Seafood is a safe bet for special occasions such as dinner parties or a date night and octopus is a prime choice among seafood. However, cooking octopus can be a bit tricky. If not prepared the right way it can be extremely chewy and unpleasant hence it needs a bit of work . The key to a perfectly executed and delicious octopus dish is in tenderizing the mollusc. There are various ways to achieve it the most common one being simmering in water for about an hour. Another common technique used in Mediterranean nations is spanking it against the rock as demonstrated below by celebrity chef George Calombaris of The Press Club and Masterchef Australia fame.


  • 1.5 lbs of octopus
  • 1 cinnamon stick, 2 cloves garlic, 1 cardamom ,2 bay leaves , 3 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 2 shallots thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 5-6 fresh grape tomatoes halved, de-seeded
  • Chopped scallions for garnish.

1. Fill a 4 quart stockpot upto 3/4th with water. Add the cinnamon , cloves, garlic, bay leaves, salt and cardamom. Bring the water to a boil. Add the octopus and reduce the heat. Let it simmer for an hour.

2. Drain the water, take the octopus out, pat dry and set it aside.The octopus should look as shown below.

Season it with paprika and salt.

3. In a dry pan roast the coriander seeds. Crush them with a mortar pestle and set aside.

4. To the pan add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the shallots and the red pepper. Add 1 teaspoon salt and sugar during sautéing so that they cook faster. Once they are done set them aside.

5. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a frying pan and add the octopus and pan fry for 4-5 minutes turning on each side till it turns golden brown .

6. Plate with the shallots, red peppers and fresh grape tomatoes as shown in the featured image . Dust the roasted coriander powder over the octopus and garnish with chopped scallions .

Pan Fried Octopus

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