Cooking Small Octopus
Small Octopi 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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   WeightCondition
    As bought26 ozRaw
    1 min
    Chewy, raw flavor
    2 min
    5 min
    Chewy, good flavor
    15 min
    Less chewy, good flavor
    30 min10.5 oz (40%)   Tender, flavor still good.
    45 min
    Flavor declining, skin starting to rub off.
    1 hr
    A mess - skin and suckers falling off.

  3. 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.

af_octosmz 061208   -
©Andrew Grygus - - Photos on this page not otherwise credited © cg1 - Linking to and non-commercial use of this page permitted