Sunday, August 12, 2012

Octopus carpaccio

Octopus carpaccio

Octopus belongs to the "Love it, hate it" foods. Some just adore the purple and white meaty  bite, others get shivers just by looking at, let alone touching or eating, the knobby tentacles of this sea animal.

2 x ca 1 kg raw octopus

For those who love octopus the Galician style pulpo a la gallega or pulpo and shrimp cocktail from Mexico are well known. A cold variation of preparing pulpo is as carpaccio. Octopus in a cold dish is a gastronomic gift that keeps you cool and fills the belly just to the right level on a warm day. Even if served warm and you are eating outside, when the food starts to get cold on the plate it still tastes great, unlike a piece of meat that one would like to re-heat to continue eating.

Cold octopus carpaccio

The preparation of carpaccio di polpo is simple.

Cook the pulpo in water. (Instructions can be found here). Mid-way, taste if your octopus needs salt and if yes, add to the cookin g water. Let it cool in the cooking water so it does not dry out and starts to build the gelatinuous jelly. When cool, fold the whole piece tightly together and place it in a plastic bag. Tie it with rubber bands if necessary to keep it tighly together. Leave in the fridge for a few hours or over night until it becomes firm.

Carpaccio di polpo

When ready to serve remove from the plastic wrap and cut thin slices with a very sharp knife.
Serve with some thick balsamico or fig vinegar, some olive oil and flakes of seasalt as a cold starter or light meal with some fresh salad.

Octopus carpaccio with balsamico