In this article, we will help the reader understand some of the ways in which the octopus can be prepared, covering, also, the process of cleaning it. So, let’s get down to business – how to cook octopus?
The octopus is a soft sea animal with eight limbs, hence the name. There are about three hundred different species of octopus, and it belongs in the same group as the nautiloids, squids, and cuttlefish, known as the class Cephalopoda.
Weird – looking and intimidating, the octopus is certainly the unusual type. It is very flexible in regards to changing its shape, and they can get through some really small spaces if they need to.
However, when one catches an octopus, it makes for a very tasty seafood. It can be put to many culinary uses, you can eat only the octopus, or it can be a part of a diverse sort of dish, like mixing it with salad or pasta.
How to Cook Octopus?
The octopus is, by the looks, a scary creature. On another note, it makes for a splendid meal, if you take necessary actions to prepare it like you should. Make it a gentle, meak seafood dish and you will have no regrets. You need to know how to tenderize octopus so that you can have a good eating of it.
This sea animal is very good when you grill it with lemon.
On the other hand, octopus is not only nice to eat by itself, but also, it can be a crucial component in those salads rich with seafood. For example, the potato and octopus salad.
We should note that octopus contains mercury, but luckily, far from enough to cause the eater some damage. During one month, eating a cooked octopus up to twice will not be a problem for your health whatsoever. This is due to its low mercury containment.
How to Cook Octopus at Home?
Preparing a home-made dish of octopus is not that complicated, and you should definitely give it a try.
Boil the octopus, and then you can grill it. If you wish to eat it cut in chunks, then, the already boiled octopus should be brought to a room temperature, which would make the sea animal easier to slice. As we mentioned, the octopus goes well along with lemon, some delightful sauces that contribute to the flavour, and also, you can add other plates containing some herbs, olive oil, and garlic.
In respect to the ingredients, you are going to need 0.9 kg to 1.3 kg of octopus (or two to three pounds of it), frozen or fresh.
If you buy a frozen octopus, then it is already cleaned, and you will save yourself some trouble cleaning it yourself.
On the other hand, if you bought a fresh octopus, ask the people in the shop to take care of the cleaning business.
Also, note that when you buy it fresh, it must not smell like fish. If this is the case, you should know that it is in the beginning of being spoiled. Don’t buy it at all.
Cleaning the Octopus
For a bigger gain of experience in preparing an octopus, you may do the cleaning yourself. Firstly, clean it with water, and then take out the ink-producing sac, along with the organs inside. Do the latter in a way in which you will cut around the mandible and form a circle. After you take the beak out, the other organs will go out altogether.
When the cleaning is all done, place the octopus in a big pot, and pour water inside. Put the water to a simmer, from 87.7 to 93.3 Celsius (from 190 to 200 Fahrenheit).
Taking the weight of the octopus into perspective, as well as the quantity of them, timing is different.
The moment when you can slide the octopus with a knife between its head and legs will tell you its doneness best. In most occasions, it’s going to require 1 – 2 hours for an amount of 1 – 1.4 kg (2 to 3 pounds) weight of octopus.
Grilling the Octopus
If you want it crispier, you may grill it above a high flame a bit. The octopus can be utilized for many purposes. For example, it goes in a salad, risotto, or pasta.
There are many other and different ways in which the octopus can be cooked.
We recommend you to try and learn how to cook octopus in the oven, as well as how to cook octopus Greek style, as well as in Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish style.
We are going to shortly explain how to fry octopus.
How to Fry Octopus?
In case you have smaller octopuses, let them inside a boiling water and wait for a couple of minutes.
If you have a bigger octopus to cook, place it to boil for half an hour, then pull it out, and slice it to small pieces after draining it.
Pour some olive oil inside a pan. The garlic cloves should be chopped and fried, and then place the octopus for frying. Near the end of cooking, squeeze one lemon over the octopus, put in some spices, and replace it from heating.
With the preparation of the octopus and the cooking itself, it will be done in little more than an hour.
We learned a lot about cooking octopus in this text. We are certain that we provided the reader with many useful information about how to cook octopus.
Octopus can be eaten as a sole component in a dish, but it can blend in with many other tasty stuff. You name it, the octopus and potato salad, pasta, risotto, this seafood can fit perfectly in.
Granted, the octopus contains some levels of mercury, but it should be nothing to be worried about if consumed moderately, up to two times in a month.
Stay away from fishy smelling octopus when you purchase it fresh, it’s getting spoiled.
If the labour of cleaning the octopus is a bit of a hassle for you, it is understandable. You can ask the people who sell it to get this business done for you. If you decide to clean it yourself, make sure you follow the guidelines properly.