03 Jan2010


Octopus is my new favorite ingredient from the Nasugbu market. I have written a post on octopus once before, and made it into a salad with prawns that turned out reasonably well, here. So last week while doing my rounds in the seafood section of the Nasugbu market, I spotted several fresh looking specimens and quickly acquired two of them, a total of roughly 2 kilos, for a wallet friendly price of PHP220 ($4.50). We were having several guests for lunch and I thought another octopus salad might be nice…


The octopodes/octopuses/octopi were cleaned, lightly ‘beaten’ with a mallet, and boiled for some 45-50 minutes until tender. These were drained thoroughly and wiped with paper towels before being doused with good olive oil, salt and pepper and grilled over a charcoal flame for some 4-5 minutes until crisp on some edges and still moist in most parts of the tentacles.


The 16 tentacles were sliced on the bias and placed in a bowl. We were on the second to last day of our holiday at the beach, so our fridge was running low on ingredients and we just had to make do with what was on hand… I added some chopped plump and slightly moist sun-dried tomatoes, grilled red capsicum or bell peppers, olive oil, some lemon juice, salt and pepper and some chopped Italian parsley…


Toss this lightly with your hands and serve at room temperature or slightly chilled. This salad was a bit dense but delicious nevertheless. It would have been perfect with some baby arugula leaves but we didn’t have any left. A fairly discerning guest list for lunch that day made up of Mrs. MM’s cousins and some family friends were all quite surprised by the octopus salad. The entire serving dish in the photo below was wiped out in no time!


Done properly, the octopus should be slightly chewy but still moist with crisp outer edges. Octopus pairs beautifully with good olive oil and a simple splash of fresh lemon juice, but I suspect this recipe would also work well with an Asian dressing with soy, lime juice, etc. For eight guests we had this octopus salad, along with some lechon sisig, some extremely fresh kinilaw na tanguigue, followed by a arroz negro or black squid ink paella with aioli, chili crabs and fish grilled in banana leaves. Yum. :)


A photo of the kinilaw…



  1. Lee says:

    Wow! The octopus salad looked great and I bet tasted amazing. When I read that you served it with lechon sisig and kinilaw, my two favorites during the Cebu eyeball, I gave the screen a good staredown and said to myself.. I’m gonna find a way to have these goodies soon!

    Jan 3, 2010 | 10:50 pm


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  3. Vanessa says:

    The pulpo looks delicious! Happy New Year, Marketman! May you have more exciting market finds in 2010!

    Jan 4, 2010 | 12:49 am

  4. zena says:

    I was waiting for a picture of the other dishes! I’ll never tire of seeing chili crabs. I’ve had squid salad before with lime juice, fish sauce, and cilantro, I think. And some chili for kick. The squid was blanched in seasoned water. It was simple and fresh, served cold.

    Jan 4, 2010 | 1:10 am

  5. prosti says:

    I’m gonna try this one. BTW I love kinilaw na tanigue. Yum!

    Jan 4, 2010 | 2:42 am

  6. kate says:

    Everything looks really fresh and yummy :) Happy New Year MM and family!

    Jan 4, 2010 | 2:44 am

  7. millet says:

    wicked, wicked lunch!

    Jan 4, 2010 | 8:26 am

  8. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    MM, did you use the pre-packed Zubuchon sisig?….hehehehe

    Jan 4, 2010 | 8:27 am

  9. Marketman says:

    Artisan, actually, I did. I had several frozen items sent to us on Christmas Eve! :)

    Jan 4, 2010 | 9:01 am

  10. mojito drinker says:

    sounds awesome mm =)

    Jan 4, 2010 | 9:31 am

  11. kitongzki says:

    When I went to Pangasinan last year, I tried kinilaw na pugita (Octopus Seviche) and it was pretty darn good.

    Fresh from the sea, they just washed the octopus with hot water, I think, then they threw in lotsa onions, garlic, ginger (prolly to remove the “lansa”) and lotsa siling labuyo and vinegar. The taste of the octopus is still a bit sweet since it fresh.

    Really good with a bottle or two of ice cold beer… :D

    Jan 4, 2010 | 11:57 am

  12. Marketman says:

    kitongzi, at some Japanese sashimi bars, they serve octopus still alive, and the slices are dipped in a little soy sauce and placed on the tongue, and if it’s really fresh, the suckers still apply some pressure and it “moves” around in your mouth! It’s a bit of an experience I gather… :)

    Jan 4, 2010 | 12:06 pm

  13. uniok says:

    My cousin and i bought a kilo of kurita in Dagupan. It is fresh and i cooked it with soy sauce, vinegar, onions, garlic, pepper and ginger and boiled in 4hrs. Its like eating a rubber…hehehhe kunat….

    Jan 4, 2010 | 12:07 pm

  14. Marketman says:

    uniok, oddly, you can either blanch the octopus for a very short time or boil it until tender… but if you OVERBOIL it, I think it can get hard and chewy again. So longer isn’t necessarily better… :(

    Jan 4, 2010 | 1:22 pm

  15. kitongzki says:

    I think I’ve seen somewhere, not sure if it’s NatGeo or Discovery Channel wherein Korean eat ’em alive. As far as I can remember, somebody died because he ate the whole octopus (it’s not that big, can fit in your mouth) because the octopus didn’t go down without a fight and it got stuck in his throat…

    But I think I am adventurous enough to try that one… hehe… With Kikoman and lotsa wasabi… Yummy!

    Jan 4, 2010 | 2:03 pm

  16. rhea says:

    wow, kinilaw… namit ba!

    Jan 4, 2010 | 2:16 pm

  17. kyang2x says:

    MM, I was literally salivating when I saw the kinilaw na tanguigue! My dad makes a mean kinilaw na tanguigue with tuba…yum2x…

    Jan 4, 2010 | 3:00 pm

  18. chinchai says:

    Hi, MM. Just got back from my vacation in my hometown-Bacolod City. And I could say that this was one of the best vacation I ever had in years! The first ulam my father cooked for me was manok bisaya with ubad ng saging and monggo, and kinilaw just like what you have shown here in your blog. It was so yummy! Try mixing some pounded and roasted peanut in your kinilaw. Mananam!

    Jan 4, 2010 | 3:04 pm

  19. natie says:

    wow–luminous kinilaw..just the right moment to feast on it. after several hours, it’s rendered “overcooked” by the fixins…uniok: 4 hrs?? that’s Octo Gum!

    Jan 4, 2010 | 9:31 pm

  20. net says:

    Happy new year! MM, are the tentacles the only edible part? Can the head be eaten too? Lots of octopi in the local market but I don’t know how to cook them. Now I’m going to try your recipe. Thanks!

    Jan 5, 2010 | 6:50 am

  21. JOMAR says:


    Jul 5, 2010 | 1:58 pm


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