Poached Octopus

Octopus can be intimidating to prepare, I admit, I was nervous on my very first attempt but it turned out quite nicely- soft, tender, and flavourful -- you can serve this dish as sashimi, sushi or with sesame miso dipping sauce.

Since I first posted this, I've learned and picked up a few tips from my brother-in-law who prepares octopus for New Years dinner each year. I've incorporated these here, as well as a few new photos to update my 2017 post.

When he made it over the holidays, the octopus turned out too salty due to the salt massage. My sister-in-law was able to fix the taste by rinsing it several times in cold water, thus removing the excess salt.

Give it a try - it's sure to impress any guest!
Serves 4

Prep time 45 min
Cook time 10-12 min

4- pound octopus, fresh or frozen
3 litres of water, just enough to cover the octopus
3 cans of beer (any kind)
Approx. 1/2 cup sea salt

Wash the octopus, remove the thin membrane and cartilage from its head. Remove the beak/ face.
Massage the octopus evenly, adding salt while massaging. Do this for 45 min total, spending 5 min on each tentacle and 5 min on its head.  You will start to feel the legs "relaxing" and soften. 

Place the octopus in a large pot and add enough water to cover it. Bring the water to a boil. Once boiling, add the beer.  Cook for 10-12 min on medium heat with the lid on. It is done when you can poke a chopstick through the head.  Let it cool and carefully remove the webbed parts attaching tentacles, they are chewy pieces.
Cut into 3/4 inch slices to serve sashimi style "tako".

If you prefer to serve with a dipping sauce, make the dipping sauce (recipe below) while the octopus is cooking, 

Sesame Miso Sauce

Japanese miso paste
Roasted black sesame seeds

Use equal portions of each item above - I use 1 tablespoon of each.

Add all the ingredients in a blender and blend for 30-45 sec until the sauce is smooth.


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