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Author Notes: I love serving cold/room temperature Asian-style appetizers in the summer/spring. This Japanese recipe has been updated and spiced up by using Sriracha sauce - adding almost a bit of kimchee flavor. Adjust the amount of Sriracha to your taste. The dipping sauce can be served as such, or pour it over the skewers on one big plate/platter and serve family-style. —CookOnTheFly
Preparing the Octopus
- Salt, for washing
- 4 cups Water
- 1/2 cup sake or rice wine
- 1 tablespoon Distilled White Vinegar
- Kosher salt to sprinkle on cucumbers
- 2 Small Cucumbers (English or hothouse cucumbers about an inch in diameter work best)
- Sprinkle salt over the octopus and wash thoroughly, making sure you clean out the tentacles well. The salt creates an abrasive surface to help clean the octopus well.
- Rinse the octopus under cold, running water.
- Wrap the octopus in a clean dish cloth and hit it with a meat mallet or rolling pin to tenderize it a little.
- Bring the 4 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan, then add the sake and the salt.
- Add the octopus, cover the saucepan and boil for about 15 minutes, or until a chopstick penetrates the meat easily and the octopus becomes a purplish-red color.
- Remove the octopus from the water and suspend it with tongs from the large portion at the top of the leg, over the sink or a large deep bowl (I skewer it with a metal BBQ skewer and let it drip into a tall stock pot). This allows the octopus to uncurl.
- After the octopus has cooled, cut it into bite-size rings and toss with the vinegar. Discard the tips of the legs.
- Cut the cucumber into rounds about the same size as the octopus rings and sprinkle lightly with the salt.
- Using 6-8 inch bamboo skewers, alternatively thread on the octopus and cucumber rings. Set aside.
- 1/2 cup Japanese Rice Vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Sugar
- 2 to 3 tablespoons potato starch
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
- 1 egg yolk, beaten
- Place all ingredients, except for the egg yolk, into a saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens. Add the egg yolk, whisking it in well.
- Serve the skewers and dipping sauce together, either slightly chilled (15 minutes) or at room temperature.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Squid or Octopus Recipe