There are always a few things that one comes across and take upon as a challenge to do. Cooking octopus was one such challenge. Every step of cooking an octopus was a learning for me. Right from the type of octopus that cook best to the safety steps involved in it. Octopus cooking is no sweet deal if you do not know how. Every part of an octopus is unique hence you tend to learn a lot about the creature as well. Just to startle you with its introduction, an octopus has 3 hearts, 9 brains and blood which is blue in color ! 9 brains, should make it the most intelligent creature on earth right ? Wrong. Only one of its brains is primary and rest eight are attached to each of its tentacles and have limited functions. Not that we are bothered about with that much, we get right to our skillet to take up this challenge !
Read on and pardon me for any errors in the dish 😦 since it’s literally my first attempt at Dr. Octo 😀 !!
….need to know (food details)
- Number of people served : 2
- Preparation time : 15 minutes
….and we need (ingredients)
- Octopus 2 to 3 medium small, would be around 500 grams : I ordered some and lo behold, I got delivered fresh full-bodied octopus. Octopus have a mild rubbery, chewy texture. I felt there wasn’t much taste of its own in an octopus, so it was quite open to cooking styles and use of spices. It is extremely low in fats and has good amounts of minerals, Vitamin B12 and protein.
- Red Chilies, ground, 1/3rd teaspoon : Red chilies are good for skin and eyes and are great anti oxidants. Here I use them for their extreme flavor and earthiness over a bland octopus meat.
- Oil, light, unflavored : I would prefer light oils like coconut or olive here to grease my pan.
- Coarse sea salt granules : Coarse sea salt granules are more authentic and full of minerals which the regular table salt is lacking. Use it to your taste.
- Onions, chopped, 1 tablespoon : I generally use the red, mild onions with white layers inside. They have a fair taste and are great in controlling blood sugar.
- Tomatoes, 2 tablespoon, chopped : Filled with potassium, magnesium and Vitamin A, C & K, tomatoes form the cooking flavor essence in this dish.
- Lemon, 1/2, cut : Sour and acidic, with a good amount of citric acid, we add lemon here not just to enhance the sour essence but also to use it’s hydrating and digestive qualities.
- Cherry tomatoes, 2 – 4, cut in halves : Has high sugar concentration so is very sweet and cute to look at too. I grow them in pots and in my garden, but they are easily available at stores as well. Packed with powerful nutrients like Vitamin A, C and K and potassium. I grow them in abundance in my garden.
- Garlic cloves, roasted, 5 – 6 : My King Pungent ! Pungency is the reason why we use this allicin rich clove which combats sickness and common cold.
- Parsley leaves, 1 tablespoon : Parsley is the best mouth freshener and tomato is the right natural condiment with seafood. I grow at least 4 varieties in my garden hence am pretty keen to use anytime.
….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)
- Wash the octopus well several times.
- Take off (chop) the head part, refer snaps. This is very critical since the head contains the beak part. The beak is the part from where the octopus not only eats, he also defends himself by releasing the toxic blue blood from its beak. So stay from trouble and chop its head off the tentacles.
- Take these tentacles and wash well again. Now pat dry them and soak them in cold milk for 30 minutes. Soaking in milk enables the white soft texture to retain its tenderness and not turn rubbery and unchewable when cooked.
- Now heat the oil in a non stick skillet/pan. Add salt and red chilies (ground) and mix well.
- Now add onions to it and stir till golden brown.
- Add the chopped tomatoes (not the cherry tomatoes) to the pan and saute’ for two minutes.
- Now carefully add the chopped octopus tentacles. Stir cook for 2 minutes.
- Add 1/2 cup of water to the pan and cook covered for 7 – 8 minutes. Now switch off the flame and keep it covered for another 2 – 3 minutes.
- Now take off the lid and serve in a platter. Garnish this with chopped parsley.
- Mild roast the garlic cloves and cherry tomatoes and keep as sides on the platter to give the correct essence.
- Mildly squeeze some lemon juice and serve immediately.
Storage : Like most of my dishes, do not store. Coook only as per requirement.
Missing Something ? : Feel free to iterate.