How to Cook an Octopus the Best (Greek) Way

Octopus is absolutely divine as a dish in many a Greek taverna when you are on holiday in Greece. Seeing a fresh, hanging octopus, is a sure-fire way to get people into your establishment. We all know about tales of how people claim that octopus is just chewy and rubbery, and not very pleasant to eat, and that is the experience of many people in the UK. However, when it is handled in the correct manner, and cooked with care and an attention to detail, there is nothing quite like it. Some of the best Greek restaurants in London have the experience of cooking octopus, and whether you are looking for Greek cuisine to eat in, or for some Greek street food takeaway, why not take the chance on octopus next time you order? You won’t be disappointed.

This is why it is so important to find a Greek restaurant with the freshest ingredients and the experience of handling seafood. Getting the octopus tender and right to cook is important, just think about those images you may have seen of fisherman beating octopus against the rocks after catching it, tenderising it before cooking. Octopus is low in fat, and contains many healthy nutrients, but even without knowing that it is just incredibly tasty.

Understanding how to clean an octopus correctly goes some way to ensuring it is cooked correctly. It is easy to wash and prepare an octopus though, with the ink sac and internal organs removed with a circular cut around the beak. It all comes away quite easily, and then it can be washed and cleaned before cooking.

From here there are various ways you can cook octopus, just like with any other type of protein. For some, grilling is the best option, whilst for others you can boil an octopus for around 45 minutes, reducing the boil to a simmer and gently letting it go about its business in salted water to ensure it isn’t rubbery. You know octopus is cooked when you can stick a knife into the thicker parts of the tentacles, and it goes in with ease. Season it well, mix with pasta, or just serve with a wedge of lemon and other bits of seafood. It can be a really interesting part of a delicious seafood platter.

This writer knows all too well that it can be difficult to get octopus right. For years I was convinced that I just didn’t like octopus. I’d tried it a few times in different UK restaurants, but it wasn’t until I was in a seafood restaurant just outside of Athens, with fresh octopus, and a restaurant that clearly knew how to handle it, that I experienced what octopus should be. It was simple, it was grilled, it was delicious. It didn’t taste rubbery, it didn’t come served in big, unwieldly chunks. It was just tasty. Find a Greek restaurant that can deliver you this authentic Greek food, with seafood dishes that are perfect, and you won’t be disappointed. Just think, you might be missing out on your new favourite dish! I know I was for years, I just had to find the right type of cuisine to do it justice, and Greek food was certainly that!

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