Author Topic: Easy Sicilian octopus salad  (Read 717 times)

Offline StinkyPete

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Easy Sicilian octopus salad
« on: January 04, 2014, 05:51:23 PM »
A few days ago I was fortunate enough to catch a 30+ lb octopus (it was a team effort between myself and two other divers).  Upon landing on shore, we were all discussing how to split up the catch.  I was flabbergasted to find out that my two dive partners had no idea how to prepare octopus.  When I told them that I love to eat 'puss, they looked at me like I was an alien.

As a Sicilian, my family has a few easy and very tasty recipes for octopus.  It's one of my favorite things to put my face into, and hopefully these recipes will help make a few 'puss eaters out of you all.  Truth be told, I told my entire family there was some fresh 'puss and even a few cousins from Monterey showed up to Stanford to have a taste.  At this point, I've only got about 10 of the original 33 pounds left.

This recipe is one of my favorite ways to prepare octopus.  It's a simple salad, but it really does a good job incorporating the octopus into a meal without overpowering it.

Sicilian Octopus Salad

You'll need:

- 2 to 3 pounds of octopus.  I like to start with more, and just use whatever seems reasonable for you.
- 3 oranges.  Blood oranges work best, but if you can't find them, any sweet tasting orange will do.
- 1/2 sweet onion.
- 1 cucumber.  I prefer to use 3-4 persian cucumbers, but once again, if they're not around, 1 cucumber will work too.
- 2 heads romaine lettuce
- 2 lemons
- Olive oil to taste
--OPTIONAL - 1/2 bunch, Italian Parsley

The hardest part is to properly prep the octopus.  To do this, remove the tentacles from the mantle.  You'll then want to remove the slime layer that surrounds the octopus leg.  If you have a little bit of that layer left around the suction cups, that normal.  I've attached a picture of what the legs look like when cleaned.

Boil a pot of water.  Once the water is boiling, toss the octopus leg in the pot of water.  There should just be enough water to cover the octopus by about 2".  The water will stop boiling at that point.  Once the water works back up to a full boil, remove the octopus from the water.  Wait about 5 minutes.  Then toss the octopus back in the boiling water.  Once again, the water will stop boiling.  Once it gets back to a full boil, remove the octopus.  Discard the water.  You should have a perfectly cooked leg.  For narrower sections of the tentacle near the tip, you usually only need to toss it in the water once.  For larger sections, twice usually does the trick.

-Chop up the octopus into small chunks a little larger than the size of an almond.
-Chop up the lettuce, cucumber, and oranges (peel then slice in half, then into quarters). Also add chopped parsley if you're using it.
-Slice the onion into thin slivers.  Some people use a cheap mandolin to do the cutting.  I prefer by knife, but either way works.
-Throw everything in a salad bowl.  Squeeze out the juice from the two lemons, add olive oil to taste, and serve.

It's a simple, easy salad that as a little bit of an acidic kick to it, compliments of the lemon and blood oranges.  I've attached a pic of the final product.

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Carpe piscem

Offline _MikeM_

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Re: Easy Sicilian octopus salad
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2014, 12:11:35 PM »
Wow, congratulations Pete! That's a beast, well done. And thanks for the culinary tips.

Offline Road Runner

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Re: Easy Sicilian octopus salad
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2014, 01:14:49 PM »

Thanks for the recipe.


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