Some time back, like a year ago, a friend of ours shared a link to a website that sold sea fish and I didn’t give much thought to it. He does love his salmon and for him, the website was such a breath of fresh air... being empowered to buy fresh salmon at the click of a button!
Then I started craving sea fish... you know, the kind that’s only sold at a restaurant by the Ocean! I thought I was going crazy! Anyway, I went back to the website that had been shared and ordered me some Octopus. Mind you, the closest I’d been to an octopus was Paul the Octopus, the one who decided the fate of the World Cup a couple of years ago.
In the meantime, I did a bit of research on how to prepare and cook some nice tasty octopus. My order arrived two days later and it had been neatly packaged in an airtight ziplock. It had also been debeaked, cleaned (ink and all) and ready for me to cook.
I should highlight that in all my reading, people who prepared octopus highlighted the need to boil it in spices and water to make it a little less chewy. The caviet in that is that if you over do it, you’ll end up with chewy octopus and if you under cooked it, you’ll also get chewy octopus 😔. So, we dived into the deep, cut up some leeks, red onions, some few spices here and a few herbs there and walah! Our octopus was ready to be boiled.
The Kikuyu in me and my love for soup had already googled how to make octopus soup! Nothing goes to waste in my kitchen, even the soup 😁. So, after 35 min of boiling, we were ready to serve us some octopus soup. The interesting thing is that our ‘fish’ turned an interesting shade of red.
I think my husband is more Kikuyu than I am because he ended up liking the soup. I didn’t enjoy it as much. I found the octopus a tad bit slimy for my liking and the soup needed my taste buds to adjust to this new feeling and we weren’t willing to adjust. Dear husband ended up drinking most of the soup. In hind sight, I should probably have reduced the soup, made it into a thick sauce and had it with some sautéed mushrooms and mashed potatoes. Will try that next time.
I came to understand why most of the recipes I came across suggested grilling or barbecuing the octopus. So, we decided not to give up yet (read, we couldn’t throw money away) and give it a second try with a bit of barbecue sauce here and some spices there. And boy was I pleased with the end result! My Octopus wasn’t chewy nor was it slimy. It has the right amount of meat and a slight crunch with a barbecue flavor to die for. I made mine in the oven and they came out alright. I should highlight that my test subject (dear husband) didn’t enjoy the barbecued octopus as much as he did the boiled octopus but I had a field day eating those pieces to barbecued octopus.
Will I experiment with octopus again, yes! I enjoyed my shopping experience at Jahazi and it nowhere broke our bank.
Have you even eaten, prepared, bought octopus before? Share with us your experience 😊!