What Does Octopus Taste Like And Should You Be Afraid of It?
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Octopus seems like a scary thing to eat, especially when you imagine them swimming through the ocean. While octopus may seem scary, it is something that many people eat in a lot of different cultures. The octopus is an ancient invertebrate. There are many different kinds of octopi and a few different kinds are used as food.
So, what does octopus taste like? We will help you better understand what octopus is like before you take a leap of faith and give it a try.
Octopus as Cuisine
Octopus is a common dish in many different cultures, but the most common are probably Chinese and Japanese. In Japan, raw octopus is a staple in sushi dishes.
Greek, Spanish and Caribbean, and even Italian, cuisines also include octopus. In Greek preparations, octopus may be grilled over an open flame. In Italian dishes, it is often served with pasta or as a carpaccio. In the Caribbean, octopus is often served in ceviche (Quora.com).
Octopus is a low calorie protein source that is both nutritious and filling. It is also full of vitamins (OctopusWorlds.com). Octopus is low fat, but high in iron. It also contains selenium, which helps you metabolize protein and is an antioxidant. Vitamin B-12 is also found in octopus. B-12 aids in the production of red blood cells (HealthyEating.com).
If you have only tried octopus prepared one way and think you don’t like it, you should definitely give it a chance in another preparation. Every preparation method is different, and you may love octopus one way and hate it another.
How Does Octopus Taste?
When people think of octopus, they think of a chewy, tough, bland protein option. However, when properly prepared, octopus is fairly similar in texture to lobster. Don’t believe anyone who tells you that octopus is slimy, because when it is made correctly, it is never slimy.
Remember, octopus is considered a delicacy, and it considered one for a reason. It is expensive and hard to make properly.
Octopus is sometimes confused with calamari, which is squid. Squid and octopus are surprisingly very different. Squid is tougher than octopus, but the meat is smoother. Octopus, unless cooked improperly, is much tenderer than squid (TheOnlineGrill.com).
Octopus has a light taste that is actually more similar to chicken than it is to squid or other seafood. Some people even compare it to pork (BuzzTrips.co.uk). It should be light, moist and full of the flavors you put into it.
Should You Try to Cook Octopus?
Octopus is not easy to prepare, and even some trained chefs struggle with preparing it. Making octopus won’t be an easy feat, especially if you don’t have the proper tools to prepare it. Finding octopus can also be difficult.
If you want to try to prepare octopus, you should consider purchasing clean octopus. While octopus that isn’t cleaned will cost you less, it is much more work. If you don’t purchase a cleaned octopus, you will need to take out the stomach and ink sack. You will also want to remove the outer membrane.
Be warned that octopus smells bad, but don’t let that prevent you from trying it. Just know that the bad smell isn’t due to your cooking skills.
There are two main theories about cooking octopus. You can either cook it low and slow or high and fast. Both of these methods will produce tender, delicious octopus.
One of the easier ways to prepare octopus (and keep it from getting tough) is to blanch it in boiling water for 30 seconds. Follow the blanching by baking it in the oven covered at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for four to five hours (TheSpruce.com).
Octopus can also be boiled, grilled or poached. If you boil the protein, you will want to put vegetables and herbs in the water to help flavor the octopus. Grilling octopus is a misnomer. You will actually only grill the meat long enough to get a char, but the majority of the cooking process is done in the oven. If you want to poach octopus, you will want to do so in a pot of water, vinegar, vegetables and herbs (WikiHow.com).
To learn more about cooking octopus, watch this video.
Don’t knock octopus until you try it and try it again. Once you have a few different octopus dishes under your belt, you will be better able to make an informed decision on your opinion of this unique seafood. Its light, tender texture is sure to please your palate in some form or another.
If you are really brave, give cooking octopus a try. With the number of different ways out there to cook octopus, you are sure to find something that is easy and delicious.
Do you now understand what octopus tastes like? If not, be sure to ask questions in the comments.