Chefs' Recipes

Si Paradiso’s charred octopus with almonds and mandarin

Octopus might not be the easiest dish to make, especially when a hibachi is involved. But this recipe by Paul Greenham of Si Paradiso fame is worth it.

Photo: Ben Dearnley

Ben Dearnley
1H 20M

“The octopus carries so much flavour especially when it’s braised and finished on a hibachi or barbecue,” says chef Paul Greenham. “The almond purée adds lightness while the sweetness of the mandarin brings balance.” Begin this recipe a day ahead.


Almond purée
Mandarin vinaigrette


1.Wrap whole spices in muslin; place with 1 tbsp salt and remaining ingredients in a large saucepan. Add enough cold water to cover octopus by 5cm. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low, cover with cartouche and simmer until octopus is tender (50 minutes). Remove from heat; stand octopus for 45 minutes before transferring to a tray; refrigerate, loosely covered, overnight. Strain braising liquid and reserve.
2.Meanwhile, for purée, drain almonds, reserving 300ml water. Blend almonds and reserved water with remaining ingredients until smooth; season to taste.
3.For vinaigrette, whisk ingredients except segments together in a bowl; season to taste. Stir in segments.
4.For lentils, heat oil in a saucepan over high heat. Add vegetables; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften (6 minutes). Stir in lentils with 200ml reserved braising liquid and 100ml water, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until lentils are just tender (20-25 minutes). Stir in Sherry vinegar and cook for a further 5 minutes, then stir in mustard and parsley, season to taste.
5.Preheat a lightly greased barbecue or char-grill pan to high heat. Cut tentacles to separate. Drizzle with oil and barbecue, turning occasionally, until charred and heated through (2-3 minutes).
6.To serve, divide purée and lentils among plates, top with octopus and spoon over vinaigrette. Scatter with parsley.

Black lentils are available from select supermarkets and specialty food shops.


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