Octopuses are cephalopods similar to squid (also called calamari) and
are considered seafood with some of the properties of fish, but with
an entirely different taste and texture. The most commonly eaten part
is the arms, and sometimes the mantle (head area). Small octopuses are
eaten whole. Octopus is a common ingredient in sushi, as well as fish
soups and pastas, and is occasionally eaten live, as well as fried,
boiled, baked, grilled and so forth. Older, larger octopuses can be
tough if they are not prepared properly.
The Health Benefits of Octopuses
Octopus is a low calorie, lean seafood, making it a good way to get
protein in your diet without adding too much fat. There are
approximately 140 calories per 3 oz. (85g) of octopus, with only 1.8g
of fat. Octopus is a very good source of iron, which is a common
deficiency leading to weakness, fatigue and anemia.
Octopus is also a source of calcium, potassium, phosphorus and
selenium. It provides several important vitamins including vitamin C,
vitamin A and several B vitamins, as well as some omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 is an important nutrient, which may decrease the chances of
heart disease, as well as cancer and depression. It also seems to
boost the immune system and aid in brain development in children.Octopus also contains taurine, which is an organic acid that acts as
an antioxidant, and may protect against some of the stressful effects
of exercise. Taurine is also suspected to help prevent heart disease,
some studies have also linked it with improved blood sugar levels.
My warm braised octopus salad recipe
4 garlic cloves
1 knob of butter
100 ml of white wine
500 ml of Fish stock
1 kg fresh octopus
freshly ground black pepperVinaigrette
75 ml of red wine vinegar
150 ml of extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp English mustardTo plate
purple sprouting broccoli spears
1 kg new potatoes cooked
20 g of capers
4 sprigs of fresh tarragon
To make this octopus recipe, begin by chopping the onion and carrots,
quarter the tomatoes and crush the garlic.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat, stir in the
vegetables and fry gently, without colouring, for about 5 minutes or
Pour in the wine. Increase the heat to high and boil until the wine
has reduced to about a teaspoon of liquid, then pour in the fish
stock. Bring to a simmer.
Clean the octopus, and remove tentacles from the prepared body (your
fishmonger can do this for you).
Once the pan is simmering, add the octopus. Reduce the heat to low and
simmer for 1 1/2 hours, or until the octopus is tender.
Strain the contents of the pan through a sieve into a bowl and leave
the collected cooking liquor and octopus to cool.
When the octopus is cool enough to handle, slice across the body into
2 cm-thick strips and set aside.
To make the vinaigrette, finely chop the shallots and place in a bowl
with the vinegar.
Measure out 75 ml of the reserved cooking liquor, add to the bowl and
leave to stand for 30 minutes.
into the shallot mixture
whisk in the olive oil. Season with salt.
Pour about half the vinaigrette into a small saucepan and warm very
gently over a low heat – do not let it boil. Add the sliced octopus and heat through for 2/3 mins
Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water.
Add the purple sprouting broccoli and simmer for a further 2 minutes,
until just tender. Drain and place in a large bowl.
Chop the tarragon and add to the broccoli, cooked potatoes and capers.
Gently stir in the warm vinaigrette and octopus.
Add lemon juice to taste and season with sea salt and black pepper
Spoon the octopus salad onto serving plates and serve with the
remaining vinaigrette in a jug on the side