Recipe courtesy of Sean Lew

Wiggly Meaty Octo Awesome

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 15 min
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 4 servings
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1 1/2 pounds cleaned octopus tentacles

1 cup plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup chicken stock

1 large yellow onion, quartered

2 cloves garlic, smashed

1 one-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced

1 lemon, halved

3 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons sambal chile paste

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


2 tablespoons oyster sauce

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon sambal chili paste

Vegetable oil, for the grill pan


2 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil

1 1/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1 teaspoon sesame oil

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

1 bunch watercress

2 cups thinly sliced Napa cabbage

1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 English cucumber, thinly sliced

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest 


Special equipment:
a stand mixer with a paddle attachment and a pressure cooker
  1. For the octopus: Combine the octopus and 1 cup salt in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Turn the mixer to high and tenderize the octopus for 5 minutes.
  2. Combine the chicken stock, onion, garlic, ginger, lemon, soy sauce, olive oil, sambal chile paste, crushed red pepper flakes, 1 cup water, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper in a pressure cooker. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Remove the octopus from the stand mixer and rinse it well to remove the salt. Add the octopus to the pressure cooker, seal the lid and cook the octopus over medium heat until tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
  3. For the sauce: Combine the oyster sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, sesame oil and sambal chili paste in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat.
  4. Remove the octopus from the pressure cooker and discard the cooking liquid.
  5. Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat and oil the grates. Grill the octopus, brushing with the sauce and turning once, until charred, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
  6. For the salad: Combine the vegetable oil, vinegar and sesame oil in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add the watercress, cabbage, pepper, cucumber, onion and lemon zest and toss to coat with the dressing. Divide the salad among 4 plates. Top each salad with a few pieces of the octopus.
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