Octopus is notoriously difficult to cook. Even the most skilled chefs sometimes struggle to achieve tender and moist results using conventional cooking methods: take the octopus out of the pan too early and it will be tough; cook it at too high a temperature and it will dry out. You can avoid these common problems by cooking octopus sous vide. This method offers precision and consistency when it comes to temperature and timing and it never fails to produce perfect results.
- Preheat the water bath to a temperature of 78⁰C.
- Using a sharp knife, cut off the tentacles of the octopus just below the eyes. Discard the rest of the body. Remove the beak and rinse the tentacles thoroughly in cold water.
- Sprinkle a little seasoning over the tentacles then seal them inside a vacuum bag with a small amount of oil.
- Place the vacuum bag in the water bath and cook for 5 hours.
- To serve, take the cooked tentacles out of the vacuum bag and pat dry using kitchen paper. If not serving the tentacles immediately, leave them in the bag and plunge it into iced water. When the bag has cooled down, transfer it to the fridge and store for up to three days.
The octopus meat will absorb any flavours added to the vacuum bag. For example, try cooking the tentacles with a Thai spice mix or a mixture of reduced red wine and rosemary. Don’t be afraid to be bold: octopus will stand up to even very strong flavours.
Succulent sous-vide octopus plays a starring role Steven Smith’s luxurious dish of Octopus, lobster and scallop wontons with cherries and pink fir potatoes. If you fancy a challenge, try making Michael Wignall’s Langoustine ceviche, octopus terrine, smoked roe taramasalata and cucumber snow, an intricate starter that will delight seafood lovers.
Recipe courtesy of www.greatbritishchefs.com