Grilled Octopus Recipe Theo Michaels How to cook octopus

Grilled Octopus | How to cook tender octopus crispy

Grilled Octopus – how to cook octopus and importantly how to cook octopus so it is tender seems to be cloaked in mystery – but it’s easier than you think..

Grilled Octopus, baked octopus, octopus stew, however you want to cook it; I always start the same; with a slow braise to tenderise the octopus then cool it and from there you can pretty much do what you want with it!

If you want to watch how I braise my octopus – or read up on how to do that check out this post which also includes another video recipe to show the slow braise and cleaning the octopus (preparing octopus).


This grilled octopus recipe is all about creating a wonderful charred, smoky, crispy exterior doused in the holy trinity of Hellenic cooking; garlic, lemons and olive oil enveloping a soft meaty interior. 

Damn I love octopus!

Throughout Cyprus and the Greek islands octopus is served in a multitude of ways it is a ubiquitous aquatic creature featured on most Greek tables at one time or another. The methods of cooking octopus range from stews to mezedes to fine dining pieces of food-art. But my favourite is grilled octopus.. and you’ll see why!

Tenderising an octopus is wrapped in mystery with a hundred different housewife tales on the best way; octopus hanging out to dry on a clothes line or local fisherman throwing an octopus against the rocks (first time I saw that I thought; “man, that guy is seriously angry at that octopus”).

When cooked right octopus is a wonderful ingredient to work with and contrary to most other seafood, buying frozen octopus is preferred as the freezing process helps tenderise the octopus – or at least that’s what my mum says…

Grilled Octopus Recipe

Ingredients:

1 octopus cleaned (about 1.5kg for 4 people – 2 legs each!)

1 bayleaf

Few sprigs fresh parsley

1 lemon halved

2 tbl salt + pinch salt

1 clove garlic

3 tbl extra virgin olive oil

2 tbl red onion finely diced

Pinch dried chilli flakes

Grilled Octopus Method:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a simmer and gently braise the cleaned octopus for about 30 minutes or until it is ‘fork tender’, then remove, drizzle olive oil over the octopus and let cool. You can do this the day before.
  2. Pan Fry – in a smoking hot frying pan add a little olive oil and place the octopus in it – don’t move it around too much; just turn it over after a couple of minutes to sear the other side then reserve.
  3. BBQ – (my preferred method) – get the barbecue super hot, oil the grate so the octopus doesn’t stick and grill for a few minutes each side then reserve.
  4. Cut the octopus to your preference (I like cutting it into 3 inch long pieces at an angle) then make the dressing by combining the crushed garlic, juice of half lemon, pinch salt, chilli flakes, red onion and olive oil together (pop into a jar and give it a good shake) and then pour over the crispy octopus to coat and then transfer to a clean plate to serve.

Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with some toasted pita.

Tip: I have before lightly dusted the octopus in flour to make it really crispy – but unless you are using a lot of oil you can get some patches that haven’t been cooked – so I’d do this for more shallow frying…

 

Grilled Octopus Recipe Theo Michaels How to cook octopus
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Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 1 octopus cleaned about 1.5kg for 4 people - 2 legs each!
  • 1 bayleaf
  • Few sprigs fresh parsley
  • 1 lemon halved
  • 2 tbl salt + pinch salt
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 tbl extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbl red onion finely diced
  • Pinch dried chilli flakes

Instructions

Grilled Octopus Method:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a simmer and gently braise the cleaned octopus for about 30 minutes or until it is ‘fork tender’, then remove, drizzle olive oil over the octopus and let cool. You can do this the day before.

Pan Fry - in a smoking hot frying pan add a little olive oil and place the octopus in it – don’t move it around too much; just turn it over after a couple of minutes to sear the other side then reserve.

BBQ - (my preferred method) - get the barbecue super hot, oil the grate so the octopus doesn't stick and grill for a few minutes each side then reserve.

  1. Cut the octopus to your preference (I like cutting it into 3 inch long pieces at an angle) then make the dressing by combining the crushed garlic, juice of half lemon, pinch salt, chilli flakes, red onion and olive oil together (pop into a jar and give it a good shake) and then pour over the crispy octopus to coat and then transfer to a clean plate to serve.
  2. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with some toasted pita.

Recipe Notes

Tip: I have before lightly dusted the octopus in flour to make it really crispy - but unless you are using a lot of oil you can get some patches that haven't been cooked - so I'd do this for more shallow frying...

My other video on how to prepare and braise the octopus on this post: