18 Nov2011

I once had this octopus sashimi that was still alive, and the suckers applied a gentle suction on your tongue that was rather disconcerting. It was a delicacy, and I probably wouldn’t have had it unless a client was the one ordering dinner. But that was a long time ago. And I haven’t had it since. So on a recent visit to Banri, my go-to Japanese restaurant in Cebu, when the server suggested I have some of their octopus special, I hesitated until I spied the plate at the next table that indicated it had been poached first. We ordered a plate of tuna sashimi and one “tako” or octopus. The octopus was SUPERB, a wonderful, slightly chewy texture, and the briney flavor of the sea, with a hint of sweetness at the same time. Really good stuff. So good, we immediately ordered another portion.

I am not sure if this technically qualifies as sashimi, as it isn’t raw anymore, but it was good, whatever you called it. Pricey at PHP280 or so for just a few pieces (the equivalent of half a kilo of lechon!), but worth it. I suppose several Japanese restaurants have this on offer, and you can see the entire tentacle in their chilled display cases, but somehow they don’t usually look as fresh as this batch seemed to be. I wonder if there is some secret to making this (or is it a specific species of octopi?) or if I can just poach some fresh octopus myself… :)



  1. Lava Bien says:

    Yummmmm..poached or lightly grilled then drizzled with some olive oil…nice!

    Nov 18, 2011 | 6:57 am


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  3. el_jefe says:

    Whoa!!!Yummy ”Pugita”!!! I miss kinilaw na pugita poured with gata from grilled coconuts, squeezed with dayap, coconut tuba vinegar,spiced up with siling labuyo and shallots!!! Yum!!!(“,)

    Nov 18, 2011 | 7:42 am

  4. ami says:

    Eating little live octopus is a delicacy in Korea. It was one of the challenges in the Amazing Race when they swung by that country. Note though that people have been known to die eating live octopus because you can choke to death when the octopus’ suckers get attached to your esophagus.

    Nov 18, 2011 | 8:27 am

  5. potatokorner says:

    Looks tasty and fresh! :D Yummy indeed.

    Nov 18, 2011 | 8:38 am

  6. Joe-ker says:

    Oh this is one of my favorites together with Uni.

    Nov 18, 2011 | 9:40 am

  7. betty q. says:

    Talk about octopus, MM…there was a show…David Suzuki’s I think doing experiments in ocean floor to prove that octopus is one smart cookie! The diver placed a square box with a hole that is just the size of the creature’s brain?…attached to the hole are tubes done like in a maze and the end of the maze is FREEDOM! I watched in awe as to how the octopus just kept still for few minutes and then found his way out of the smallbox.

    Next, the diver adjusted the hole ..this time smaller than size of creature’s brain. The octopus just stood there…didn’t even try! Probably thought and wanted to tell the diver…”ano ka, hilo?” I was watching in total amazement!

    Nov 18, 2011 | 11:16 am

  8. jakbkk says:


    Nov 18, 2011 | 12:43 pm

  9. Mart says:

    Looks and sounds good but I’d rather have the lechon.

    Nov 18, 2011 | 1:12 pm

  10. ayla says:

    Okay, I love my Japanese food but I couldn’t for the life of me (pun intended) eat something that’s still alive.

    Nov 18, 2011 | 5:12 pm

  11. Marketman says:

    ayla, how about a whole live goldfish in exchange for a free beer… a Boston bar thing while I was in college there… :) Or the worms that are in mangrove wood in Palawan… :)

    Nov 18, 2011 | 6:27 pm

  12. Mart says:

    I saw that episode of Bizarre Foods by Andrew Zimmern where he went to the Philippines to check out the worms in the mangrove wood. I suppose that was Palawan. In the end he didn’t even try eating one. Some host for a foodie show called Bizarre Foods. I bet Mr. Bourdain would have eaten it. Washed it down with a lot of booze but still would have tried it.

    Nov 19, 2011 | 12:21 am

  13. roy888rn says:

    Is that the same worms that guy from travel channel Andrew Zimmern, was eating in Palawan.whats the name of it?

    Nov 19, 2011 | 12:24 am

  14. Toping says:

    @Mart, I saw that episode and he did eat those worms!

    As for the octopus, bleeeh. I suppose it has its culinary virtues, but I can’t get that scene from “Oldboy” out of my mind, hehe…

    Nov 19, 2011 | 1:14 pm

  15. Marketman says:

    roy888rn, they are called “tamilok”… :)

    Nov 19, 2011 | 3:34 pm

  16. roy888rn says:

    thanks MM, that is really a fancy name for a worm.:)

    Nov 19, 2011 | 10:50 pm

  17. ros says:

    If you want to prepare one, you’ll need a nice big piece of daikon….


    … to hit it with. :)

    Though I think something was lost in the translation. The video says “banana bark” but I think it’s konbu/kombu kelp. To impart that salty/umami flavor of the sea.

    Nov 20, 2011 | 3:59 pm

  18. Susan says:

    This is my favorite sashimi…since it’s cooked : ) Really good if you kilawin it too!

    Nov 21, 2011 | 12:58 pm

  19. rita says:

    that’s it! after reading all these seafood post you’ve posted – italy it is, for the Thanksgiving weekend holiday :D

    Nov 22, 2011 | 3:00 am

  20. Nel says:

    Tamilok tastes like oysters… coated in mucus! haha… They do taste like the sea but are really hard to chew, what more swallow.

    Nov 22, 2011 | 2:02 pm

  21. Tsinoy Foodies says:

    I have yet to try a sweet tasting octopus. It only feels gummy and plain to me.

    Dec 1, 2011 | 10:29 pm

  22. quiapo says:

    Raw octopus tentacle sashimi is particularly appreciated in Korea where surgical intervention is sometimes required when the live sucker attaches itself to the diner’s esophagus.

    Dec 5, 2011 | 7:38 am

  23. Heinz says:

    Are those the same worms that they use for hot dogs? A friend of my phil friend worked at a hot dog factory and said that they use worms instead of beef or chicken or whatever! Is this true?

    Nov 30, 2012 | 6:56 am

  24. udo says:

    wondering wheter if one is even capable to eat real raw octo ?! thought it must be cooked so u can even chew it – and i havenĀ“t been to a japanese restaurant where they served it really raw… (unfortunately – as it seems it does work ;-)

    Jul 11, 2013 | 10:34 pm


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