BBQ-ing is quintessentially Australian. Hands down. Nothing better than a hot summer day filled with beach and sun, followed by a bbq-ed meal with family and friends.
I used to have an aversion to octopus. It seriously freaked me out. So much so that as a child, I refused to eat food my mother would buy from a shop, if the same shop also sold octopus. I’m not talking fishmongers here, but any shop. If I spotted octopus at the local Italian delicatessen, well no prosciutto for me… I was convinced this seamonster infected everything else. Let’s call it a wild imagination…
It was a trip to Cyprus a couple of years ago that got me over this aversion. We went to a small family-run taverna which basically sold not much other than grilled octopus… After a small meltdown and attempt to go elsewhere, I finally gave in and tried this strange, ugly looking thing. And something miraculous happened. It was so simple, yet so damn delicious – caramelised and crispy on the outside, yet so tender on the inside. Even those suction pads didn’t phase me. Needless to say, I ordered another. And didn’t share…
Sizzling BBQ-ed Octopus
1 whole octopus (ask your fishmonger to clean it for you)
3 bay leaves
1 sprig fresh oregano
1C white wine
1/2C olive oil
6 cloves garlic (crushed)
1/2TB crushed chilli flakes
1TB fresh oregano
1/3C lemon juice
1. Wash you octopus under running water (the beak, ink sac, eyes and stomach should all be removed by your fishmonger).
2. Place bay leaves, oregano, white wine, and peppercorns into large pot and add 1L of water. Bring to the boil. Once boiling, add the whole octopus, lower heat and cover. Simmer for approximately 1 hour, or until tender.
3. Remove octopus from liquid and let cool. Cut tentacles from head (I discard the head).
4. Mix all marinade ingredients in a large container with a lid (if you don’t have one, use a large bowl). Place the tentacles in the marinade, cover with lid (or cling wrap) and refrigerate for at least 3hrs.
5. Heat your BBQ or frypan. Fry the octopus until crispy on all sides (about 2mins each side). Serve with a Greek salad and haloumi cheese and enjoy this delicious seamonster!!