Octopus with Eggplant

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Fill a large bowl or basin with warm water, add the vinegar, and soak the octopus for a few minutes. Rinse well. Using a sharp knife, cut off the octopus's hood just below the eyes and discard. With a small paring knife, remove its beak and cartilaginous mouthpiece. Rinse and drain the octopus.

Put the octopus in a large pot with enough water to cover. Add the allspice and 3 of the bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the octopus is somewhat tender but still firm to the touch, for 40-50 minutes.

Remove from the heat, and remove the octopus from the pot. Reserve ½ cup of the cooking liquid and discard the rest. Cool the octopus slightly, and cut into 8 pieces along the tentacles. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large, heavy frying pan over medium heat and sauté the eggplants for a few minutes, until al dente. Remove the eggplants from the frying pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the tomatoes to the pan and cook over medium heat until most of their liquid has cooked off and the tomatoes are thick. Remove from the heat. Put the eggplant in a large baking pan, add the octopus, tomato, and remaining bay leaves, and toss together. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and add the reserved octopus cooking liquid. Drizzle with olive oil and bake, uncovered, for about 25 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and serve.

7 Best Recipes for Octopus

It may seem daunting, but octopus is worth tackling at home. Whether grilled or braised, the tender tentacles are incredibly delicious and can be served in a myriad of ways. Here, F&W's best ways to cook your new favorite cephalopod.

It may seem daunting, but octopus is worth tackling at home. Whether grilled or braised, the tender tentacles are incredibly delicious and can be served in a myriad of ways. Here, F&W&aposs best ways to cook your new favorite cephalopod.

1. Grilled Octopus with Ancho Chile Sauce
In this dish, the octopus is first braised in sherry and then the skin is removed to make it extra-tender before it’s finished on the grill and glazed with a tangy ancho chile sauce.

2. Octopus with Chorizo and Potatoes
This recipe is a smart, delicious, Spanish-inflected way to cook octopus. Dipping the tentacles in hot water before cooking helps firm them up so they hold their shape.

3. Octopus Turnovers with Spicy Creole Mayonnaise
Octopus can be tough, but it becomes amazingly tender when it’s cooked for a long time. It&aposs quite delicious in Jose Enrique&aposs addictive pastries.

4. Pan-Seared Octopus with Italian Vegetable Salad
Vinny Dotolo describes this salad&aposs genesis: "I originally wanted to do an octopus sandwich, with the flavors of an Italian sub, but the bread got in the way." Now he sears the octopus, braises it in white wine until tender, and tosses it with chickpeas and a tangy mix of marinated carrots, fennel and celery.

Octopus recipes

Octopus can be a daunting ingredient to approach for the first time, but once you master it you'll understand why its distinctive, delicate flesh is eaten all over the world. While naturally quite tough in texture, octopus can be deliciously tender when prepared carefully - take a look at our guide for more advice on how to cook octopus before you begin.

Michael Wignall creates an octopus terrine to serve with his Langoustine ceviche recipe, while Selina Periampillai opts to finely slice her cooked octopus and toss it through a spicy dressing for a delicious Octopus salad. Given the striking appearance of octopus tentacles many chefs also choose to serve them whole, creating a finished dish with real visual interest. Steven Smith uses a water bath to slow cook his octopus for five hours in his Octopus and shellfish wonton recipe, while Paul Welburn's stunning Octopus, 'black rice', saffron recipe make an unforgettable seafood risotto.


Alinea Recipe, pages 146-147.

This is a very tasty, light salad entrée, perfect for summer entertaining. You can prepare everything ahead of time and show off your grilling prowess at the last minute. I made this for guests as part of a great meal al fresco on our sunny backyard deck.

If you soak the dried chickpeas and want to freeze your eggplant purée overnight, this recipe takes two days — or perhaps one really, really, really long day.

Frozen Eggplant Purée
This recipe called for whole, green cardamom (Elettaria repens) seedpods. I understand wanting pungent, fresh spices, which requires removing the seeds from their pods and then grinding. I thought about just using some powdered. But I relented and went through the work…

Did you know that cardamom is a member of the ginger family? I didn’t know that, either. No wonder it makes for such a perfect flavor combination with ginger. Other members of the Zingiberaceae plant family are turmeric and galangal.

From left: green pods of cardamom, their seeds, and ground.

Alinea recipes frequently use ginger. I always use fresh, not powdered. This is a hand of fresh “root” ginger (the rhizome of the plant), cheaply available in mass quantities at my local Asian markets.

I juiced the ginger root, skin and all, with my Breville 800JEXL Juice Fountain Elite juicer.

I peeled then chopped about six eggplants to get the required weight.

Mise en place:

I sautéed the eggplant with some oil…

Then combined in a large stainless bowl with the ginger juice, chopped chilis, cardamom, soy, wine, chopped garlic, sugar and water.

I sealed the mixture in a vacuum bag with my FoodSaver V2240 vacuum sealer.

There were still a few pockets of air in the bag. It does the job, but grudgingly…

Then I brought a large stock pot of water 195ºF and cooked en sous vide for about an hour. I still have yet to purchase an immersion circulator. I’m still eyeing the PolyScience 7306C Thermal Circulator system at CuisineTechnology.com. Oh, one day…

I transfered the cooked mixture to my Osterizer, and blended until smooth.

This is where I deviated from the Alinea recipe. The cook book says to strain through a chinois onto a sheet pan to cool. Then to run through a full cycle in a Pacojet. I don’t have one, nor do I plan to buy one. I do have a little electric ice cream maker, and thought of using that instead.

I finally decided to simply put the unstrained mixture in a 9吉-inch glass PYREX baking sheet and freeze.

This did not give me a consistency of smooth ice cream that a Pacojet would have, but served perfectly well without adding US$4,500.00 (Eee gads, man!) for equipment to my budget.

Spectrum Naturals peanut oil, from Whole Foods
Fresh eggplant, peeled and chopped
Fresh ginger
Red Thai chilis
Green cardamom pods
Kikkoman reduced sodium soy sauce
Quail Creek merlot
Fresh garlic, chopped
C&H cane sugar
Morton’s kosher salt

Soy Bubbles
I’m finally getting the hang of foams. It has, in the past, been a difficult challenge. I never seemed to execute the fluffy consistency I witnessed on professionals’ dishes. My foams were usually flat and wet looking. UNTIL NOW.

I combined soy sauce, water, sugar and soy lecithin powder in a small saucepan and brought to a simmer to dissolve the solids.

Then strained into a tall plastic cup. See all the lecithin that was not incorporated?

I realized I was using too heavy a hand. If I positioned the Cuisinart SmartStick hand blender higher up in the liquid, at a 45º angle, in my 40th Anniversary San Diego Padres cup — it worked like a charm.

I think it will be my lucky foam cup from now on.

I skimmed the foam off the top and reserved in a small plastic container to my prep area.

Kikkoman reduced sodium soy sauce
C&H cane sugar
Soy lecithin, from L’Epicerie

Fried Chickpeas
Chickpeas. I keep thinking of them as “garbanzo beans,” ’cause this is what we always called them in my family. But fried chickpeas? Mmmm — they’re delicious and oh so snacky! I ate most of them while finishing up everything else.

Hint: They don’t stay crunchy for long, so do these last — before you grill and plate.

About Chickpeas

Chickpeas (Cicer arietinum) are also known as garbanzo beans, Indian peas, ceci beans and Bengal gram.

There are two main kinds of chickpeas: Desi, which have small, darker seeds and a rough coat, cultivated mostly in the Indian subcontinent, Ethiopia, Mexico, and Iran. And the kind with which most Americans are familiar, Kabuli, with lighter colored, larger seeds and a smoother coat, mainly grown in Southern Europe, Northern Africa, Afghanistan, and Chile (also introduced during the 18th century to the Indian subcontinent).

Most often you can find them canned or dried. The Alinea recipes call for dried. You can sometimes buy the fresh, ripe shrubs of ’em at the Santa Monica farmer’s market. But as one chef I know said, it’s waaaay too much work shelling. “We want… a shrubbery.”

I had bought some dried chickpeas at Mitsuwa Marketplace awhile back, so I threw a bunch in some water to rehydrate “overnight.”

I simmered them in a covered pot of water until they were tender (but not squishy like canned garbanzos).

…and drained on paper towels until they were pretty dry to touch. Keep in mind the damper they are, the more they will POP when you fry them.

In my now-thrashed frying pot, I heated some canola oil to 400ºF, then fried the chickpeas in small batches, until they were golden brown.

Then drained on paper towels and hit ’em with a little kosher salt.

I reserved these to my prep area in a small plastic container.

Dried chickpeas, soaked overnight, from Mitsuwa Marketplace
Pot of canola oil for frying
Morton’s kosher salt, to taste

Marinated Yellow Wax and Green Beans
I usually find both yellow wax and green beans at my local farmer’s market. Occasionally the yellow are just impossible to find. In those instances, I resort to pre-packaged at the local grocers. This time, I was lucky enough to find some at the Hillcrest Farmer’s Market.

When I was little, my Mom used to make her “world famous five-bean salad” for Summer get-togethers. Ordinarily, any self-respecting nine-year-old boy would vehemently scoff at the mere idea of having to consume pickled green things with… onion, of all things! But I liked it. Still do.

So I was nostalgic, and excited, to try this recipe.

I rinsed, trimmed and thinly sliced the yellow wax and green beans. In a stainless bowl, I whisked together the rice vinegar and grapeseed oil until they had emulsified. Added a bit of salt and pepper to taste, then tossed in the beens to marinate.

I reserved the bean salad in a plastic container in my prep area.

Rice vinegar, from Mitsuwa Marketplace
Romanina grape seed oil, from North park Produce
Morton’s kosher salt, to taste
Ground black pepper
Fresh green beans, from Hillcrest Farmer’s Market
Fresh yellow wax beans, from Hillcrest Farmer’s Market

Grilled Octopus
Now the last time I had baby octopi was with my friend Candice at South Beach Bar & Grille in Ocean Beach, and I was grossed out. Even though they were cooked to perfection. And tasty. So certainly not by the taste, but by the texture. Specifically, the popping of their little baby heads in my mouth. You can’t know how relieved I was to know that I’d not be including the heads in this recipe.

When shopping for some of the ingredients for this dish, I picked up a package of flash-frozen baby octopus at Thuan Phat Supermarket (US$4.29). Thawed them out in water.

They were already cleaned of their innards, which was good. An octopus’ guts are all located in its “head,” including ink and poison sacks. I just learned that octopi have three hearts and are just about as smart as a domesticated housecat. Not recommended as pets, as they can learn to escape their tanks!

Well. Not to worry. We’re not going to keep ’em. We’re gonna eat ’em.

Once they were thawed, I went Jules Verne on ’em. This is where you cut off the head at the base of the neck, then you can remove the beak if needed.

You are left with an eight-armed, radially symmetrical segment. (Thus the OCTO- part of the name eh?)

Yes, octopi have eight arms. Squid are decapods, having eight arms plus two longer tentacles. I trimmed off the heads, and reserved. I later cut up and sautéed for the cats, ’cause I was not eatin ’em.

Then I started the marinade.

Combined the soy sauce, mirin sugar, vinegar, wine, garlic and ginger in a large pot and added the prepped octopus to marinate.

The Alinea cook book says to marinate these overnight.

Kikkoman reduced sodium soy sauce
Honjozu mirin, from Mitsuwa Marketplace
C&H cane sugar
Rice vinegar, from Mitsuwa Marketplace
Quail Creek merlot
Fresh garlic, minced
Fresh ginger, peeled and minced
Frozen baby octopus, from Thuan Phat Supermarket

To Assemble and Serve
The final prep and assembly for this is easy. Like many of the other Alinea recipes, it’s just in multiple components.

Earlier, I bought some bean sprouts, cilantro and scallions from my local grocer. If you’ve never sprouted your own mung beans (Vigna radiata) before, it’s very easy. I even sprouted some thyme seeds for PROSCIUTTO, Passion Fruit, Zuta Levana. You can get dried mung beans (US$1.49 a bag) at just about any Asian market. Or easiest yet, buy them sprouted (US.99 a bag).

I rinsed and reserved some sprouts in a plastic container.

I thinly sliced some of the green parts of a scallion on the bias, and reserved in a plastic container.

And grabbed some nice looking cilantro leaves for garnish.

I removed the frozen eggplant purée squares from the freezer and placed them on the serving plates to thaw. Then gathered the rest of my mise: soy bubbles, bean salad from the fridge and fried chickpeas.

I went outside and grilled the octopus on a medium flame. This takes very little time, 30 seconds to a minute each. They go on the grill soft and slippery, but once they start heating up their arms start thrashing about alarmingly. But pretty cool looking nevertheless. Mmmm. And the smell was amazing!

I took them inside and was ready to plate!

I placed an ample serving of the beans atop each eggplant square.

Then topped with those crispy, delicious fried chickpeas.

Placed about 6-8 baby octopi on each, then topped with some sprouts, scallion slices and cilantro. To finish, I plopped an ample pile of soy bubbles next to each.

Fresh cilantro leaves
Fresh mung bean sprouts
Fresh scallion, thinly sliced

Salter digital scale
Measuring bowls
Cutting board and kitchen knife
Paring knife
Spice grinder
Breville 800JEXL Juice Fountain Elite juicer
FoodSaver V2240 vacuum sealer
Sous vide immersion circulator, or large stock pot and thermometer
Wooden spoon, rubber spatulas
Strainers and sieve
Osterizer bar blender
Medium pot for deep frying, or deep fryer
Spoon or small strainer for skimming
Small bowls
Sauté pan
Stainless steel bowl
Cuisinart SmartStick immersion blender
Craftsman barbecue grill
Paper towels and sheet tray
Plastic containers

Good ol’ plain white plates, from IKEA

Yields: About 12-16 servings, depending on your portion size, and how much octopus you grill!

Goes well with: a cool Corona beer and lime. Or two!

Five-Bean Salad
Recipe, Zelma Lindsay, c.1969

1 can garbanzo beans
1 can yellow wax beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can bean sprouts
2 cans French green beans
1 pkg frozen baby lima beans
1 small bottle stuffed olives, sliced
1 medium, dry onion, sliced in rings
1 bottle Good Seasons Old-Fashioned French dressing
1 tablespoon French’s yellow mustard
2 tablespoons Best Foods mayonnaise

Drain beans, and combine all in a large bowl. Add dressing and marinate overnight. The next day, pour off excess dressing and reserve. Add the prepared mustard, mayonnaise, some of the reserved dressing and fold together.

Makes me shudder now, just thinking about canned bean sprouts…

List of Ingredients

  • 2 LBS. of clams
  • 1 2/3 LBS. of octopus
  • 5 of cherry tomatoes
  • 2 of shallots
  • 1 of Japanese or slender eggplant
  • bay leaf
  • garlic
  • parsley
  • dried oregano
  • rosemary
  • unsalted butter
  • soy sauce
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt


Soak the clams and let them purge for 3 hours, changing the water several times.

Meanwhile, place the octopus in a saucepan with a bay leaf, an unpeeled garlic clove, and a bunch of parsley cover it with cold water and bring to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the octopus cool in its cooking water. Remove any excess fibers and cut the octopus into slices. Sauté in a pan with 1-2 Tbsp. butter and a sprig of rosemary for 1-2 minutes. Set aside.

Cut the shallots into wedges and quarter the cherry tomatoes. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a pan add the shallot, an unpeeled garlic clove, the cherry tomatoes, oregano, and a handful of chopped parsley. Add the clams and a ladleful of water cover and let the clams open. Season with salt and remove from the heat.

Chop a large bunch of parsley. Cut 2 slices of eggplant around 1 1/2" thick from each slice, cut out two -3" x 1 1/2"- rectangles. Brush with oil on all sides and then with soy sauce and coat in the chopped parsley.

Place 2 at a time in a cold pan: turn the heat to low. When the eggplant starts to sizzle, continue to cook over low heat for 2 minutes on each side. Flip over onto clean areas of the pan. Cut the eggplant into slices and serve with the clam stew and octopus.


  • 1 1/4 pounds celery stalks
  • Olive oil, as needed
  • 2/3 pound fresh tomatoes
  • 2 1/4 pounds eggplants, diced
  • 2/3 pound onions
  • 6 ounces salted capers, rinsed well
  • 5 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1/2 pound green olives packed in brine, drained and pitted
  • 1/3 cup vinegar (wine vinegar or cider vinegar)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 cup tomato sauce (optional)
  • Fresh basil leaves (optional, for garnish)
  • Fine sea salt

    1. Preheat the broiler.
    2. Lay the eggplants in a single layer on a baking sheet and broil them, flipping once or twice, until they are soft and blackened on all sides, about 15 minutes. (If you have a gas stove, you can do this by holding the eggplants with tongs over a burner on medium-high heat, turning them so they blacken on all sides.)
    3. Place the softened eggplants in a ziplock bag. Set aside for 10 minutes to steam (this makes the skin easier to peel). Peel the eggplants, discarding the skins, and use a fork to gently flatten the flesh.
    4. Put the eggs in a shallow bowl. Beat well and season with salt and pepper.
    5. In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Dip each eggplant in the beaten eggs, letting it soak for a second or two so that it is well covered with the egg. Season the egg-dipped eggplant with additional salt and pepper and place it in the skillet. Repeat with the other eggplant, making sure there’s room between them in the skillet. Place 1 tablespoon of the crab (if using) on top of each eggplant, pressing it down with a fork.
    6. When the eggplants are crispy and browned on one side, 4 to 5 minutes, flip them over and cook until browned and crispy on the second side, about 3 minutes more. Transfer the eggplants to a paper towel–lined plate to drain.
    7. Serve hot or at room temperature, with fish sauce.

    Excerpted from I Am a Filipino: And This Is How We Cook by Nicole Ponseca and Miguel Trinidad (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2018.

    Recipe Summary

    • 1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
    • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
    • 1 large bay leaf
    • 1 ½ teaspoons smoked Spanish paprika
    • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • ½ cup white wine
    • 1 (1 pound) piece Spanish octopus
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1/3 cup braising liquid
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    • salt to taste
    • 1 pinch cayenne pepper to taste

    Place chopped onion, garlic cloves, bay leaf, paprika, salt, and 1 tablespoon olive oil into saucepan. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until onions start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add white wine to create the braising liquid. Bring to a simmer.

    Transfer octopus into braising liquid, turning to coat with the liquid. Cover reduce heat to low. Simmer 20 minutes and turn octopus over. Continue cooking until octopus is tender, another 40 to 45 minutes.

    Remove from heat transfer octopus to a large bowl. Pour braising liquid over octopus. Place bowl above a bowl of ice water to cool to room temperature.

    Cover bowl with plastic wrap when octopus and liquid are cool. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 2 hours or overnight.

    Transfer octopus to a work surface and mop off braising juices with paper towels remove as much of the purple skin as you want. Cut octopus into 3 or 4 serving-size pieces. Brush with olive oil.

    Transfer braising liquid to saucepan. Bring to a boil remove from heat. Strain out solids transfer liquid to a mixing bowl let cool about 10 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, parsley, salt, and cayenne pepper to make the serving sauce.

    Heat a grill pan or outdoor grill to high heat. Transfer octopus pieces to grill. Cook until flesh is seared, almost charred, 3 or 4 minutes. Turn and cook other side until dark brown, caramelized, and heated through, another 3 or 4 minutes. Transfer to a platter.

    Slice octopus into fairly thick diagonal slices. Place on a serving dish. Spoon braising liquid mixture over the top. Dust with a bit of cayenne pepper, if desired.

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    Those with a creative eye know firsthand that inspiration is all around us. Whether you're energized by the earth tones of nature, a color-filled walk through a local farmer's market, or even by a quick scroll through Instagram, you never know what might spark a new creative project.

    In the spirit of inspiring your next masterpiece, we're excited to partner with Bounty to fuel the next generation of artists and designers forward by launching a national design competition. We're calling on graphic designers to apply for a chance to see their work featured on a new Brit + Co and Bounty paper towel collection, set to launch in 2022.

    Aside from the incredible exposure of having your illustrations on paper towels that'll be in stores across America next year, you'll also receive $5,000 for your art a scholarship for Selfmade, our 10-week entrepreneurship accelerator to take your design career to the next level (valued at $2,000) and a stand alone feature on Brit + Co spotlighting your artistry as a creator.

    The Creatively You Design Competition launches Friday, May 21, 2021 and will be accepting submissions through Monday, June 7, 2021.


    Who Should Apply: Women-identifying graphic designers and illustrators. (Due to medium limitations, we're not currently accepting design submissions from photographers or painters.)

    What We're Looking For: Digital print and pattern designs that reflect your design aesthetic. Think optimistic, hopeful, bright — something you'd want to see inside your home.

    How To Enter: Apply here, where you'll be asked to submit 2x original design files you own the rights to for consideration. Acceptable file formats include: .PNG, .JPG, .GIF, .SVG, .PSD, and .TIFF. Max file size 5GB. We'll also ask about your design inspiration and your personal info so we can keep in touch.

    Artist Selection Process: Panelists from Brit + Co and P&G Bounty's creative teams will judge the submissions and select 50 finalists on June 11, 2021 who will receive a Selfmade scholarship for our summer 2021 session. Then, up to 8 artists will be selected from the finalists and notified on June 18, 2021. The chosen designers will be announced publicly in 2022 ahead of the product launch.

    For any outstanding contest Qs, please see our main competition page. Good luck & happy creating!

    Chicken and Mushroom Pasta with Balsamic Cream Sauce

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    Watch the video: How To Catch Octopus With Chicken Feet Underwater Spillway Footage (July 2022).


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