What Does Octopus Taste Like?

Octopus

You might wonder at times why people go to fine dining restaurants and order an octopus for dinner? It seems kind of bizarre, doesn’t it? To order a plate full of tentacles? It’s crazy, yes, but you need to try it to know why people love it so much! So, before you go and order some octopus meat, let’s give you an idea of what octopus tastes like!

Octopus tastes similar to calamari or lobster meat. It is tender and you can tell the meat has come from the sea as it has a sweet and salty taste. When paired up with different ingredients, the taste of octopus becomes alterable. This is because its taste is easily influenced by the method with which it’s cooked.

You can cook octopus using whatever method you like. You can sear it, grill it, bake it, and go absolutely crazy when it comes to cooking it! Season it properly, add in the right ingredients and you’ll have a delectable dish on your hands. It’s crazy how you can do so much with an aquatic animal!

But if you’ve never eaten an octopus before, you might be wondering what it tastes like? How can you use it in cooking? What all nutrients does it have? Is it healthy for you or not? The answers to all of these questions are provided further in the article. Happy reading!

Octopus | From The Ocean To Your Plate

Octopus

If you are an adventurous eater like me, you’d love to get a bite of octopus meat! A bite so good, it’ll immediately take you to food heaven! But before you do that, let’s get you familiarized with octopus meat! 

Octopus meat is served and eaten as a part of several cuisines like Asian, Mediterranean, etc. Octopus meat is usually eaten alive as part of South Korean cuisine. Octopus arms are the most consumed body part of this majestic sea creature. It can be eaten either raw or cooked, depending on how you’d like to eat it!

Octopus meat is chewy, slimy and soft when eaten raw. It might not sound like a delicious thing to eat but you’ll change your mind once you get a taste of it! Octopus meat is easy to cook and even more delicious to eat! 

The Taste And Texture Of An Octopus

Octopus

Having prior information about something you want to try or are about to try always comes in handy! It gets rid of that overwhelming and intimidating feeling. That is why, to calm your nerves, I’m going to provide you with an insight into what octopus meat tastes like and what its texture is.

Octopus, when well cooked, tastes a lot like lobster meat. Octopus meat is quite light and has a moistness to it. It doesn’t have a strong flavor to it and is mostly bland. It takes the flavor of anything it’s cooked with or served with. Octopus can also be eaten raw and cold, having a chewy and slimy texture along with a sweet and salty taste.

Grilled octopus has a smoky taste. It has a crispy exterior along with soft and tender meat inside. It has a meaty texture to it, along with being quite succulent. Grilled octopus takes in and develops a flavor of the ingredients it’s cooked with. Thus, make sure to go all out with the dressing or marinade!

Some people say that octopus meat tastes like white chicken meat and even pork in some cases. The bottom line is that octopus has an extremely mild and subtle taste. Therefore, you can make it taste like anything you want, depending on how you choose to cook it!

How To Pick The Right Octopus?

Octopus

The quality of the food you’re eating is very important. It hardly takes a second for your favorite meal to become unappetizing. This could easily happen if the food you’re eating isn’t fresh or of good quality. That is why it is important for you to pick or choose the right octopus for cooking!

Smelling the octopus should be the first thing you do while shopping for it. A fresh octopus will always have a saltwater smell. If the octopus you’ve picked has a fishy smell or an unpleasant smell, avoid buying it. This is because octopuses having a fishy smell are usually old and not fit for consumption.

It’s always better to buy pre-cooked or frozen octopus. The reason for this is that these octopuses tend to remain fresher for a longer time when compared to the ones available at the seafood market. They also come with the ink sac and guts removed.

In this selfish world, you should be careful and not fall into the trap of fishmongers selling “fake” octopuses. Certain fishmongers sell large-sized tentacles of squids, claiming and telling customers that they are octopuses. Hence, always check if the item you’re buying is the real thing or not to avoid being taken advantage of.

Another important thing you should remember before cooking an octopus is that octopuses shrink in size when cooked. That is why you should always buy double the amount you want, so you have enough for everybody!

The 4 Best Type Of Octopus

Octopus

You can find several different types or varieties of octopus globally. This is because of the geographical conditions they’re found in. This further means that not all types of octopus are edible; only a handful of them are. 

The 4 best types of octopus for consumption are as follows:-

  1. Chilean Octopus 
  2. Spanish Octopus
  3. African Octopus
  4. Galicia Octopus

1. Chilean Octopus

Chilean octopus tastes the same as usual octopuses do but differs in texture. It has a mild and subtle taste but has a harder and firmer consistency.

2. Spanish Octopus

Spanish octopus tastes the best among all the different types of edible octopuses. This octopus tastes a bit like calamari and squid and is quite flavorful.

3. African Octopus

African octopus has a delicate taste. It is soft in texture and is incredibly delicious when cooked. Found in the warm oceans of Africa, this octopus tastes best when grilled. 

4. Galicia Octopus

Galicia octopus tastes a bit like chicken and calamari. Coming from the deepest parts of the ocean, the Galicia octopus has a tough exterior and has a hard skin.

How Can You Cook Octopus?

Octopus

Fed up with having to go to restaurants to indulge in a fancy meal? Do it at home! Yes, you can cook octopus meat at home with great ease! All you need to do is find fresh and good quality octopus meat and cook it however you want!

Octopus is an easy-to-cook type of meat. You can cook it by several methods – grilling, baking, searing, roasted, fried, etc. Before cooking the octopus, make sure to remove the ink sac, guts and all other entrails. Clean it up nicely and then blanch it. After that, cook however you want to cook it and add whatever ingredients you want!

How Can You Grill Octopus?

The most preferred method of people for cooking an octopus is to grill it. Grilling an octopus cooks the meat evenly and gives that additional kick of flavor. Making your mouth water, isn’t it?

Before grilling the octopus, make sure to precook it in an oven or using a stove. This is done to prevent the octopus from toughening up on the grill. After pre-cooking the octopus, slather it in some olive oil along with a dressing of salt and pepper or any spices of your choice.

While grilling the octopus, make sure to cover the grill and flip the octopus after five minutes for even cooking. The octopus will be ready for you to relish once it turns a nice brown color. Lastly, garnish it however you want.

Nutritional Content Of Octopus

Octopus

When it comes to food, the thing we focus on the most is its nutritional content. What nutrients a certain food item has, in what quantities, etc., are something to pay attention to. 

Octopus is a highly nutritious food choice. Having a low-fat content, octopus is rich in several vitamins and micronutrients such as selenium, omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B, zinc, phosphorus, etc. It also helps in lowering cholesterol levels, keeping your heart and brain healthy, etc.

NutrientAmount
Calories163 kcal
Fat2 grams
Protein30 grams
Carbohydrates4 grams
Sodium711 milligrams
Cholesterol95 milligrams
Calcium106 milligrams
Iron9.48 milligrams
Zinc3.34 milligrams
Selenium89 micrograms
Vitamin B1235.8 micrograms

Conclusion

Octopus has a mild and subtle taste. It tastes like a lobster when cooked well; other times, it also tastes like pork or chicken. It takes in the flavor of its surrounding ingredients and tastes the same. Hence, make sure to cook the octopus with the right ingredients.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What does octopus taste like?

Octopus tastes like a lobster when it is cooked well. It also tastes like chicken, pork, squid, or calamari in some cases. It has a mild taste and gains most of its flavor from the surrounding ingredients.

How can you tell if an octopus is fresh?

To tell if an octopus is fresh, smell it. If the octopus is fresh, it will smell like saltwater or of the ocean. If it isn’t fresh, it’ll have a fishy smell or an unpleasant smell.

What are the four best types of octopus?

The four best types of octopus are Chilean octopus, Spanish octopus, African octopus and Galicia octopus.

What is the most preferred method of cooking an octopus?

The most preferred method of cooking an octopus is to grill it.

What parts of an octopus should be removed before cooking?

The stomach, ink sac and other entrails of an octopus should be removed before it is cooked.

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