10 Apr2010


Sometimes experiments yield wonderful results. This Spicy Baby Octopus Stew, done without a recipe, turned out absolutely tender and incredibly flavorful and delicious. Perfect with lots of white rice. The surprise find of fresh baby octopuses at the Carbon market here, and the reasonably good but not slam dunk first recipe of grilled baby octopi salad here, were the set-up for this stew. Cooked totally by instinct, I can’t even tell you how much of each ingredient I used since I wasn’t measuring… :)


Start with some cleaned fresh baby octopuses (I used about a kilo worth). In a pan over medium heat, add several tablespoons of olive oil, some chopped garlic, some sliced onions and saute for a minute or two until they are soft and fragrant. Next I added several chopped siling labuyo and sauteed for a few more seconds (if you think the chilies are hot, don’t use too many as the spiciness can be adjusted a little later in the cooking process). Then I increased the heat and added the octopus, and don’t be surprised if it gives off quite a bit of liquid. After a few minutes, I added about 1 cup of red wine (white wine might be better, but this worked surprisingly well) and let that simmer for several minutes to reduce and burn off the alcohol. Next, I added two small tins of chopped plum tomatoes, a bit of dried oregano and thyme, a bay leaf or two, and let this simmer gently for some 30 minutes or so. Somewhere along the way, I added sliced red capsicum for sweetness. Then I added some salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste. Keep cooking until it is nice and tender.


After 45 minutes total cooking time, the octopus was soft and the sauce rich and spicy. If you had some fresh herbs like Italian parsley, chop them up and sprinkle on the stew just before serving. This was delicious… the broth substantial, hearty and spicy. The red peppers added just a hint of sweetness. The entire platter was wiped out. :)



  1. Jannah says:

    Yummy! Lucky crews having you MM cooked for them for their birthdays…

    Apr 10, 2010 | 5:08 pm


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  3. GayeN says:

    Yum! This can also be a pasta recipe – just toss in some cooked fettuccine or angel hair pasta. =)

    Thanks for sharing MM!

    Apr 10, 2010 | 5:51 pm

  4. millet says:

    okay, so the octopus DOES get tender! 45 minutes, you say? must try that. looks like it’s something i can do with squid, too. thanks, MM.

    Apr 10, 2010 | 7:44 pm

  5. atbnorge says:

    Akala ko walang herb kaya binasa ko hanggang sa huli ang post…hayun ang parsley! No good without that added green! Mukhang susugod na naman ako sa oriental market nito. Sana ay suwertihin na may octopus, kahit matandang octopus papatulan ko, hahaha!!!

    Apr 10, 2010 | 7:45 pm

  6. marilen says:

    Repeating a story I heard from a friend in Manila that they are now shipping a lot of octopus caught in Philippine waters to thriving market in Greece, Spain, Italy – countries around the Mediterranean.

    Yummy stew!

    Apr 10, 2010 | 8:00 pm

  7. Mom-Friday says:

    Like GayeN, I was also about to say this might be good with pasta! :) Maybe you can mix them in a marinara sauce instead of the squid, yum! I just remembered watching on TV, they showed how to eat live baby octopus in Korea, a popular delicacy.

    Apr 10, 2010 | 11:53 pm

  8. Crissy says:

    Yes pasta is the way to go, en su tinta, flavored with mace or cinnamon, throw in shrimps, and other shellfish, over fresh egg pasta….Venice in a bite!

    Apr 11, 2010 | 1:38 am

  9. meh says:

    minor correction: in paragraph two you wrote ‘squid’ instead of octopus…. : )

    Apr 11, 2010 | 9:39 am

  10. Marketman says:

    meh, thanks for catching that. I have revised the post. :)

    Apr 11, 2010 | 9:54 am

  11. thelma says:

    mm, do you think that they will be good breaded
    and fried, too?

    Apr 12, 2010 | 12:02 am

  12. stinkee says:

    A keeper..Will try this definitely..Thanks MM!

    Apr 12, 2010 | 12:47 pm

  13. pepita says:

    i’ll try to look for baby octopuses on my next market day… cook them the way you did… and hope kids will like them …

    Apr 12, 2010 | 11:07 pm


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