An octopus salad is a fresh take on a classic dish that combines the sweet taste of an octopus with crunchy vegetables like carrots, bell pepper, celery root, cucumber, and more.
What Is An Octopus Salad?
If you’ve ever had sushi before, you know what an octopus salad can be.
Octopi (also called calamari) have long been associated with Japanese cuisine because they were once common to the country.
In fact, this particular salad originated from Japan over 2,000 years ago.
Today, it has become popular around the world as people discover its unique flavors and textures.
Octopus salads come in many different varieties, but one thing remains true across nearly all types — they are always served chilled because the texture of the octopus makes them best enjoyed cold.
The traditional version includes only raw octopus, which makes sense since cooking would make the meat tough.
But modern recipes often include cooked versions too.
The most famous type of octopus salad comes from Japan, where it typically features thinly sliced pieces of fried squid mixed into a dressing made from rice vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and scallions.
This version is also known as “octo-poppers” or “kakiage.”
But there are plenty of other variations out there too.
Some places serve the salad in bowls, while others stuff it into wonton skins.
Many restaurants will offer a choice between deep-fried or grilled options.
And some dishes use both cooked and raw components in their marinades and dressings.
One such example is an Italian variation that uses a combination of octopus, artichokes, zucchini flowers, olives, and pine nuts.
There are even vegetarian options!
If you’re looking for something new to try, check out these delicious vegan octopus salad recipes.
What Are The Ingredients In An Octopus Salad?
The key ingredient in this tasty salad is the octopus itself.
Octopuses have been around since ancient Greece and Rome.
They’re not only delicious but also very nutritious.
You can find many varieties of octopus at your local fish market, including Spanish, Italian, Greek, Japanese, Mexican, Portuguese, and Thai.
Other than the octopus, there are other key ingredients to consider when preparing an octopus salad.
These include any type of lettuce (such as romaine, butterhead, etc.), tomatoes, green onions, red onion, pickled peppers, avocado, corn kernels, olives, jalapeno, and cilantro.
Other optional ingredients include mayonnaise, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, parmesan cheese, and chili powder.
There’s no exact measurement needed for the amount of each ingredient used in this salad.
The best way to make an octopus salad is to start by chopping all of the ingredients into small pieces.
Add them together according to what you feel tastes good, then serve it up!
How Do You Make An Octopus Salad?
To get started making this delicious salad, follow these steps to create your own version of this popular seafood dish.
- Wash all the vegetables thoroughly under running water until they’re free from any dirt or debris.
- Cut off the ends of the vegetables so they will fit into your bowl without being too big (you can use a paring knife if it doesn’t have a very sharp blade).
- Slice each vegetable lengthwise into thin slices.
- Dry the chopped vegetables by placing them onto paper towels and patting dry as much as possible. You want them to be as crisp and fresh as possible when preparing the octopus salad.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Mix well.
- Chop up the octopus tentacles into bite-sized pieces. Be sure not to cut through the meat completely because you want some texture left on the outside of the tentacle.
- Add the octopus to the dressing mixture and toss to coat the entire piece evenly.
- Place the octopus salad into a large serving container and garnish with additional chopped onions, scallions, parsley, and/or olives. Serve immediately while still warm.
What Is The Nutritional Value Of An Octopus Salad?
Octopuses are very low in calories, only containing about 8 per 100 grams (3.5 ounces).
They also contain high amounts of iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, copper, phosphorus, calcium, sodium, vitamin B12, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, folate, protein, and amino acids including histidine, lysine, methionine, proline, threonine, tryptophan, leucine, valine, and arginine.
The octopus’ rich mineral content makes it a good source of vitamins A, C, D, K, E, and many other essential nutrients to help your body function properly.
The main components of an octopus salad include vegetables, eggs, cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, parsley, salt, and pepper.
Octopus can be cooked as well as eaten raw so there is no need to worry about bacteria because the octopus isn’t alive.
However, if you decide to use live seafood, always choose from reputable sources.
What Are The Benefits Of Eating An Octopus Salad?
Octopuses have long been considered delicacies in Japan and China.
In fact, they’re so popular there that one restaurant chain has even created “octopus sushi.”
These tasty creatures can be found all over Asia, but you don’t need to travel far to enjoy them—in your own backyard.
Octopus are easy to catch, clean, and prepare, making them an excellent choice when cooking for guests who aren’t into seafood.
There are many health benefits associated with eating octopus, including high levels of protein, vitamin B12, iron, zinc, selenium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, riboflavin, niacin, and folate.
They also contain significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which may help reduce inflammation and improve heart function.
In addition to their amazing nutritional profile, these sea animals are low in calories (just 12 per serving), low in fat (0 grams per serving), and rich in protein (35 percent).
The meat from octopus is particularly high in glutamic acid, which gives it its savory umami flavor.
What Are The Risks Of Eating An Octopus Salad?
Octopuses are known to have high levels of toxins in their skin and flesh that can cause illness if you eat them raw.
However, there’s no evidence that eating cooked octopus will pose any risk to your health.
Despite this, it is still recommended that you avoid consuming raw octopus at all costs.
If you do decide to consume octopus, make sure it has been properly cleaned and prepared before cooking.
Octopus should be soaked in water overnight to remove dirt and other contaminants from its body.
After soaking, rinse it well under running tap water until it runs clear and drain the excess liquid.
Next, cut off the tentacles and discard the head.
You want to keep only the edible parts of the octopus for your salad.
The rest can go into soup or stock.
To clean the tentacles, use a vegetable brush to scrub away the sand and dirt.
Separate the tentacles by cutting each one at the base along the natural fold lines so they separate easily.
Then wash the tentacles thoroughly under cold running water, pat dry, and set aside.
What Are Some Octopus Salad Recipes?
Octopuses don’t have legs, but they do have tentacles.
Octopuses can be found in both saltwater and freshwater environments, which means you may encounter them when scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming, or kayaking.
They also live in deep oceans where their thick skin protects them from predators such as sharks.
The best known species of octopus is the blue-ringed octopus (Hapalochlaena lunulata), which has dark spots on its body and bright pink rings around its eyes.
If you find yourself hungry after a day at the beach, you might want to consider trying out one of these seven delicious octopus salads.
Crispy Tuna Salad
- Cut tuna into small cubes.
- Combine ingredients together until well combined.
- Toss with dressing before serving.
Seared Salmon Salad
- Slice salmon fillet into thin strips.
- Heat oil over medium heat.
- Add salmon and sear it until golden brown.
- Remove fish and set aside.
- In same pan, add tomatoes, shallots, capers, olive oil, lemon juice, and vinegar.
- Cook mixture until slightly reduced.
- Return salmon pieces to pan and toss with the sauce.
- Season with salt and pepper to your liking.
Shrimp & Cucumber Salad
- Chop shrimp into bite size chunks.
- Add chopped vegetables to bowl.
- Mix all ingredients together.
- Dress with vinaigrette.
Grilled Shrimp Tacos
- Prepare tacos according to package directions.
- While taco shells are cooking, grill jumbo shrimp.
- When taco shell is ready, place 1/4 cup of lettuce inside each taco shell.
- Top taco shells with grilled shrimp, diced avocado, shredded cheese, cilantro, lime wedges, and hot sauce.
Korean Beef Noodle Salad
- Rinse beef brisket with cold water, then pat dry using paper towels.
- Set brisket on cutting board and slice across fibers to create even thickness.
- Place sliced meat back onto cutting board and spread evenly across surface.
- Using sharp knife, cut meat into 2 inch wide by 1/8th inch thick slices.
- Wrap each slice tightly in plastic wrap, then place in zip top bag.
- Refrigerate overnight.
- Bring marinade to room temperature, then pour in mixing container and mix thoroughly.
- Pour marinade over thinly sliced beef, cover, and refrigerate for 4 hours or up to overnight.
- After marinating, drain excess liquid from beef and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- To serve, arrange rice noodles on plate, top with beef, and garnish with green onions.
Fried Chicken Sandwich With Pickled Vegetables
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Pat chicken dry with paper towel, then season liberally with Salt + Pepper.
- Spread flour on baking sheet, shake chicken pieces on tray, and dust lightly with additional flour.
- Bake for 20 minutes, flip pieces, then bake another 10 minutes or until cooked through.
- Meanwhile, combine pickle brine and cornstarch in a separate bowl.
- Once fried chicken is done, remove from oven and let cool.
- Brush chicken with half of pickle brine and return to oven to keep warm while preparing vegetables.
- Peel potatoes, then cut into quarters lengthwise.
- Arrange potato quarters on baking sheet and drizzle with remaining pickle brine.
- Roast in preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until tender.
- While potatoes roast, prepare slaw by combining cabbage, onion, carrot, and apple cider vinegar in large bowl.
- Stir in salt and sugar to taste.
- Let stand 15 minutes to allow flavors to develop.
- Just before removing from oven, sprinkle bread crumbs over roasted potatoes.
- Remove from oven and immediately coat potato with leftover pickle brine.
- Garnish sandwiches with slaw and crispy potatoes.
What Are Some Tips For Making An Octopus Salad?
The key to any great octopus salad recipe lies in the preparation method.
Octopuses have eight tentacles with suckers at their ends that can be used to grip onto whatever they want to eat.
In this case, you’ll need to remove those suckers before cooking your octopus to keep it tender.
The easiest way to do this is by soaking them in cold water first.
Once soaked, cut off each tentacle from its body and discard the head (the eyes will still be there).
Then, slice each tentacle into bite-sized pieces using kitchen shears or a sharp knife, as necessary.
As you go along, place each piece onto paper towels so that excess liquid can drip away.
To prepare the dressing, combine all ingredients together in a small bowl and whisk until well combined.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Now, let’s get started with one of our favorite octopus salads!
What Are Some Common Mistakes People Make When Making An Octopus Salad?
Octopuses have tough skin that needs to be removed before cooking.
If you don’t do this right, your octopus will turn into mush and lose its tenderness.
The best way to remove the tentacles from the body is by using a sharp knife to cut around the head of the tentacle, then gently pull it off.
To wash the tentacles, place them in cold water and let them soak until they feel soft enough to handle.
Then rinse them several times under running water to get rid of any dirt or sand that may be stuck to their surface.
Lastly, boil the tentacles for about 15 minutes before cutting them up and tossing them in the dressing.
You can also use frozen octopus instead of buying live ones if you want to save time and effort while preparing your meal.
If you aren’t sure how to properly clean and prepare octopus, check out our guide here!
What Are Some Ways To Vary An Octopus Salad Recipe?
Octopus salads can be made two different ways: raw or cooked.
Raw versions tend to have fewer ingredients because they’re not cooked, but you can add other vegetables such as squash, tomatoes, peppers, onions, etc.
Cooked versions usually include more ingredients because it’s easier to eat them after cooking.
Both types work well together.
You could also use both methods if your budget allows!
Raw Octopus Salad Recipe
- Cut off head, tentacles, and eyes (optional)
- Grate carrot into large bowl using cheese grater
- Add celery seed, salt & pepper, lemon juice, olive oil, and parsley
- Chop onion into small pieces and add to mixture
- Slice cabbage thinly and toss in bowl
- Stir through chopped green beans, peas, and corn
- Toss all ingredients together and serve immediately
Cooked Octopus Salad Recipe
- Boil octopus until tender
- Scoop out liquid from inside of octopus and reserve
- Drain liquid from boiled octopus and combine with rest of ingredients
- Refrigerate before serving
- 1 large bowl
- 12 oz octopus tentacles
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes
- ½ cup pitted kalamata
- 1 galic clove
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- The octopus tentacles should be removed from the packaging and placed on paper towels to absorb any excess liquid.
- Octopus should be cut into bite-sized pieces. Put them in a salad bowl made of glass or ceramic.
- Include the remaining components. To coat, toss gently.
- For the best results, cover the salad and let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes so the flavors may mingle before serving.Remix, then dish out.