Substituting baby octopus for octopus.

I have a recipe calling for 2 lbs. of octopus. There are only 2 of us so 2 lbs. of octopus seems ambitious. And really, I'm a little squeamish about removing an octopus head. I purchased 3/4 of a pound of baby octopus instead. How long should I boil it for? Or should I steam it instead. Or???? Help, please!

Summer of Eggplant


Summer O. March 25, 2011
Thank you, that sounds great. I certainly will go that route in the future. These were very small, I boiled them in salted water with a penny for about 5 minutes, it may have been too long. I also found this video which was very helpful.
francesca G. March 25, 2011
Generally there are two ways to attack octopus, baby octopus, and calamari: a quick sautée or a long steam or boil (or deep fry -- be my guest!). The goal of opting for one or the other is to avoid a chewy, rubbery texture. Personally, I flash sautée these suckers (no pun intended) in a pan with olive oil, garlic, and peperoncino. Honestly, a few minutes is all it takes -- you want them to look opaque, bright purple and white, and browned from the pan. Do not leave them in to long! You can deglaze with white wine for a second, if you like or want to make a little pan sauce, but then a squeeze or lemon, and chopped parsley is all you need.
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