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Author Topic: Anyone have good technique tenderizing giant pacific octopus?  (Read 1518 times)

Offline jackyd

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Anyone have good technique tenderizing giant pacific octopus?
« on: February 10, 2014, 03:43:20 PM »
With small ones I've had luck parboiling, but it isn't working well with a big one. It could be that I just haven't boiled it long enough.


Offline Road Runner

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Re: Anyone have good technique tenderizing giant pacific octopus?
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2014, 04:19:55 PM »
I'm super inexperienced with cooking octo, but I did two different methods in oven and came out good.

Remove skin, then:

#1 Brine or season thick pieces, put them in oven at 195 for 4 hours on tin foil on a cooking sheet. Not chewy at all. I then made poke out of the pus.

#2 Same as above except cut into really thin pieces and made jerky!! Super good!!

Offline jjjjeremy

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Re: Anyone have good technique tenderizing giant pacific octopus?
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2014, 05:20:23 PM »
I just cleaned up the kitchen after experimenting myself!

Take off the skin, cut out the suckers, thinly slice the arm in cross sections, (1/4 inch at most) and fry suckers and arm in a pan for as short a time as you can stand. A few minutes at most. The longer you cook it, the more rubbery it gets. Maybe it gets better if you cook it for a long time, but I'm too lazy and hungry for that! I tried eating the skin, but it was way too rubbery to chew. It just wouldn't break down.

Offline StinkyPete

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Re: Anyone have good technique tenderizing giant pacific octopus?
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2014, 06:27:13 PM »
I'm super inexperienced with cooking octo, but I did two different methods in oven and came out good.

Remove skin, then:

#1 Brine or season thick pieces, put them in oven at 195 for 4 hours on tin foil on a cooking sheet. Not chewy at all. I then made poke out of the pus.

#2 Same as above except cut into really thin pieces and made jerky!! Super good!!

+1.

I grew up eating a lot of GPO's (my dad let it be known that he would buy any octopus over 20 pounds brought in by the commercial fishermen in Half Moon Bay) and there isn't a ton you can do about it.

ALWAYS remove the skin.  There's no way to make that stuff less chewy.  Then you basically have one of two options...

1) like mentioned above cut into thin strips and cook it for several hours after brining it.  You can do some really cool stuff with braising the meat like that.  There's a restaurant near me called Evvia that has a braised octopus dish that's killer.  They use smaller octopus but it will work with the big ones when prepared as mentioned.

2) Beat the hell out of the sections with a 2"x4".  You basically want to see is start to relax, then you'll be able to parboil it and it won't be as tough.

Other than that or making jerky out of it you're S.O.L. to make it softer.
Carpe piscem

Offline ApneaAddict

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Re: Anyone have good technique tenderizing giant pacific octopus?
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2014, 05:55:59 PM »
I got this method from a friend when I got a GPO recently-
-Take 2 tentacles or so, boil them for just maybe 2 or 3 minutes, then remove from water.
-Take an oven-safe pot with a lid or a casserole dish with lid and toss in some diced yellow onion, green onion, garlic, garlic powder, some miscellaneous spices that sounded good at the time (my buddy also recommended fennel bulb and red and yellow peppers)
-Rub the blanched tentacles down with a bit of coarse salt and a couple miscellaneous spices, and put on top of the veggies.
-Add a splash of white wine and close the lid.
-Toss that in the oven at 300 for 2 hours.

After it's cooled a bit, slice the thick parts into thin medallions, while the tips can remain in larger chunks. The suction cups and skin will kinda fall off the rest of the meat, but don't lose this- it is the BEST part.

I first took this and made a sandwich from it on sourdough bread that was great. I put the leftovers into a big salad with diced tomatoes and oranges. Both were crazy good.

We trimmed every bit of skin off of the hood (inside and outside skin- this was a PIA), and pounded it out like abalone, battered and fried it. That was good too, but a lot of work (although probably similar to abalone in terms of per-bite labor).



Offline IceColdChuck

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Re: Anyone have good technique tenderizing giant pacific octopus?
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2014, 06:49:46 PM »
^ that looks amazing

I smoked some octopus the other day. It was frozen, I thawed it out, marinated it, and smoked it. Nothing else. Super tender.

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Offline Rick W

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Re: Anyone have good technique tenderizing giant pacific octopus?
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2014, 08:52:07 PM »
Like Chuck says -- freezing it should break down the tissue and tenderize. My mom grew up in Crescent City and they used to freeze their abalone for the same reason.
There are no bad days at the beach.

Offline Mhathhorn

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Re: Anyone have good technique tenderizing giant pacific octopus?
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2014, 11:10:57 PM »
The Japanese method is to boil in saltwater with sliced dikon radish.  That is how I cook mine.

Offline SaltyVic

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Re: Anyone have good technique tenderizing giant pacific octopus?
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2014, 10:38:32 AM »
Like Chuck says -- freezing it should break down the tissue and tenderize. My mom grew up in Crescent City and they used to freeze their abalone for the same reason.
+1

Freeze em.

Some old timers have told me about soaking them in MILK. But that just made em taste like milk to me  ???

 

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