Sous Vide Octopus is the simplest and most reliable method for cooking the perfect octopus – tender and flavorful, with a beautiful chart on the outside!
Cooking octopus in a sous vide water bath for 5 hours at 171oF (77oC) and then quickly grilling or searing at the end yields the best octopus every time!
WHAT IS SOUS VIDE COOKING?
In French, sous vide means “under vacuum.” It is well-known for being a precise and consistent method of cooking food with guaranteed results.
Simply vacuum seal your food in a bag and cook it to a precise temperature in a water bath. Every time, perfect octopus!
HOW TO MAKE SOUS VIDE OCTOPUS?
This recipe works with any size octopus: baby, medium, or large.
- The octopus should be seasoned with salt, pepper, and olive oil.
- Place the seasoned octopus in a large zip-top bag and vacuum seal it using the “water displacement” method. (This is a simple method; see the recipe below for more information.)
- Cook for 5 hours in a sous vide water bath.
- Allow to cool before patting dry with a paper towel.
- Grill or pan sear with lemon butter sauce until the surface caramelizes.
WHAT TEMPERATURE TO COOK AT AND FOR HOW LONG?
I like to cook it for 5 hours at 171°F (77°C). The octopus becomes very tender and soft at this temperature.
(Make sure the octopus is completely submerged in the water.) If you want to try different temperatures, follow the instructions below:
|Sous Vide Temperature||Time||Texture|
|140 °F / 60 °C||24 hours||Tender but a bit chewy, great for stews|
|171 °F / 77 °C||5 hours||Very tender and soft, great for salad and appetizer|
|185 °F / 85 °C||4 hours||Tender and soft, great for salad|
HOW TO GET CRISPY OCTOPUS?
My favorite octopus has a nice char on the outside and is a little crispy on the outside. To get a nice char, make sure to thoroughly dry the octopus after it has finished cooking in the sous vide.
Pat it dry with paper towels, making sure to completely dry the tentacles.
If time allows, I prefer to dry the octopus with paper towels before placing it in the fridge overnight to dry completely. Then, just before serving, I sear the octopus.
You’ll want to get your grill or cast iron skillet really hot. Then char it for 8-10 minutes, flipping every now and then.
USE ICE BATH TO PREVENT THE SKIN FROM FALLING OFF
If you cook your octopus right away after removing it from the warm water bath, the skin will easily fall off.
You can help the skin set with a better presentation by chilling the meat in an ice bath (about 10-15 minutes).
When the timer goes off, simply remove the bag from the water bath and place it in an ice-water bath. Then use right away or store in the fridge until ready to use.
DON’T FORGET TO PAT DRY BEFORE SEARING
A dry surface on the sous vide octopus is essential for a proper searing! Using paper towels, pat dry the cooked octopus to remove as much moisture as possible.
This improves the contact between the octopus and the skillet, resulting in less steam during cooking.
OCTOPUS TENTACLES OR BABY OCTOPUS?
If you’re looking for a quick meal that doesn’t require much effort, octopus tentacles or baby octopus sous vide are a good option.
These can be difficult to find in traditional stores, so you may need to look in Asian stores. It is well worth the effort.
Use green almonds as a garnish for a truly delectable result.
These are undeveloped almonds that are still in their shells. They can be a little tart, but they always have that sweet almond flavor.
HOW LONG TO SOUS VIDE OCTOPUS?
Sous vide octopus for 5 hours at 170.5° F.
After the octopus has finished cooking, it is placed in an ice bath.
This cooling process prevents the skin from flaking off. When it’s cool enough to touch, you can serve it whole, slice it, or char it on a grill or in a skillet (my favorite way to enjoy octopus).
HOW TO PREPARE OCTOPUS?
For this recipe, you can use either fresh or frozen octopus. I used fresh octopus that was medium in size, but you can use baby or large ones.
If you buy fresh octopus, make sure it doesn’t have a fishy odor. The octopus should be washed and cleaned, and the ink sac and internal organs should be removed.
Remove the beak. Larger octopus can be cut into smaller pieces so that they fit easily into bags.
If your octopus is frozen, it has most likely already been cleaned. It is not necessary to thaw it prior to sous vide cooking.
WINE PAIRINGS FOR OCTOPUS:
- Choose a lively white wine, such as an Italian Verdicchio or an Oregon Pinot Gris.
- This recipe calls for a light-bodied, acidic red wine, such as a young, slightly chilled Chianti.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you need to blanch octopus?
If you want to keep the skin intact, chill the octopus after cooking it, which actually makes it more resilient. While blanching does not help with skin, it does act as a curling iron for octopus, causing the limp tangle of tentacles to twirl gracefully.
How do you make an octopus not chewy?
Before cooking, soak your octopus in a salt brine for at least 2 hours. While some may argue that brining does not make much of a difference, I have found that brining the meat for a couple of hours does make it softer and less chewy.
What is the best way to cook an octopus?
Simmering octopus in liquid is the most basic method of cooking it. Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the octopus, immediately reduce the heat to low, and cook for 45–60 minutes. Once the octopus is in the pan, the water should be reduced to a gentle simmer.
What temperature should octopus be cooked to?
The flesh is rubbery in texture. During cooking, octopus will go from tender to tough, then back to tender. As a result, you must either barely cook it or thoroughly cook it. When the connective tissue reaches an internal temperature of 130 F, it begins to gelatinize (55 C.)