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Thursday, March 03, 2005

AG's sticky chilli baby octopus

I'm a bit of a baby octopus fan and thought it was about time I tried my hand at home. Bit of sweet chilli sauce, plenty of searing heat and lots of toe-curling caramelisation! You can't go wrong with a DIY marinade.

I never understood why people turned their nose up at baby octopus. Tentacles? So what. Chewy? Only if the chef has ruined them.

However as I squelched marinade into the quivering blob of raw octopi I started to understand the squeamishness. Tentacles caressed me eerily, reminding me of jellyfish (which, by the way, I do enjoy pickled Chinese-wedding-reception-style). The octopus felt slippery and looked alien-like.

As I bit into a tasty bit of octopus a few hours later though, tastebuds sang, tongue started dancing, heart cheered Hallelujah and all was forgiven.

AG's sticky chilli baby octopus
serves 4

2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (limes would be even better)
1 stalk finely chopped lemongrass
2 chillies finely sliced (optional)

750g cleaned baby octopus
4Tbsp Thai sweet chilli sauce
1 Tbsp honey (optional)

  • Combine marinade ingredients.
  • Mix marinade thoroughly into octopus and marinate for at least two hours, overnight if possible.
  • Add 1/4 - 1/2 of the octopus into a searing hot oiled non-stick frypan.
    Note: Trying to cram too many octopi will prevent them caramelising. The octopi should cover about 1/2 the frypan surface in one layer.
  • Cook the octopi, turning frequently, until seared on each side.
  • Add some sweet chilli sauce and cook until octopi are nicely caramelised. For extra stickiness (and sweetness) add a small amount of honey. Take care not to burn the sugars (this is where my beloved non-stick Scanpan definitely comes in handy!). A splash of soy will also add some darkness and saltiness.
  • Season with salt (or soy) and freshly cracked pepper, then remove cooked octopi and give pan a quick wipe before continuing with the next batch.
  • Garnish with finely chopped eschallots, coriander or parsley. Add more chillies for extra kick (and of course photographic colour!).
  • Serve with a garden salad and crusty bread; or on steamed jasmine rice to soak up all that tasty marinade.

  • Easy peasy.
    Dead cheap too!
    And did I mention that caramelised goodness?
    2 comments - Add some comment love

    posted by Anonymous on 3/03/2005 11:59:00 pm


    • At 3/06/2005 6:04 am, Blogger Ms One Boobie said…

      YUM- mmmmmyyyy...!!! and it sure looks good.. ;)

    • At 3/07/2005 4:08 pm, Blogger pinkcocoa said…

      hey AG or shall I start calling you caramel girl :p

      I never know there are ppl out there not liking baby octopus! It's delicious on barbie when well marinated! Your marinate recipes looks soooo stickily good!!!


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