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
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!
What Does Octopus Taste Like?
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!
What Does Octopus Taste Like When Fried?
Frying an octopus is one of the best ways of cooking an octopus. Octopus develops a slightly sweet taste when it is fried, the same as it does when it’s roasted. It develops a sweet aftertaste in your mouth once you eat it and is super juicy. Fried octopus also soaks up the flavors of the ingredients it is cooked with.
What Does Octopus Taste Like When Grilled?
Grilled octopus has an overall smoky flavor. It has a certain meatiness to it, similar to that of pork, chicken or lobster. Nicely grilled octopus is succulent and tender, along with having a crispy outer covering. Octopus meat, when grilled, is comforting to chew on. It takes in the flavor of the ingredients its cooked with or the ingredients its seasoned with.
What Does Octopus Taste Like When Boiled?
Boiled octopus has a bland taste to it. It might taste mildly sweet, else it’s completely bland as its simply boiled in water. Boiled octopus is chewy and it feels like you’re chewing and eating rubber. To make your boiled octopus taste more flavorful, you can add different spices and ingredients to elevate its overall taste.
Does Octopus Taste Fishy?
People have this common misconception that seafood has a fishy taste to it. While that might be true in most of the cases, it definitely isn’t true in the case of octopus meat!
Octopus meat doesn’t taste fishy. It generally has an overall bland taste and hardly has a hint of that fishy flavor found in most seafood. Although octopus has a mild sea flavor, it doesn’t necessarily taste fishy or even smell fishy.
If you want to know if the octopus you’re buying is fresh or not, smell it. Stale octopus meat has a strong fishy smell to it while fresh octopus smells like saltwater.
What Does Octopus Taste Similar To?
Octopus tastes similar to lobster meat. Not only taste but octopus is similar to lobster meat in texture as well. Octopus also tastes incredibly similar to squid. To further describe its flavor and taste, one can even say that octopus tastes like pork and chicken. All in all, octopus is a versatile kind of meat which you can use in different recipes and cook up delicious meals.
Does Octopus Taste Like Chicken?
Octopus tastes like chicken or more specifically, cooked octopus tastes like chicken. When octopus meat is cooked, it becomes tender and moist. It stays juicy like chicken does and you can cook it using the same recipes as the ones you use for cooking chicken.
Octopus Vs Squid | Do They Taste The Same?
Octopus and squid are similar to each other in taste. While octopus meat is hearty and rich in taste, squid is more of a tough meat. When cooked, squid becomes smooth and chewy. Although it tastes mild on its own, octopus lies more on the sweeter side of flavors. Whereas, squid has a unique taste and tastes a bit like shrimp but is similar to octopus due to its mildly sweet taste.
What Does Octopus Ink Taste Like?
Octopus ink tastes a bit like squid. The overall taste of octopus ink can be described as briny and salty. The aftertaste of octopus ink is also quite salty. It might even taste metallic to some. Octopus ink is used in various delicacies and is often used as a coloring agent in most recipes.
What Does Octopus Head Taste Like?
Octopus head is quite a delicious portion of meat when cooked properly. For the best taste, make sure that the octopus head is properly cleaned. Octopus head is tougher in texture as compared to octopus tentacles. You can also serve the octopus head as a whole, you just need to properly cook it first.
What Do Octopus Eggs Taste Like?
Octopus eggs are not only edible but they’re tasty as well. It is rich in flavor and has a creamy, smooth texture to it. Most people compare its taste to that of salmon roe. It doesn’t have any similarity of taste with octopus meat and is super delicious on its own.
How To Pick The Right 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!
How To Preserve Octopus Properly?
There are various ways using which you can store octopus meat for a certain period of time. These methods include refrigerating octopus meat and freezing octopus meat. Both of these methods are explained below. Take a look!
- Refrigerating Octopus Meat – To refrigerate octopus meat, you need to first place it in an airtight container. Make sure the lid of the container is properly closed and then refrigerate it. You can refrigerate octopus meat for a maximum for 3 days.
- Freezing Octopus Meat – One of the best methods of storing octopus meat is by freezing it. Before you freeze it, boil and cool down the octopus meat. Put the octopus in an airtight container and then freeze it. You can freeze the octopus meat for a maximum of 2 months. Also, repeated freezing of octopus meat should be avoided.
4 Different Types Of Octopus And Their Different Taste
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:-
- Chilean Octopus
- Spanish Octopus
- African Octopus
- 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 To Cook 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!
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.
How To Enjoy Your Octopus?
Since octopus is mild in flavor on its own, it’s not the best choice to serve it all on its own. The best way to enjoy an octopus is by pairing it up with different sauces, ingredients and garnishes. Incorporating it in various recipes will elevate the taste of octopus meat to a whole other level.
You can use octopus meat in salads and stews. You can also serve it with ginger and cucumbers, after cooking it in soy sauce and vinegar. Octopus meat can also taste incredibly delicious if you dip it in some sesame oil and top it off with some red pepper and garlic. You can find various recipes featuring octopus meat as the main ingredient.
No matter what, you can always put your own twist while cooking with octopus meat. The best way of enjoying octopus meat, however, fully depends on your own preferences and flavor choices.
Nutritional Content Of 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.
|Vitamin B12||35.8 micrograms|
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.