I need help with grilling octopus either on stovetop griddle or broiler

Which method works better to best approximate the results on a real grill? Also...I've never bought it! I'm in NYC...think I can find it in Chinatown? Will they cut the legs off for me? I dont want the head (mark bittman doesn't use the head!). Also is it alright at room temperature or should I grill it directly before serving? Any other unsolicited tips? Thanks :)

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4 Comments

pierino April 20, 2012
A preparation that is traditional to both Italy and Greece is to boil the octopus with a wine cork (you can cut the head off first, it's not that hard). You cook it for a long time, like three hours, periodically pulling it out of the water for a minute and the plunging it back in. Why the wine cork works, I don't know. After that you can marinade and grill it. An outdoor, woodfired grill works best but work with what you've got.
 
bigpan April 20, 2012
In Greece I watched a fisherman repeatedly beat a fresh caught octopus against a rock for about ten minutes. He was tenderizing it. So unless it is a baby don't be afraid to whack it for awhile.
A good rule with octopus is to cook for less than 3 minutes (grill) or more than 3 hours (stew).
A bit of lemon and oregano and garlic = yum!
 
maryvelasquez April 20, 2012
I've read that massaging the octopus for a good amount of time tenderizes it. I've never tried this myself, but I once wrote a paper on octopus.
 
inpatskitchen April 20, 2012
If you're grilling I would try to find baby octopi (about 15 to the pound). I buy a frozen 2# block that come cleaned. And you can certainly grill them on a grill pan as opposed to an outdoor grill. Search this sight for "grilled octopus" and you'll find a few recipes. Depending on what you're making you can certainly grill ahead of time and serve at room temperature. Consider marinating them first.
 
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