Sous Vide Supreme: Octopus

I have written about this before.  But!

It is sooo awesome.  It is sooo easy.  It is perfectly tender.

Scared?  Don't be.

1. Buy whole and fresh from a fishmonger you trust.  You can have them do a first pass on the octopus and remove the guts, the beak and the eyes.

2. Use kitchen shears to break down the octopus into a head and tentacles.  I chuck the part of the octopus that connects the two (it is where the beak used to be).

3. Wash the octopus parts.  They generally chill out at the bottom of the ocean.  That basically means mud.  Mud is not delicious.  Make sure to get rid of all of the grit.  There is something about this step that makes me respect the fact that the octopus was a living creature.  A delicious, living creature.  The suction cups open up when you rinse them under the faucet.  The suction cups will also latch onto you.

4. Dry tentacles.




5. I mixed smoked paprika, dried oregano, salt, and pepper together and let all the goodies steep in olive oil for a little while.

6. Put octopus and oil mixture in the bag and pump air out.



7. Put it into a water bath at 180F.  I generally let it cook for a a couple of hours.  The end result is awesomely tender and delicious octopus inside of a bag full of octo-umami-goo.  You can take it and reduce it down for a sauce if you like.   I ended up taking the resulting octopus and added it to pasta one night. The next night, they were used for octopus tacos with chipotle, shredded cabbage, avo, pickled red onion stuffed into homemade tortillas.   Then stuffed into my gaping maw.

Just like mom never made.
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11 comments:

erich said...

Ok, I need some help here.

Bought a whole octopus, thawed it, cleaned it, vacuum bagged it, and cooked it for 2 hours at 180F in my sous vide bath. The thing came out very rubbery. Basically the same consistency one would achieve pan frying it. Anything, I'm missing here?

BTW, this is not first sous vide dish, but definitely the one that didn't come out at all.

Pablo Escolar said...

My guess is that you needed to leave it in the water bath longer, but here are things that may be different between You and I:

1. Size of Octopus. I don't know how thick your Octopus was. Any guess on it's size? Even weight might be helpful.

2. Fresh vs. Frozen. Not saying I know for sure that mine wasn't frozen earlier, but I bought mine in non-frozen form at a fish monger.

If yours was larger and colder to start with, it might take longer to get tender. Finally, another thing I do is occasionally squeeze the octopus through the bag to get a sense of texture.

Hope this helps.

wolvesmouth said...

u need to cook about 5 hrs to get it to break down, even up to six hours... 176-180f

Pablo Escolar said...

I think where I went wrong here was saying in my original post that I put it in the bath for 'a couple of hours'. I definitely did more than 2 hours.

@wolvesmouth do you find a tremendous difference between 176 and 180?

wolvesmouth said...

if 180 then it may take a little less time, the difference is not very noticeable but noticeable as far as the texture goes, the one for 180 has more bite to it the one at 176 cooked longer is a tiny bit more tender but based off what you pair it with u may want something with more bite??

Erich said...

@pablo: mine was frozen, around 3lbs. I guess the communication break down was "a couple of hours". By now I have read that some people cook them for up to 36 hours. I will try it again (but for significantly longer) and report back.

Pablo Escolar said...

@Erich:

Sorry about that. Definitely report back. Also note that you spawned another post on Sous Vide Octopus and low temp cooking advice.

Erich said...

@Pablo: Tried some baby octopus for 8hrs @176 and they were yum! Definitely tender. Next time I'll try them even longer.

Matthiu said...

After failing miserably the first time around by simply throwing the thawed octopus on the grill and ending with grilled rubber, I used my sous-vide demi and obtained spectacular results. I vacuumed sealed the still frozen octopus, thawed it overnight in the fridge and placed it for ~4 Hrs in the demi at 165F. After that, I let it cool, trimmed the tentacles and marinaded it with garlic, olive oil, wine vinegar and spanish smoked paprika for another 2 Hrs. Then a quick 5-10 min on the grill and I had perfect grilled octopus. Wouldn't have been able to do it without the demi.

Anonymous said...

Definitely need more than "a couple of hours". Six is good. You can make it tough if you overcook it (anyone that has cooked octopus in a traditional manner has experienced this) but sous vide removes that issue.

Ignacio said...

94°C x 90 minutes.

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