Healthy Eating

We're championing fresh food that packs a flavour punch, from salads and vegetable-packed bowls to grains and light desserts.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller and receive a free salt and pepper set - offer ends 26 March, 2017

Gourmet digital

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad or Android tablet.

Flour and Stone Recipes

Baker extraordinaire Nadine Ingram of Sydney's Flour and Stone cooks up a sweet storm for Easter, including the much loved bakery's greatest hit.

Fast autumn dinners

Autumn weather signals the arrival of soups, broths, roasts and more hearty meals.

Roasted cauliflower salad with yoghurt dressing and almonds

The cauliflower is roasted until it starts to caramelise, which adds extra depth of flavour to this winning salad. Serve it warm or at room temperature.

Savoury tarts

Will your next baking project be a flaky puff pastry with pumpkin, goat's curd and thyme, or a classic bacon and Stilton tart? As autumn settles in, we're ticking these off one by one.

Melbournes finest meet Worlds Best

Leading chefs descend on Melbourne in April for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. We asked local hospitality folk who they’d abduct for the day and where they’d take them to show off their city. There may be coffee, there may be culture, but in the end it’s cocktails.

1980s recipes

Australia saw some bold moves in the ’80s, and we’re not just talking hairstyles. Greater cultural references started peppering the menus of our restaurants, and home-grown ingredients won a new appreciation. The dining scene was coming of age and a new band of pioneers led the charge.

New cruises 2017

Cue the Champagne.

Roti canai

Here, we've made the dough in a food processor, but it's really quick and simple to do by hand as well. If the dough seems a little too wet just add a little more flour.

Octopus


You'll need

1 large octopus (about 4kg 30 gm (¼ cup) sea salt flakes 50 ml vinegar

Method

  • 01
  • Beat octopus tentacles lightly with a meat mallet until tenderised.
  • 02
  • Remove large suckers and discard, then peel away excess skin.
  • 03
  • Cut the head from the body just below the eyes.
  • 04
  • Remove the beak from the centre of the tentacles by turning the tentacles inside out and pushing the beak through.
  • 05
  • Add the salt to a large stockpot of water and bring to the boil.
  • 06
  • Dunk octopus three times, then add vinegar and simmer over low heat until tender and cooked through (1 hour). Drain well.

Nothing says Greek food like seafood, and nothing epitomises Greek seafood like octopus. Dive in and you'll be rewarded with memorable mezedes.

Images of clotheslines hung with octopus drying in the sun are synonymous with the Greek islands. Fishermen prepare octopus fresh from the sea by rubbing them against the rocks in a circular motion to remove some of the skin and slime, and beating them repeatedly to tenderise them before hanging them out to dry. After a day or so of drying, the octopus is ready for the char-grill. There's no better way to enjoy char-grilled octopus than outside a Greek island taverna on a sunny day, overlooking the Aegean Sea. There's still plenty of satisfaction, though, to be gained from preparing this underrated cephalopod at home, and the method we've given here makes the octopus very versatile, ready to be barbecued, pickled, or used in a salad.

Octopus is usually sold whole, but cleaning it and breaking it down is not as daunting as you might think. Your octopus is likely to have come to you via a fishmonger, and you probably don't have any large rocks to hand, so use a meat mallet to tenderise the flesh. There's a fine line between tenderising the octopus and beating it to a pulp, so hit it a few times, then check to see whether the tentacles feel as though they've lost some of their tension. If you've broken up the fibres too much, you'll be able to feel it. You're aiming for tender yet intact tentacles. (If you're preparing octopus for a big crowd, you could follow a more contemporary Greek practice and tenderise it in a concrete mixer, but that's another story.)

We recommend removing as much of the skin as possible before cooking the octopus by pulling it away with your fingers. This helps reduce the strong smell associated with cooking octopus (although some odour is unavoidable). In our testing, we also found that it helps prevent discolouration. Removing the skin after cooking, however, is easier - simply run a tea towel down the tentacles and the skin comes off. The choice is yours.

Next, cut off the head just below the eyes. (They're at the bottom of the head.) We prefer to discard the head at this point, because cleaning it is a messy job, and it doesn't yield much edible flesh relative to its large size. The beak of the octopus is at the top of the large body piece that includes the tentacles. Lift the tentacles, turn them upside down, and press inwards from the outside. The beak should pop out quite easily. Cut it out and discard it.

Cooking the octopus very slowly in simmering water is the key to keeping it tender and getting it ready for the next step. Salt the water heavily to enhance the flavour of the sea, then briefly dunk the octopus three times in the simmering water. This helps stop the tentacles from seizing up and toughening during the cooking to follow - the last thing you want is chewy tentacles. After the third dunking, add a splash of vinegar to the water. This helps to further tenderise the octopus. Simmer the octopus over low heat until it's tender (about an hour), then drain it well. At this point it's ready to be cut into pieces and then grilled on the barbecue, tossed through a Greek salad, or immersed in a pickling solution (see our pickled octopus recipe) to have on hand for a mezze on a lazy sunny afternoon.


At A Glance

  • Serves 10 people
GT
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
Recipe collections

Looking for ways to make the most out of seasonal produce? Want to find a recipe perfect for a party? Or just after fresh ideas for dessert? Either way, our recipe collections have you covered.

See more
2017 Restaurant Guide

Our 2017 Restaurant Guide is online, covering over 400 restaurants Australia wide. Never wonder where to dine again.

See more

At A Glance

  • Serves 10 people

Featured in

Oct 2011

You might also like...

Fast seafood recipes

recipes

Asian-style cured trout with rice paper crackers

10 fish recipes for Good Friday

recipes

Baked golden trout with roe

Cooking with wine

recipes

Kingfish and scallop ceviche with tomato oil

Recipes with scallops

recipes

Pan-fried John Dory agrodolce with endive and goat’s cheese

Nine ways to dress oysters

recipes

Indian-style prawn, turmeric and okra curry

Fresh chilli recipes

recipes

Sri Lankan snapper curry with basmati rice and yoghurt

Recipes with scallops

recipes

Steamed flounder with shallot and chilli dressing

conversion tool

 
get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

×