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Oktopus-Salat mit roten Zwiebeln und Kräutern

When my fish seller sends a whatsapp… we’ll eat octopus

November 22nd, 2017 | starter

In Spain, Italy and Portugal we love to eat octopus salad as starter or octopus Galician style – the latter we often had in Barcelona’s taverns in the Barrio Gotico and liked it most in the Bar Celta Pulperia. A simple and authentic dish – wonderful! But how to cook it?

When my fish seller sends a whatsapp… we’ll eat octopus

For a long time I did not try to prepare an octopus because of all those rumors and maybe fairy tales about how to cook an octopus: Some say it’s necessary to beat the octopus on rocks, others put wine corks (but it must be white wine ?!?) into the stock. Others assert that you have to deepfreeze before cooking, otherwise it won’t get soft. It seemed to be a science in its own.

Well, I did not follow any of those recommendations. And I developed my own way to prepare it. And this way it’s always a success and wonderful tender and soft.

Today, my fish seller writes me a whatsapp message when octopus is available. In his mobile phone I am saved as „Octopus“… And that’s how it works:

How to cook the octopus

1 octopus (about 1-1.5 kg)
Rinse the octopus and cut off the body just behind the eyes, cut off and throw away the part with the eyes, rinse the body carefully from inside. Cut off and throw away the masticatory organs (situated in the center of the tentacles), cut off the tentacles two by two. Put the octopus parts into a pot and add

water and white wine (I prefer Riesling)
half water and half white wine, the octopus should be well covered with liquid
1 onion, not peeled, cut into halfs
2 bay leaves
2 garlic cloves
Add and bring to the boil, simmer for 10 minutes, remove from the heat and let the octopus in the stock for 4 hours until it’s done, rub down the red skin and use the octopus for preparing octopus salad or other dishes.

Good to know:

You get around 750 g of cooked octopus out of a fresh weight of 1,6 kg. For an octopus salad you need 75 – 100 g per person. You can freeze cooked octopus – that’s perfect for having guests. Try for example Pulpo á la Gallega or octopus Galician style.

Octopus salad Mimmo style
(4 Portions)

We had this salad once as a starter in a very nice little restaurant in Venice called Trattoria Da Mimmo. Then my Captain took a little break from the ship. Cooked by myself, found to be good and added to our home menu…

50 g sticks celery, in slices
½ red bell pepper, in slices
½ red onion, in cubes
3 small tomatoes in cubes
20 g capers
3 stalks flat leaf parsley, diced
2 ts dried oregano
300 – 400 g cooked Octopus, in 2 cm pieces
mix all ingredients and place the salad on plates
4 TS white wine vinegar
1 ts sweet mustard
1 ts dried herbs Majorcan style
1,5 TS agave syrup (or honey)
Pepper, salt
Piment d’Espelette
3 TS lemon olive oil
5 TS water
mix all ingredients, and add the marinade to the salad, serve

And this is how the wife of the captain does it

I use an empty marmelade glass for preparing marinades: Fill all ingredients in, close the lid, mix – ready is the marinade! You can even store the salad sauce in this glass for some days in the fridge.

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