Octopus (belonging to the cephalopods, mollusc family) is a fundamental ingredient for those who love seafood. Its tasty tentacles and its meat, when fresh and tender, can enrich sauces and first courses or offer grill lovers a worthy opponent. Before cooking it, however, the octopus must undergo some operations that will help make the meat soft. Here’s how to cook octopus.
How the octopus is made
The octopus is the best known of the cephalopod molluscs. It has a massive, sack-shaped body, gray to yellowish in color, often spotted with green. It has 2 large eyes and 8 tentacles equipped with 2 series of suckers. It also reaches considerable dimensions, the best specimens, with soft pulp, however, are those more or less 50 cm long. It has a good protein intake and satiating power and low calories. When you buy it fresh, check that the leather is yellow-gray with iridescent streaks. The tastiest octopus, with two rows of suckers on its tentacles, is called rock. It is called octopus when you are in front of a large specimen.
The secrets for a tender octopus
Let’s make an important premise: there is no octopus that is already completely soft in nature. This mollusk must be softened manually and, to do this, there are several techniques. The first: beat the mollusc on a stone or on a shelf, using a meat mallet.
Another method to break up the fibers – part of the body that makes it rubbery – is to freeze it in the freezer. When you need it, just defrost and cook it. If you prefer this method, you can already buy it frozen.
Cooking fresh octopus
To cook fresh octopus, immerse the tentacles in the pot with the boiling water. Repeat the operation 2 more times: this little trick is used to curl the tentacles, thus obtaining a more decorative effect when serving. In addition, the meat will also be more tender.
Once this first operation is done, completely immerse the octopus and cook it for half an hour: the time varies according to the weight of the shellfish. In fact, if the octopus weighs 500 grams, 30 minutes will be enough to cook it. If it weighs a kilo, you will have to double the time.
I hope this information will help you cook a great octopusCristian Marino