This post is a quick one. Now that the days are longer and the weather is nicer, grilling simple dinners is my go-to. While grilling whole fish is always on the weekly rotation, I've been trying to branch out more and buy something that I'm not used to, whether it's a new type of mushroom or sea creature. A few weeks ago at the Korean supermarket, I picked up a packet of cleaned baby octopus. Adult octopus is notoriously chewy and takes a long time to boil down in order to become tender, but these baby octopus were so easy to cook and turned out not the slightest bit tough.
Charred Baby Octopus (Serves 2-4)
- 2 pounds baby octopus, cleaned
- 2 lemons, one for the marinade and one for after grilling
- 1 handful of parsley, chopped and divided into 2 piles
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoons dried)
- salt and pepper, to taste
First boil a large pot of water over high heat. The pot should be large enough to accommodate all of the octopus easily. Bring it to a rolling boil. Gently place the octopus in the boiling water for exactly 2 minutes. Strain and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking.
Meanwhile, in a bag or container, combine juice of one lemon, half of the parsley, red wine vinegar, olive oil, and fresh thyme. Add the cooled baby octopi and toss so that they are all coated. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours (I did it overnight for 24).
I recommend using skewers for easier grilling, but you could omit these if you choose. If using skewers, soak them in water overnight.
When ready to serve, heat up your grill on very very high. Grill the baby octopi until their tentacles start to char. Take them off the heat and finish with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkling of parsley. Serve warm. I'd imagine that these would be great tossed into a light salad with olives and feta as well.