Recipe: Sous Vide Octopus
July 17, 2020
When cooked well octopus is a buttery, delivious meal that absorbs flavour like nothing else. These days a lot of attention is paid to 'umami' - or richness. Octopus, and seafood in general, are the original umami ambassadors. In sushi restaurants new hires often have to massauge the octopus before cooking in order to make it tastier down the line. Using sous vide allows for nailing this difficult balance 100% of the time, every time - and without hurting your wrists to boot.
Although not for the squeamish we would strongly suggest you give octopus a go, whether as an appetizer or main dish. There's a lot of flexibility to be had here, but for now we're pursuing a classic combination of spanish flavours like smoked paprika, rosemary and olives.
- Prep: 1 hr
- Cook: 5 hrs
- Yields: 4 - 6 servings
For the Octopus Marinade
2 lbs of octopus tentacles
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp reserved for searing
1 tbsp smoked paprika
3 crushed cloves of garlic
2 sprigs rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
For the Tapas Vinaigrette
3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp freshly grated lemon zest
1 tbsp fresh parsley, roughly chopped
1/4 cup pitted and thinly sliced Nicoise Olives (although traditional for tapas you can substitute Kalamata olives in a pinch)
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
1To start, set your heat bath to 175 degrees.
2While the water bath is coming up to temperature get a seperate pot of water boiling. Using a pair of kitchen tongs dip the octopus into the boiling water and hold in place for no more than 30 seconds. This will soften the octopus just a touch before cooking and add to the presentation - you'll know it's ready when the tentaces become slightly more rigid and curly.
3If working with a large, whole octopus pat dry and divide into managable portions with a sharp kitchen knife. Note that although the beak and central section are edible they are less flavourful than the tentacles.
4In a large, vacuum sealable bag combine octopus, olive oil, smoked paprika, crushed garlic and sprigs of rosemary in a single layer. Massage well and fully submerge in the water bath.
5Cook for 5 hours.
6While the octopus is cooking prepare the tapas vinaigrette by whisking together the olives, lemon juice, parsley and oilve oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
7When the octopus is done remove and chill immediately in an ice bath after discarding the cooking liquid. Although you can sometimes skip this step if serving immediately we find that chilling the octopus before searing leads to better texture. When in doubt chill before you grill!
8In a large pan heat your reserved tbsp of olive oil until shimmering.
9Add octopus and cook 3-5 minutes or until golden brown. If the octopus is sticking to the pan then it hasn't finished browning - give it a bit of extra time until it comes away with ease.
10Finally, serve your octopus on a bed of your favourite vegetables and drizzle with your homemade vinaigrette.
We recommend serving the octopus with vegetables such as sweet potatos and squash, to name just a few.