The octopus is eaten worldwide. Some countries rarely eat them, but other countries like Japan eat them more commonly. In Japanese, they are called "Tako," pronounced like the Mexican food Taco. In Hawaii, there is a popular dish called "Tako Poke," Hawaiian Octopus Salad.
When it comes to Octopus, many people might think that it is hard to prepare and cook. Some people would also assume that an Octopus would taste like rubber or even leather. Because of its complex body; eight legs, tentacles, and an oval shaped beak with a pair of eyes, it could be intimidating to even think about eating it. If prepared the right way, Octopus is very easy to prepare, not to mention delicious. Here are simple ways of preparing, tenderizing, and cooking an Octopus.
The octopus could be bought at your local fish market or your local supermarket. They usually sell it already cleaned, cut and cooked, but if you're an adventurous eater and would like to do it yourself, they also sell the frozen ones or the fresh ones. The following is instructions on how to make Tako Poke.
What you'll need for this dish:
1 Pound of Octopus
Round Onions (Chopped)
Green Onions (Chopped)
Lemon Juice (for tenderizing)
How to Clean the Octopus:
1. Cut off its middle and save the tentacles for cooking. (If desired, you could also use the middle, but the tentacles are the easiest parts to prepare) Run the octopus under hot water. With your hands, clean the octopus to get rid of any extra slime or sand. Cook the octopus first, then cut.
How to Cook and Tenderize the Octopus:
1. Put water to a boil in a large pot. Add the octopus to boiling water and add some salt. Let it cook for 20 minutes. Beware, if cooked for a very long time, Octopus will hardened and the texture will be very rubbery.
2. Run octopus in cold water and place in a large bowl. Pour a cup of lime juice or more to submerged the octopus and let it stand overnight in the fridge.
How to Cut and Prepare the Octopus:
1. Drain the Octopus from the lime juice. Place the tentacle on a cutting board. With a sharp knife, slice the tenderized octopus thinly.
2. Throw the thin sliced octopus into a large mixing bowl.
3. Pour 3 cups of soy sauce into the bowl.
4. Add 3 Tablespoons of sesame oil
4. Add a a tablespoon of salt
5. Add chopped Onions and Green Onions.
6. Add Chopped Cucumber
7. Add Chopped Tomatoes
8. Mix everything together with hands or a mixing spoon.
9. Chill for another 20-30 minutes in the fridge and Serve!
Tako Poke could be eaten over jasmine rice (white rice) or as is. It could be served as a main dish or a snack along with iced water, soda, or beer. Enjoy!