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Grilled Baby Octopus

When you can find baby octopus in the market, take a leap of faith and buy about a pound of them. Most people who try octopus in any form for the first time find that they like it more than they thought they would. This is particularly true of the little ones, which are more tender than squid. Everywhere I’ve bought squid–including in European markets–they’re already cleaned, so you don’t have to worry about being bitten or whether you got all the guts out. You hardly need to cook them at all.

  • 1 lb. baby octopus, cleaned
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 green onion, sliced finely
  • 1 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs. rice wine vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 6 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, chopped (cilantro would also be good)
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 tbs. capers

1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Boil the octopus for about two minutes. Remove and rinse under cool water.

2. Combine all the other ingredients in a glass or plastic bowl and mix. Add the octopus and marinate at least one hour; it can go overnight, if you like.

3. Heat the grill to medium-high heat. Remove the octopi from the marinade and drop them on the grill, sprinkling them with a little salt. Grill for about two minutes, turning them frequently.

Alternative: You can leave the octopus in a covered container with the marinade for as long as a week, and serve it as is, as a cold appetizer.

Serves four.

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