Life & Style Weekend - - TASTE -

WEEK­END COOK WORDS: MAG­GIE COOPER ....................... Oc­to­pus can be a lit­tle con­fronting for some peo­ple, for var­i­ous rea­sons – and the flavour is rarely blamed (prob­a­bly be­cause it’s de­li­cious). I have a cou­ple of friends who will eat big oc­to­pus tentacles but not whole baby oc­cies, and vice versa. Nei­ther group can ex­plain the rea­son. And for the record, what is sold as baby oc­to­pus is ac­tu­ally a va­ri­ety that only grows to a small size. I like both, although I pre­fer the lit­tlies, which I’ve used in to­day’s recipe. Which­ever you pre­fer, if you al­low it to sit in this spicy Korean-style mari­nade for a cou­ple of hours, you’ll end up with a ten­der, tasty treat. Toss it on a hot bar­be­cue for a few min­utes and you’re on a win­ner. If you aren’t a fan of chilli heat, omit the paste and flakes (or re­duce the amount) and use just the gin­ger and gar­lic for flavour.


750g baby oc­to­pus (about 16) 1 tbsp Korean chilli paste 1⁄2 tsp dried chilli flakes 1 tbsp soy sauce 1 tbsp rice wine or mirin 2 tbsp sugar 1 clove gar­lic, peeled and crushed 1 small knob fresh gin­ger, grated 1⁄2 tsp sesame oil Fresh cu­cum­ber slices and red chill­ies, for gar­nish


Clean oc­to­pus if not al­ready done, mak­ing sure you re­move the small beak. Com­bine all in­gre­di­ents ex­cept the gar­nish in a glass or ce­ramic bowl, cover and re­frig­er­ate for at least an hour. While oc­to­pus is mar­i­nat­ing, soak three or four thick bam­boo skew­ers in wa­ter. Pre­heat bar­be­cue to high heat. Re­move oc­to­pus from mari­nade and al­low to drain. Thread on to skew­ers and cook over high heat for about 3–4 min­utes per side or un­til cooked through. Gar­nish with cu­cum­ber and fresh chill­ies and serve im­me­di­ately.

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