Octopus carpaccio


by: Bizzum Cook

This is the exception to the rule of not boiling octopus, because in this case you need to keep as much gelatin as possible inside the octopus (rather than letting it come out as the octopus cooks in its own juices). It is this gelatin that will hold the pieces of octopus together in the carpaccio. When you slice and serve the carpaccio, it looks beautiful: the perfect pearly white flesh of the octopus, with its purple streaks, against the bright red cf the tomato and the green of the basil. We serve it as a starter, but it would also be fantastic as part of an antipasto. The trick here is net to boil the octopus too fast. Just bring the water to a boil, then turn down the heat and keep it simmering very slowly. Also, put a couple of corks into the pot — don't ask me why. I don't know if there is anything scientific about it, but Corrado Sirroni taught me to do it in my first job and I have done it ever since.


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serves: 4

1 large octopus (about 2-3 pounds)

1 lemon (cut in half)

1 onion

1 carrot

1 celery stall

2-3 leaves bay

3 black peppercorns

wineglass of white wine

To garnish:

3 tomatoes (deseeded and finely diced)

2 tablespoons Giorgio’s vinaigrette

small bunch of basil

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

Nutrition Facts
Octopus carpaccio

Servings Per Recipe: 4

Amount per Serving

Calories: 344

  • Total Fat: 17 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 2.8 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 93.1 mg
  • Sodium: 27.1 mg
  • Total Carbs: 17 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 5 g
  •     Sugars: 5.1 g
  • Protein: 30.3 g

how is this calculated?

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1.  Put the octopus in a large pan and cover with cold water. Add the lemon halves, whole onion, carrot and celery stalk, plus the bay leaves, peppercorns arid wine. Put in a couple of clean wine corks at this point if you like. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and keep at a very slow simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat.

2.  When the octopus is still warm, take it cut cf the water. Cut off them head and put it inside the body, close up the tentacles and lay the octopus on a large sheet of plastic wrap. Take the edge of the plastic wrap, pull it ever the top of the octopus and roll it up very tightly, twisting the ends. It is important to compress the carpaccio firmly, otherwise it will fall apart when you try to slice it.

3.  Wrap the roll of octopus in a clean cloth, let it cool slightly, then put it in the freezer.

4.  When the octopus is completely hard, use a very sharp knife to cut it into thin slices — as thin as you can manage — being careful not to let it warm up or it will be too soft to cut and will break up. If it starts to soften, put it back in the freezer. Lay the pieces, not overlapping, on a tray covered with plastic wrap, then lay another sheet of plastic wrap on top and keep in the fridge until required ( it needs a couple of hours).

5.  Mix the tomatoes with Giorgio's vinaigrette, season and set aside.

6.  When ready to serve, arrange the tomatoes on a serving plate with basil leaves around and put the octopus on top. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with a little sea salt.

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