Charcoal-grilled octopus and tarama


"This twice-cooked octopus is one of our most popular dishes at Stanbuli," says chef Ibrahim Kasif. "In Istanbul's traditional meyhanes, the tarama is usually served split and loose, but this version is emulsified, thick and luscious." Start this recipe at least four hours ahead to prepare the octopus, or preferably overnight.

You'll need

1 kg large octopus, cleaned 1 cup (firmly packed) flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped 100 ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve Juice of 1-2 lemons, to taste 1 tsp ground cumin 1 tsp ground pul biber (Aleppo pepper; see note) Sweet paprika, to serve   Tarama 50 gm tarama paste 30 gm fine soft white breadcrumbs 1 small onion, finely chopped 1 garlic clove, crushed 50 ml white vinegar Pinch of caster sugar 500 ml (2 cups) canola oil 50 ml olive oil Squeeze of lemon, to taste

Method

  • 01
  • For tarama, process tarama paste with bread, onion, garlic, vinegar, sugar and a pinch of salt in a food processor to combine, then add combined oils in a thin steady stream until thick and emulsified (add a little cold water if mixture thickens too much). Add lemon juice, season to taste and pulse to combine. Refrigerate to chill. Tarama will keep refrigerated for about a week.
  • 02
  • Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil. Beat octopus against sink or with a meat mallet to tenderise (10-15 seconds), add to saucepan, reduce heat to low (80C) and poach until very tender (1¼-1½ hours). Drain and refrigerate octopus, uncovered, until gelatinous (at least 4 hours or overnight).
  • 03
  • Burn coals on a charcoal barbecue down to white embers and wait 15 minutes for embers to settle. Grill octopus until charred and smoky (15-20 minutes). Transfer to a board and chop into pieces, then place in a bowl with parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, a good pinch of salt, cumin and chilli. Toss to combine and serve with tarama dusted with sweet paprika and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.

At A Glance

The Gourmet Traveller podcast

Each fortnight we round up the most interesting characters from the food world for your listening pleasure. We chat to chefs, cooks, authors, bar tenders and baristas - anyone who has something new and interesting to say about the way we like to eat and drink.

Listen
Recipe collections

Looking for fresh dinner ideas? Not sure how to make the most out of seasonal produce? Or do you need to plan the perfect party menu? Our recipe collections have you covered.

See more

At A Glance

Additional Notes

Aleppo pepper is available from Turkish grocers; if it’s unavailable substitute another ground chilli. Tarama paste is a concentrate made from mullet roe, available in tins from delicatessens and fishmongers.

Drink Suggestion

Petit Pittacum Mencia from Spain – an elegant nose, generous on the palate.

Featured in

Aug 2016

You might also like...

Alistair’s secret barbecue sauce

recipes

Kingfish and scallop ceviche with tomato oil

Dulce de leche milkshake

recipes

Hot ricotta fritters, blueberry-lime compote and ricotta cream

Tetsuya's caramelised apple and saikyo miso cream

recipes

Stanbuli shepherd's salad

Turkish-Cypriot fragrant village bread

recipes

conversion tool