may not need any, since the vinegar will probably be pretty strong already.
6. Drizzle in a touch of olive oil and serve.
Don’t worry so much about the cleaning process; most of it is common sense. All of the octopus is technically edible after boiling, but when you see that the fish market didn’t remove the ink sack, just ask yourself: “Do I really want to eat that?” Probably not. It’s pretty gross looking. I just remove all the organs in the head including all the parts that feel hard as bone and throw in the elasticky octopus meat into the boiling water. You’ll get a feel for it pretty quickly, if you’re not squeamish.
And seriously, just to be safe, don’t boil with the lid on. The broth has a tendency to bubble up like milk. Your stove will be ruined and your house will smell like octopus for days. It’s actually a pretty pleasant smell for me, and it should be for you too. Otherwise, you may not like octopus and shouldn’t even attempt this dish in the first place.