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How to Cook an Octopus - Recipe

In this article is described how to Cook an Octopus. Fresh octopus is quite inexpensive and if cooked properly a delicious and healthy treat with very little calories.

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  • Level: Medium
  • Preparation time: 120 minutes
  • Total time: 120 minutes


  • Octopus

    2 lb
  • Salt (coarse)

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Cooking Directions:

If the octopus has not been cleaned, cut the back of the head laterally and turn it inside out. Remove with your fingers the entrails and the stomach sac. With the help of a scissor or a knife remove the beak, the eyes and the skin.

Wash very well the octopus under running water to get rid of the residual sand, especially along the tentacles and the sucker disks.

Bring to boil in a large stock pot abundant water.

Holding the fresh octopus from the head dip the tentacles in the rolling boiling water 3-4 times until they will curl up.

Change the water, rinse the pot and bring again to boil some water. Add about 2 tablespoons of coarse salt and some herbs if desired (bay leaves, celery, onions, juniperus).

Simmer the octopus for about 90 minutes (45 minutes for each pound). You can test the doneness of the octopus by sticking a skewer through the thickest part of a tentacle. If it goes trough without resistance it is ready.

Remove the octopus from the heat, let cool and cut it in small pieces.

The octopus is now ready to be dressed as you like better or used for pasta sauces or octopus salads.


The octopus meat is usually very tough. Use a meat tenderizer to beat the tentacles for about 10 minutes to tenderize the octopus meat. Freezing the octopus may help as well.

In Italy is believed that putting a wine cork in the boiling water while cooking the octopus helps to tenderize the meat. Not scientifically proven but it doesn\'t hurt to try.

If you buy a frozen octopus let it thaw in the fridge for 24 hours before cooking.

Do not overcook the octopus or it will turn tough, losing its peculiar flavor.

Baby octopus can be prepared in a similar way. Their meat is more tender and does not require to be cooked as much.

thank you! from the happy stove team.
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