Spicy Skewered Octopus and Cucumber

By • May 1, 2011 • 0 Comments

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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

Serves 6

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)
  1. 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.
  2. Rinse the octopus under cold, running water.
  3. Wrap the octopus in a clean dish cloth and hit it with a meat mallet or rolling pin to tenderize it a little.
  4. Bring the 4 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan, then add the sake and the salt.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. After the octopus has cooled, cut it into bite-size rings and toss with the vinegar. Discard the tips of the legs.
  8. Cut the cucumber into rounds about the same size as the octopus rings and sprinkle lightly with the salt.
  9. Using 6-8 inch bamboo skewers, alternatively thread on the octopus and cucumber rings. Set aside.

Dipping Sauce

  • 1/2 cup Japanese Rice Vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon Sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons potato starch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  1. 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.
  2. Serve the skewers and dipping sauce together, either slightly chilled (15 minutes) or at room temperature.
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