Cooking Small Octopus
The octopi shown here range from 0.5 ounces with a tentacle span of 6
inches to 2.8 ounces with a tentacle span of 11 inches. They are sold as
"Baby Octopus" in Southern California with most between 1 and 2 ounces.
Small octopi cook in less than 1/2 hour and are very good used in salads,
soups and appetizers. Yield is much better than for large octopi.
af_octosmz 061208 - www.clovegarden.com
- Octopus sold in Southern California markets is already cleaned but if
yours isn't, make a cut under the back of the head where it joins the
body and pull out all the innards. Force the beak back from the center of
the tentacle star until you can fish it out and cut out the eyes or force
them back through the cut.
- Bring plenty of salted water to a boil and put in your octopus. Bring
it quickly back to a boil and simmer for an appropriate time depending on
size of the octopi. Here are my results for octopi between 2 and 3 oz each:
|Cook Time ||Weight||Condition|
|As bought||26 oz||Raw|
|1 min||Chewy, raw flavor|
|5 min||Chewy, good flavor|
|15 min||Less chewy, good flavor|
|30 min||10.5 oz (40%) ||Tender, flavor still good.|
|45 min||Flavor declining, skin starting to rub off.|
|1 hr||A mess - skin and suckers falling off.|
- Strain out of the water and use however you intend.
Note: If you want your octopi particularly light in color, boil 5
minutes, then strain out octopi. Discard water and bring a new batch to a
boil to finish the cooking time.
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