Grilled Octopus served with two Herb-Oil Dipping Sauces
This "Wicked Easy" grilled octopus' recipe is a tender, lightly seasoned, and charred octopus dish that tastes amazing! A must try for seafood lovers!
The key to great grilled octopus that is tender on the inside and well-seared and crisp on the outside is to cook it in two stages. First, you cook the octopus until tender by boiling it in a pot of water, using a pressure cooker, or even cooking it sous vide. You then cook the tenderized octopus over direct heat on a grill or under a broiler until it is crips and slightly charred on the outside!
This recipe doesn’t mask the great taste of the grilled octopus but rather lets it shine by dressing it lightly in two olive oil-based dipping sauces that are infused with herbs and seasonings!
And because this octopus recipe keeps for several days, and is good either warm or at room temperature, it is the perfect make-ahead dish for parties or special gatherings. It is also great as a salad, over pasta, or just to munch on by itself with some good, crusty bread!
To tenderize the fresh or frozen octopus, place it in a pot and cover with water (which can be seasoned with salt, pepper, bay leaves, garlic, pickling spice, etc.).
Bring the water to a boil and cook for 40 minutes to an hour depending on the size of the octopus being cooked.
Once the octopus has been cooked and is tender, remove it from the hot water, rinse, and place on to a plate or bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and chopped garlic and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour to cool and firm up.
You can also use pre-cooked octopus which eliminates the need to tenderize it with the boiling step.
Pre-cooked octopus is not only a time saver but is already tender and guarantees you won’t get rubbery results.
While the octopus is cooling down, you can make the two dipping sauces starting with the Lemon Herb Oil. It consists of olive oil, fresh lemon juice, oregano, parsley, garlic and salt & pepper all mixed together.
The second dipping sauce you can make while the octopus is cooling down is the Chili Herb Oil, which consists of olive oil, sweet chili sauce, oregano, and salt that is combined together.
Preheat your grill or broiler to medium-high heat and then clean and oil the grates. Cooking over direct high heat sears and crisps the octopus without the risk of drying out the interior.
Here in South Florida the weather is pretty nice year-round, so I prefer to grill whenever possible. However, this wicked easy grilled octopus’ recipe will also come out great when heated and charred under a hot broiler.
Place the octopus on the grill and sear until browned and crisped on one side, about 4 minutes. Then carefully flip the octopus and brown the other side, about 4 minutes longer.
Grilling time may vary depending on the heat of your grill and the distance between the octopus and the heat source.
Remove the grilled octopus from the heat source and transfer to serving plates or platters. Serve as is with the herb oils or cut into smaller pieces, sauce, and then serve.
Stir the herb oil sauces to mix and then spoon over the octopus or serve on the side. The sliced octopus also goes well over some leafy greens or on a side salad with the herb oil sauce used as a dressing.
What does octopus taste like? If cooked properly, octopus is tender, and many say it is somewhat similar in taste and texture to calamari or chicken.
Wicked Easy Grilled Octopus
A wicked easy grilled octopus' recipe that is tender, lightly seasoned, and charred that tastes amazing! This recipe doesn't mask the great taste of the grilled octopus but rather lets it shine by dressing it lightly in two olive oil-based dipping sauces that are infused with herbs and seasonings.
- 1 large pot
- 1 large bowl
- 1 grill
- 2 small bowls
- 2 lbs. Octopus, cleaned (Fresh or Frozen)
- 2 ounces Olive Oil
- 2 cloves Garlic, chopped
Lemon Herb Oil
- 4 ounces Olive Oil
- 2 tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
- ½ tsp Oregano, finely chopped (Fresh or Dried)
- 2 tsp Fresh Parsley, roughly chopped
- 1 clove Garlic, minced
- To Taste Salt & Black Pepper
Chili Herb Oil
- 4 ounces Olive Oil
- 2 tsp Chili Paste / Sauce (Sambal oelek, sweet chili sauce, etc,)
- 1 tsp Oregano, finely chopped (Fresh or Dried)
- To Taste Salt & Black Pepper
- 1 each Lemon, cut into wedges
- 2 cups Leafy Greens, shredded (Optional)
- To tenderize the fresh or frozen octopus, place it into a pot and cover with water. You can then season the cooking water with salt, pepper, garlic, bay leaf, pickling spice, etc. if desired. Bring water to a boil and cook for 40 to 60 minutes until tender. NOTE: If using pre-cooked octopus, go directly to the next step.
- Remove the octopus from the hot water, rinse, and then place into a bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil and mix in the chopped garlic. Let the octopus rest and marinate at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes.
- Make the lemon herb oil by combining the olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, garlic, parsley, and salt & pepper. Next make the chili herb oil by combining the olive oil, chili paste, oregano, sand salt & pepper. Both sauces can be held at room temperature for up to 4 hours. Refrigerate if storing longer and then return to room temperature before using.
- Preheat your cleaned and oiled grill to medium-high heat. You want the grill to be heated thoroughly so that the direct high heat sears and crisps the octopus without the risk of drying out the interior.
- When ready to grill, place the octopus on the grill and sear until browned and crisped on one side, about 4 minutes. Carefully flip the octopus and brown the other side for about 4 minutes longer. Grilling time will vary depending on the heat of your grill and the distance of the octopus from the heat source.
- Remove the grilled octopus and cut them into smaller pieces if desired, or just transfer them as is to a serving platter or plates.
- Stir the two sauces to mix, then spoon over the octopus or serve on the side. Serve with the lemon wedges and optional leafy greens which can be lightly dressed with some olive oil and salt if desired.
- NOTE: The octopus can be cooked and refrigerated up to three days in advance before grilling if desired. Be sure to cool, drain, and dry well before wrapping in plastic wrap and storing in the refrigerator. You can use either fresh or frozen octopus. If using fresh octopus, you will need to make sure it is cleaned before boiling. You can do this yourself or ask your fishmonger to do it. Cleaning involves removing the ink sac and the section of the head with the eyes, beak, and internal organs.
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