Grilled Baby Octopus & Scallop Salad a la Marketman

More of a “composed” salad of various ingredients laid out of a plate, and drizzled with spectacularly good extra virgin olive oil. It started off with a kilo of baby octopus that I purchased at the Arranque market last week. We threw them into the freezer for several days, the freezing is supposed to help break down the muscles and reduce the potential toughness of the cooked octopus. I also had some nice scallops from Edwin over at Fresh Fields so I figured I would grill them and put them together with some other grilled veggies and serve with some sliced lemons and limes…

Heat up a stove top cast iron grill top or your barbecue grill… toss some ripe cherry tomatoes with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and “grill” for a few minutes until they get a few char marks and remove. Marinate the cleaned baby octopus in olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon juice for about 30 minutes before grilling. Grill the scallops as well, drying them well with paper towels first. I happened to have grilled red peppers from the previous day as well and put everything on a large platter and added some sliced lemons and limes and drizzled everything with olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper. Some chopped Italian parsley added some color contrast. This was good, though the octopus was still a bit chewy or tough. The scallops were excellent. Overall, a really easy yet colorful appetizer to bring to the table. Have lots of sliced and toasted baguette or other bread on the side.

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13 Responses

  1. hello MM. Summer Food!! ON THE GRILL and can definitely smell the smoke,the crispness of the cherry tomatoes, and the freshness of the lemons and lime..yum.yum.yum

  2. Hello MM. Thanks for posting this. May I ask if the heads were taken off. I can only see the tentacles. And also how do you remove the ink? Thanks!

  3. Deedee, a slice into the center section of the octopus was made, and innards and ink sacs removed. Heads were left on, though they seem to be hiding in the photos…

  4. how do we really tenderize squid? we beat the ‘lumot’ with a mallet before marinating but then it will only be tender if eaten piping hot (for battered and fried which is how we usually have it). once it cools the lumot becomes swelas ng sapatos tough. :(

  5. robin, for me, for squid, I just barely cook it — that’s the secret. I understand that for squid you either barely cook it or stew it for a long time until it gets tender again (it gets tough in between)… But for octopus, I have to admit, I have tried at least 6 different methods and have been unsuccessful at getting truly tender octopus…

  6. Yum! I almost had the same thing in an italian restaurant last night minus the tomatoes and pepper . It was with fresh zucchini, parsley, lots of garlic, olive and chunks of espadon :-)

  7. hi mm, been a reader for many years. regarding the octopus, my husband’s uncle cooks this amazing adobong pugita sa gata. what he do is cut the octopus into bite size pieces and really cook it slow and long for it to be tender….

  8. thanks, MM! buti na lang masarap ang squid kahit makunat. :) my mom either fries it (for lumot) or cooks it adobo sa gata style (for regular squid). saraaap!

  9. @MM’ the octopus was still a bit chewy or tough….’

    For the type of texture that you would get at a sushi restaurant, try the Japanese way of tenderizing octopus. A good description of it is in ‘Japanese Cooking, a Simple Art’ by Shizuo Tsuji. It’s an old cookbook, but probably the most valuable one I have on my shelf. In my edition, the process is described on pp 248-251. Basic steps are:

    1. Clean the octopus, inside and out, by kneading it with grated daikon radish (or salt).
    2. Plunge the octopus in lightly salted water 2-3 times, mainly to get the tentacles to curl up nicely.
    3. Boil uncovered (medium heat) in the same water for 5-6 mins.
    4. Take out and hang it up somewhere to cool down by itself.

    Size also matters. The book says 675 g is ideal for tenderness. The kneading and the slow cooling also help. You’ll need about 4-6 cups of grated daikon for a 675 g octopus.

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