The Chef’s Trick to Make the Octopus Very Tender

Are you considering cooking octopus? If you’re a fan of seafood, this is a wonderful choice. However, one of the secrets to preparing a good octopus-based dish is to make it soft and very tender. However, it’s not as simple as it sounds. But don’t worry—your dinner plans are in good hands. Here, you’ll discover a chef’s secret and a trick to ensure that your octopus turns out wonderfully tender.

Chef's secret and a trick to make the octopus tender and soft

How to Get a Soft and Tender Octopus

To begin, selecting the proper octopus is crucial. Assuming you have purchased a full-sized octopus with firmer and tougher meat, and not a baby octopus, here are two methods to make this mollusk tender and soft:

Boiling Method

Many octopus recipes initiate with this step. Begin by filling a pot with water and bringing it to a boil. Add a teaspoon of salt, then gently dip the cleaned octopus (with the head removed) into the boiling water two or three times. Be careful that the water is boiling: don’t burn yourself. In theory, the tentacles (which have a double row of suckers, while baby octopus have only one) should curl up. If they do, it means the meat has softened. Once this occurs, dip the octopus again and cook with the lid closed, so that the water continues to boil. Ensure the flame isn’t too high, allowing around 40 minutes of cooking per kilo of octopus (as it takes time to prepare).

Many octopus recipes initiate with boiling step

Simmering or Braising Method

With this approach, the octopus softens and cooks in the liquids that it will release during cooking. Begin by cleaning and removing the head, then proceed to cut the octopus into pieces. In parallel, create a sauté with garlic cloves and chilies to infuse flavor into the octopus. Then, add the octopus pieces and cook for a few minutes over low heat to flavor them. Add a few tomatoes and let everything simmer for an additional 10 minutes (check every now and then with a fork to ensure it’s going the right way).

Simmering or braising the octopus in its own juices and added flavors

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