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Need help with octopus tapas

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Wondering how to really tenderize my cooked octopus I got from the fish martket. My goal is to make a braised version of Galician style octopus. (Octopus, olive oil, potatoes and paprika) This version is in bite-size chunks served as tapas, both times I've had it, it's been served in Spanish latas or cazuelas.

I've tried to make it twice and although the flavor is where I want it, the octopus is rubbery! Both times I braised the octopus, potatoes and olive oil together in the oven for at least an hour and although the potatoes were perfect, the octopus was chewy. I really want melt in your mouth texture like I had at the restaurants.

I am considering:

1. boiling octopus again (I bought it cooked) then braising
2. Braising longer, like 2+ hours? In oven or maybe on the stove with more liquid and adding potatoes the last 45 min.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
post #2 of 11

Braise it for longer. One hour is most likely not nearly enough time for an octopus. One hour would even be pushing it if it were baby octopus. 

 

You are buying it already pre-cooked? That might be part of your problem too...try getting octopus that isn't cooked already. There might be an asian market that would sell it either frozen or thawed. That would be your best bet. 

 

Some people swear by adding wine corks to the braising liquid as you cook the octopus. Supposedly it helps to tenderize the octopus, so you might try that as well. 

 

Also, you use the term "boiling." Boiling is not really braising, so if you are going to cook it completely submerged in water, I would stay away from a boil. A traditional poaching temperature, something around 180 degrees, would be good. Boiling might be too rough on the octopus and actually cause the protein to seize up and get tough and dry. 

 

Good luck. 

post #3 of 11

You shouldn't have a difficult time finding frozen octopus, even frozen is better than already cooked.  Place it in a heavy dutch oven with aromatics and no liquid, as long as you keep it covered it will braise in its own liquid.  Braise it for longer, one hour is not enough to make it succulently tender. 

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #4 of 11

The wine cork thing is a funny old story, but I really don't think there is any truth to it.  Your cooking time needs to be much much longer.  The best thing you can do for your octopus is to get yourself a pressure cooker.  It speeds up those long cooking times and drastically works on that rubbery texture by allowing you to get the inside temperature higher than the boiling point.  A couple of hours in a pressure cooker for octopus is equivalent to about 8 hours of conventional braising.  Of course you'll have to cook your potatoes separate.

post #5 of 11

 

@ Mignonette,

 

Baby octopus is the best option considering it shall be much more tender and easier to work with.

 

The traditional recipe from Galicia wherein the dish is called Pulpo á Feira, which denotes Octopus Festival Style.

 

A 3 pound or 1.5 kilo baby octopus 

8 garlic cloves minced

2 1/2 tsps sweet smoked paprika

salt and black pepper

1/2 cup or 4 fl. ounces of extra virgin olive oil

chopped herbs: parsley, dill

1 medium onion

boiling potatoes

*** to serve on wooden plates is traditional here in Galicia

 

1) in a stockpot, fill with water and salt and boil

2) take the octopus, and put a hook in its head, and dunk the animal five times in the boiling water - to tenderize

3) then, you shall be able to clean it; remove the eyes, and mouth sections

4) rinse thoroughly

5) place the octopus in boiling water with 8 fluid ounces of water to cover octopus and cover with lid

6) simmer for 35 mins for a baby and up until 1 hr and a half for larger than 3 pounds

7) check with a sharp knife and if tender, it is ready

8) remove from stockpot and set aside, and let cool

9) when it is cool, rinse again and rub off fragments of skin

10) mix the garlic, seasonings and olive oil and pour over the octopus

11) slice in 1/ 2 slices and place on wooden board or wood plate

12) season with the olive oil with herbs and sprinkle Smoked Paprika

13) serve with boiled potatoes with olive oil drizzle and smoked paprika

 

It is a lovely tapa, and would be great if you could serve with a Galician white wine; albariño or Portuguese albarinho grape variety white.

Margaux Cintrano.  

 

post #6 of 11

i know the type of dish you like to make

and for the melt in your mouth galicia octopus

all you need to do is freeze the octopus 24/hours (if its fresh)

let it defreeze at room temperature

bring water with salt to a boil dip it 3 or 4 times for about a minute or so and then let it in the boiling water for 30 min

after that stop the fire and let it rest in the hot water for about 30 min

cut it sprinkle paprika olive oil and you got the melt in the mouth result

hope it helped

post #7 of 11

I have made and served octopus like forever....and all I need do is cook it until it's tender. I guess I don't understand the issue.

When I worked for the Greek owners, they liked it marinated in a balsamic vinaigrette then grilled on a open flame with nice char marks. No need to peel the suckers or anything.

They used to tell me that's how they did it in the "old country."

post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefross View Post

grilled on a open flame with nice char marks.

 

 

+1  At least finish on the grill.

 

Dave

I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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post #9 of 11

In spain at the marina I've often seen fishermen place the octopus into strong bags and smack them on a hard surface 5-10 times.

Im very inquisitive so I asked what they were doing ?

 

They answered that you beat the fresh octopus until a foam is produced

and the roll them vigorously almost like washing clothes by hand on a washing board. This breaks down the tissues in the flesh

and is a traditional way of tenderising octopus before Braising or Char Grilling.  

 

Hope this Helps :)

post #10 of 11

Detroit wing nuts just take care of that by throwing them on the Ice. biggrin.gif

 

Dave

I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
Reply
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
Reply
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChefZoneAU View Post

In spain at the marina I've often seen fishermen place the octopus into strong bags and smack them on a hard surface 5-10 times.

Im very inquisitive so I asked what they were doing ?

 

They answered that you beat the fresh octopus until a foam is produced

and the roll them vigorously almost like washing clothes by hand on a washing board. This breaks down the tissues in the flesh

and is a traditional way of tenderising octopus before Braising or Char Grilling.  

 

Hope this Helps :)

 

We used to go snorkeling for octopus when I was a kid.  When we caught one we'd throw it against the rocks for about 10 min to tenderize.  It was fun back then but looking back now it seems brutal.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply
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