Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Octopus Soup Recipe & Octopus Cooking Tips

Don't be frightened, cooking with octopus is definitely not as scary as people think it is. This recipe is one of the easiest to follow and really tasty. It is based on a recipe I found a while ago but I tweaked it a bit so it is more flavorful and hearty.

This recipe is about 6-8 servings, large servings. 

I like a hearty soup, more like a stew. So I added the entire box of orzo. But if you would like a more broth like soup, keep the orzo at 8oz.
Be sure you do not over cook the octopus in the beginning of the recipe. It will continue to cook when you put it back in the stock pot for the last 20 minutes.  

Some Octopus Cooking Tips:

  • Don't do the cork thing, it doesn't work. Just an old wive's tale.
  • Octopus is like shrimp in its cooking form. When it is done, the octopus curls up and is an opaque/dark pink in color. I use baby octopus because it is easier for me to cook then the larger variety,and it has a significantly shorter cook time. 1.5 pounds of baby octopus cooks in about 3 minutes in a rolling boil where a 1.5 pound single octopus takes anywhere from 15-25 minutes.
  • If you cannot find cleaned octopus, it is pretty simple to remove the bits you don't need. Since I do not cook the heads I don't worry about removing the insides or the eyes. But if you would like to cook the heads; take a small, sharp knife and cut up into the heads from the bottom, removing the insides. You can remove the beaks by either spreading the tentacles and cutting them out or by squeezing the sides of the head by the beak from the underside and it will slide out. Simply cut it out from there if it will not ease out. You can remove the eyes using the exact same technique as the beak, but I prefer to simply cut them out using kitchen scissors. Be sure you rinse out the octopus really well to get out all of the insides, (possible) ink and bones that look like fish scales.    
  • Octopus can get very tough the larger it is. Those are older octopus and therefor not as tender. I recommend brining the larger ones if you have time. 3 tbsp regular table salt in 1 qt. warm water, add the octopus and let it sit for a few hours before cooking. Brine makes everything tender and delicious.

I hope yall like the recipe and are a whole lot more comfortable giving octopus a cooking-try with the tips. You never know if ya like it until ya try it! Bon Appetit! 


  1. I'm trying VERY hard to be creative with my meals. When you buy the octopus, do you buy the wholleeee thing or just the legss? or what? I need help :)

    Tattered to Taylored

    1. I buy the whole octopus. Head, tentacles and all. I have seen them at grocery stores before, usually specials by the squid. But if you cannot find octopus, squid will work just fine. Squid has more meat in the body (O ring calamari) along with the tentacles, so you can use the whole squid were octopus tentacles are usually the only meaty part.