Tuesday, October 9, 2007


So while much of the food is similar to what we eat at home, there are somethings that just haven't caught on in the US yet. Octopus is one of them. After being adventurous and trying it at a couple of restaurants, we discovered we really liked it, and thought we would try it at home. How hard can it be? So we bought the octopus, then went online to read about how to prepare it. Had we decided to do the previous two actions in reverse order, the outcome might have been different (e.g., we might have decided to stick with only eating it out). Apparently octopus is very tough, and there are many ideas about how to tenderize before cooking, including, but not limited to:
  • beating it on a rock (variation, throwing repeatedly against a rock)

  • dipping it in boiling water three times, then cooking it in a copper pot (only copper will work)

  • kneading it with grated daikon (variation, beating it with a daikon root as hard as you can)

We chose to go with the simpler sounding...boil the heck out of it for an hour(ish...times varied between 30 minutes and 2 hours in recipes). Though there were also endless cautions about boiling too long and it will get tough, boiling to little and it will be like chewing seafood flavored chewing gum (not a flavor Wrigley has released yet, for good reason).

So we boiled away, and arbitrarily decided when enough had been enough. Then threw in some garlic and olive oil, stir-fried it for a couple of minutes, and served it up. After the first bite took a few minutes to get down, we had differing opinions about whether it was a result of too little cooking or too much. Unable to reach a consensus, we simply kept eating. We discovered that the small tips of the tentacles were actually rather edible, so concentrated on those first. When they were gone neither of us were too keen on continuing the venture. We may get up the courage to try it again sometime, but I will at least wait until the Portuguese cookbook I ordered from Amazon arrives. Ah well, at least we tried.

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