Crispy Chewy Octopus Tentacles a la Marketman


Most folks recoil at the thought of ordering a plate of octopus tentacles to enjoy with their ice cold beer or a glass of white wine. But if you had a taste of this latest unplanned octopus experiment, I am almost certain that 98+% of you would have liked this dish. I was at the Carbon market in Cebu earlier today and spied some beautiful small octopus on offer at PHP120 a kilo. I bought just one kilo (should have gotten 5 kilos!) with no ideas at the time. They were roughly 10 inches in total length, from head to tentacle tip. They were babies. Or octo-toddlers.


Back at the office kitchen, I added them to a pot, place them over low-medium heat with a cover on, and let them cook in their own juices. After some 30-35 minutes, they were tender as a baby’s bottom. Drain the liquid away, cut off the heads and innards and prepare a wok with vegetable oil about 2 inches deep over high heat. I quickly marinated the octopus tentacles in the juice of two kalamansis and say a tablespoon of kikkoman and sprinkled on some salt and pepper. These were then deep fried for about 3-4 minutes, just long enough to crisp the ends of the tentacles and skin surfaces, but the meat was still very tender. Drained and served hot, they were SPECTACULARLY good. Tasty, crispy, chewy and totally addictive. Every single person in the office (and most don’t eat octopus except when I cook it) loved it and the platter was wiped out in seconds! If I can manage to secure a steady supply of the baby octopus, this dish is hopefully going to make it onto the menu in the future…


13 Responses

  1. Aha, just what the doctored order for a large jar of marinated baby octopus moldering in the fridge.

  2. Once in a while It’s available in a nearby seafood market. Haven’t bought it for I am intimidated if I should cook it same way as squid.
    Now I know. Next time, I see it, I will surely buy a pound. Thanks.

  3. Octopus and squid are to be eaten with caution, both can cause high cholesterol. Per my doctors order =)

  4. apa, I think I would much rather source my cholesterol from seafood than from four legged animals. And besides, the jury is out on whether seafood cholesterol is bad or good… check out this googled article that seems to suggest seafood based cholesterol isn’t so bad. Besides, eating squid or octopus once a week as opposed to other meats or cholesterol laden foods can’t possibly be that bad in moderation… Furthermore, squid and octopus are two of the protein sources that conservationists suggest we eat more of since they are plentiful and economical. :)

  5. Hi! I saw you at Mactan airport! But I was too chicken to introduce myself haha! It was good to see you in person, though :) And, yes, I bought Zubuchon for pasalubong hehe

  6. Irene, say hello the next time, I don’t bite. :) So odd, now that I haven’t been so active on the blog, I run into a blog reader at least 3-4x a week. :)

  7. Mart, thanks for that set of articles,it was very interesting. I have always believed the assertion that only 1/4th of the cholesterol in your body is from food, the rest is how our bodies create it/react to stress, etc. In other words, it’s heavily hereditary. Having said that, I still do watch my cholesterol levels, but I still eat everything I want to eat, but in reasonable balance with lots of different kinds of foods.

  8. These are probably not baby octos, but rather a genus/breed called Abdopus that is common in the Philippines. Their adult size is about 10 to 12″ in length. They also make very interesting pets [which I used to have :) ] .



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