The octopus has two meanings for me: A: an insanely interesting animal and B: a true delicacy. Many years ago I was faced with the question: How do I manage to catch an octopus, kill it and then of course prepare it (which makes the squid soft as butter and not tough as leather).
Over the years, I have answered all these questions for me and brought to perfection through my favorite recipe. Now I want to share it with you.
The octopus hunting: the Catch
How to kill an Octopus?
In order to kill an octopus quickly and safely, it is recommended to put a finger into the head (opening is on the back of the head, behind the eyes). Now you turn the animal’s hat over in a fast movement. If you do it correctly, the octopus quickly changes from an angry red to a brown / white. This is because the chromatophores (color cells) of the octopod are no longer driven by their nervous system. In addition, the animal loses its muscle tone and no longer sucks with its suction cups.
The Kraken: Prepare
The preparation of an octopus is not easy, if you do not observe some basic rules, you have in the end only a tough lump, which has nothing in common with the tasty, delicate meat of a good octopod with the Italian or Greek. For the delicate preparation of octopus there are basically three methods which I would like to introduce in the following:
Beat the Octopus tenderly
Time needed: 30 minutes
This method is recommended if the octopus itself is caught, at home it would be only a huge mess and there are simpler methods.
- Water and Stone
After killing the octopus (chapter Octopus kill), you are looking for a flat stone on the shore. It is important that you have water nearby.
To knock the octopus softly you grab the animal at the head and hit it with force on the stone. Repeat this 10 times.
Then you rub the octopus strongly on the stone. This produces a white foam (protein), which you wash down in the water.
Repeat the 10x beat and 1x rub a total of 10 times (you have heard correctly, hit 100x and rub 10x. Now the octopus should be super soft for the kitchen.
Cook for 10 minutes and then prepare as desired.
Octopus delicately prepare, the freezer method
This is a simple method when you bought a fresh octopus.
- Pack the octopus as it is in a freezer bag and close it carefully.
- Now pack the bag into the freezer and let the octopus freeze well (takes at least 6-8h). During the freezing process, small ice needles are formed in the octopus, which ensure that the connective tissue of the animal is torn.
- Thaw the octopus overnight and cook it.
- You will notice that he will be super tender.
Octopus soft – the cooking method
Again, this is true for freshly caught animals. I have come across this method from an Italian and am still enthusiastic.
- You prepare a large pot of salt water (preferably too much salt!). You can add spices like rosemary or laurel leaves at will.
- Bring the water to boil.
- Take the octopus and tune the arms 3 times for a few seconds into the seething water (this causes the arms to curl up).
- Now add the whole octopus into the boiling water. The water ceases to bubble, since the animal is cold. Wait until the water boils again.
- Now place the stove on the second lowest level and close the pot with a lid. Let the animal simmer at this stage for an hour.
- After the hour has elapsed, you leave the stove and let the animal cool down for two more hours together with cooking water.
- After cooling, the animal should be buttery.
- Get it out of the water and under running water scrub your skin down.
- Process the octopus as you want and enjoy its great and tender meat.
The 3 most important techniques how to get an octopus the right meat texture, I explain in the following video:
Octopus – Recipe – Salad – Insalata di polpo e patate
What do I need?
- a big octopus
- good Italian olive oil
- salt pepper
I received this recipe years ago from an Italian friend, the ingredients are available in every shop on the Mediterranean. The salad (insalata) is very easy and quick to prepare and tastes great in the hot summer.
First you prepare the octopus as in the above instructions so that it is beautifully tender. In the meantime you are cooking peeled potatoes, which are mostly boiling, and let them cool down. Once the octopus has cooled, remove the reddened skin of the octopus with kitchen paper or under running cold water. Who likes to remove the suckers (I like to eat them).
Cut the potatoes and octopus into mouth-sized pieces in a salad bowl. With a pair of scissors you roughly cut the parsley into the salad. Now conclude a good Italian olive oil (Italian quote “a good Italian olive oil, not so another oil”). Season with salt and pepper and leave to soak in the fridge for one hour.
I promise you will never eat a better octopus salad.
Spearfishing Spots – Guide
You want to search for Octopus by yourself?
I have written a long guide, which you can buy in my shop. Here you will find a lot of basic things about spearfishing, useful links and tips and above all a tutorial on finding spearfishing spots and creating your own spearfishing map. This will help you to improve your hunting quickly and efficiently, and above all, not to go home empty-handed.
Furthermore, you will find many different spot cards from all over Europe, which I have collected over many years.