July 16, 2009

Baby Octopus

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baby octopus in garlic and hot pimentón sauce

grilled Korean-style: salty, sweet, and spicy

The first time I had grilled octopus was more than 25 years ago at a Korean restaurant in the Philippines. I have never eaten it since until I saw a package of frozen baby octopus at the Korean grocery earlier this week. They are really tiny, about 4 inches in diameter and when cooked shrink by only about a quarter of an inch. I didn't know how to prepare these babies and some website discussions differ on how to make them tender. The large ones, between 1 and 2 pounds each, which I have never seen in fish markets, are supposed to be boiled for 1 hour until tender before adding sauce or grilling. I halved the package which has 24 pieces, simmered the first batch for 20 minutes in spicy Spanish sauce with garlic, salt, hot pimentón (paprika), and one chopped birds-eye chili pepper. They came out slightly tender but still a bit chewy. The other 12 octopi I marinated overnight in Korean-style marinade (hot chili paste, garlic, soy sauce, sugar, salt, Korean roasted sesame seed oil) then grilled over hot charcoal for 3 minutes on each side. They came out more tender with a slight chewy bite, very very very yummy. I just love Korean seasoning on any meat or fish specially when grilled. As much as I love these babies, I don't think I'll buy them again because they are just too small and they leave me wanting for more. I'll just get large squids, cuttlefish, or the larger ones if I can find them.

tiny suckers


Lory said...

whatta coincidence that I bought some last Monday when I went to the Asian store (a 2-hr trip), not really having any clue how to cook them. I just remember having had a taste of octopus (a chunk of the tentacle of a big one) given by a chef of a Japanese restaurant in a hotel in Makati, simply boiled/blanched? and dipped in wasabi/soy combi. Very tender and yummy!
This one looks even yummier! Maybe I can use pressure cooker or slow cooker?

Midge said...

And to think I had Greek-style stewed octopus for lunch this afternoon! These little octopi look so cute. :D

caninecologne said...

the first time i had baby octopus was in a paella dish...they were delicious. i expected them to be rubbery but on the contrary, they were so tender...

Oggi said...

Manang and Midge, yes, that's a coincidence, the three of us having octopi on the same week!:)

R, that's a great idea putting it in paella. I will definitely buy them again.:)

gwadzilla said...

Ada may have just been throwing that up to get you to look at her blog...

me... I am scrambling
today I am cooking Paella and trying to figure out if I need to prep my Baby Octopus
or if I can just let it steam with the cooking of the rice

well... it is Christmas Eve today for those that celebrate stuff
so... Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

my bicycle blog from Washington DC

Oggi said...

Gwadzilla, thanks for pointing this out. I never visited the site and this was posted before I turned the comment spam and moderator on. I already deleted the comment.

I'm also making Paella for our Christmas Eve dinner later today, no baby octopus though, just chicken and chorizos.

To make the baby octopus really tender, gently boil for a minimum of 30 minutes or until fork tender. The large ones require more than an hour of boiling.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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