How do I prepare octopus?
May 14, 2019 11:21 AM   Subscribe

I went to Costco hungry and accidentally came home with 500g of cooked octopus. Um: what now?

I've never made octopus. I have no idea how to prepare it. And I'm not an AWESOME cook. But there is a rather large quantity of octopus now winking at me from inside my fridge. It's already cooked, which seems to limit my options - can I just throw it on the grill and give it a decent sear? What's my best course of action?
posted by catesbie to Food & Drink (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
How is it cooked? Is it seasoned, and if so, how?
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 11:23 AM on May 14

Something like octopus salad is probably your best bet, but it does depend on how it's been prepared/preseasoned.
posted by praemunire at 11:36 AM on May 14 [2 favorites]

Sad that it’s already cooked. Grilled octopus is yummers. Are you sure it’s been cooked, and not just marinated?
posted by Thorzdad at 11:42 AM on May 14

Maybe you could cut into slices and season with olive oil salt and paprika in the style of polbo a feira (look up recipes) served with crusty bread and wine?
posted by iamsuper at 11:44 AM on May 14 [1 favorite]

I bought the same package of octopus, and prepared about half of it as a cold salad using this recipe. The rest of it I cut into large flat chunks and briefly pan fried with some salt and pepper.
posted by bradf at 11:44 AM on May 14 [2 favorites]

Literally no indication of how it was cooked - just says "Cooked Octopus" (same in Spanish, so no clues there). Total ingredients list: cooked octopus, salt, rice starch, milk protein, sodium ascorbate. By the looks of it I'd guess boiled - it looks pretty homogenous (no grill marks or whatever) and it's still pretty squishy. idea. Could I grill it, like, a little bit?
posted by catesbie at 11:47 AM on May 14

bradf: That looks lovely. Something like that or maybe I could marinate it a little and do a half-assed ceviche?

On second glance: praemunire's got the right idea too, I think.
posted by catesbie at 11:50 AM on May 14

be careful about a ceviche or citrus heavy salad preparation: if it's already cooked to a certain point, the additional coagulation of proteins from a long acid bath will quickly take it from cooked to inedibly chewy. keep time in acid to <5min before eating if it's already cooked
posted by slow graffiti at 12:02 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]

I would totally make some takoyaki. It requires a specific pan, which could also be reused for making jelly-filled pancakes (ebelskivers).
posted by homodachi at 12:27 PM on May 14 [3 favorites]

In Greece, my mother in law makes delicious Octopus in Macaroni every spring. Here’s an example recipe, but the basic concept is short pasta with a savoury tomato sauce (not sweet like American jarred sauce) with a pinch of allspice. This recipe is starting from fresh whole octopus but I’m sure you could skip some steps for cooked.

Otherwise it’s very good sliced in vinegar as others have said!
posted by Concordia at 12:35 PM on May 14

Yeah, I'd pan-fry in a bit of olive oil to reheat, then toss it in a couple of teaspoons of smoked paprika and salt to do a polbo a feira style deal with it. It's a bit much for one (or even two) people though - maybe get some friends round, get them to bring something too, make a tapas pot-luck evening of it.
posted by parm at 12:38 PM on May 14

You can grill it or brown it. Use a super hot grill/broiler and it'll be great. Doesn't take very long.

If you want to do the pulpo a la gallega/other room temp prep thing I'd dip it in boiling water for a moment just to reheat.

I buy this product pretty regularly - or something like it.
posted by JPD at 12:51 PM on May 14

Hey, nothing to be ashamed of. You go to Costco and come back with half a kilo of Octopus. It's happened to all of us at one time or another.

Have you considered trying Takoyaki? Like homodachi says, you'll need a special pan, but they're actually not that hard to find.
posted by Naberius at 12:53 PM on May 14 [5 favorites]

I poach my octopus before grilling you can totally grill. Chimichurri would be a great sauce for it.
posted by inevitability at 1:02 PM on May 14



I own an aebleskiver pan.
posted by catesbie at 1:06 PM on May 14 [25 favorites]

Go for takoyaki then, it is pretty easy to make and tastes really good, although a lot of that is because you're putting on a ton of okonomiyaki sauce and Japanese mayo on it.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 1:09 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]

I like octopus cold salad - a bit of wine vinegar in olive oil, finely diced celery, pinch of generic Italian seasoning (marjoram, thyme,rosemary, savoury, sage, oregano, basil), some boiled and thinly sliced carrots and garlic, salt and pepper. Cook the celery and garlic in the oil and stir in the spices so they're soft.
posted by bonobothegreat at 3:53 PM on May 15

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