Grilled Octopus

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I’ve always enjoyed grilled octopus – I’ll order it every chance I get. While I savor the opportunity to go out to get my eight-legged meal, I wished I could make it at home. I have a few friends that either own, manage or cook at restaurants and they’ve always said it is so difficult to get it right – a minute or two too long or too little and the dish is ruined.

Yesterday was the day. The day I was going to enjoy octopus at home – and I did. Ever since my Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker arrived, I’ve been pushing my personal envelope to attempt more and more complex recipes. This recipe was the one with the highest risk of failure, but the sous vide method of cooking drastically reduces the fail rate.

Living in Toronto, and deciding on a whim on Sunday to try to track down Octopus, it wasn’t all that easy to locate one. With St. Lawrence market closed on Sundays, I found myself in Kensington market. There are three main seafood shops in the area, and after coming up empty after the first two, I got lucky at Hooked on Baldwin Street. They had frozen octopuses and that was the best I was going to get and I was committed to my test. I thawed it out and selected the four best tentacles and followed the below! Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound octopus tentacles
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

Equipment:

  • Anova Precision Cooker Wifi/Bluetooth (or other Sous Vide apparatus)
  • Searzall (or other propane torch)
  • Foodsaver Vacuum Sealer (or other vacuum sealer apparatus)
  • Rubbermaid Commercial FG631200CLR Space-Saving Container, 12-Quart Capacity (or other safe receptacle)

Directions:

  1. Set your sous vide to 180°F or 82.2°C
  2. Using a cleaver or sharp knife, select as many tentacles as you need (up to 8!). They will reduce in size significantly once they hit the water so don’t cut them too short.
  3. Add 2 tbsp. of olive oil into the bag.
  4. Place your tentacles in a zip-loc or vacuum seal bag. Seal the bag using a vacuum sealer or using the water immersion technique.
  5. Drop the bag into your water bath and set the timer for 4 hoursoctopus
  6. You will notice that after about 30 minutes, the color of the oil/octopus mix will start to go a shade of pink/purple – this is to be expected.
  7. When the timer goes off, cut the corner of the sealed bag (or open just the corner of the ziploc bag) and pour out the cooking liquid. This will make it easier (and cleaner) to remove the tentacles from the bag.
  8. Remove the tentacles and pat them dry with paper towel.
  9. Brush all sides with olive oil.
  10. Heat pan to medium-high and add tentacles; be sure to roll them to ensure all sides are grilled evenly.
  11. Remove tentacles from pan.
  12. Mix together the lemon juice, lemon zest and and parsley together in a small bowl.
  13. Drizzle octopus with lemon dressing.
  14. Before plating, sear the tentacles with a propane torch to add a crispy outer layer to the skin. Don’t overdo it!
  15. Serve and enjoy!
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