Skip to main content

Soy and Sake-Braised Whole Octopus for #FishFridayFoodies

Remember that we kicked off Fish Friday Foodies this year. It's a group of seafood-loving bloggers, coordinated by Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm. We share fish and seafood recipes on the third Friday of the month. 

This month, I am hosting. Here was my challenge to the group: "I invite you to get adventurous and cook a whole fish - tip to tail - or other seafood in its initial form, e.g., whole urchins or whole shellfish with heads and tails attached."

The Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf and I have cleaned and cooked whole sea urchin. I've cooked whole fish before. Multiple times. Here's a Whole Roasted Bream with a Ginger-Tamarind Sauce and Citrus-Roasted Vermillion Snapper. My Adobong Pusit (squid adobo) uses whole squid; I've marinated and grilled baby octopus.

I love this photo of R because it encapsulates my entire philosophy of feeding my kids: eat adventurously!

But, before this month, I myself have never cooked a whole big octopus. I've cooked baby octopus multiple times; when I was in college, one of my philosophy TAs invited us over to his house for a BBQ and he grilled one big octopus! But, as I wrote, I've never done it myself. And, for this post, I ended up cooking two!

The boys liked the texture of my first attempt, but the didn't like the flavors. I had used wine and whiskey and it was a little too potent for them. So, I cooked a re-do. And this one was a hit!

  • 1/2 C olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 onions, peeled and quartered
  • 3/4 C soy sauce (I used a gluten-free tamari)
  • 1 C sake (I used an unfiltered sake)
  • 1 C fish stock
  • 4 fresh bay leaves
  • 8 to 10 stems of fresh parsley
  • 8 to 10 stems of fresh cilantro
  • 1 cleaned octopus, between 1 to 2 pounds

In a large pot - I used a Dutch oven - heat 1/4 C olive oil. Add the half of the garlic and onions and cook for a few minutes until softened and aromatic.Add in the remaining garlic and onions. Pour in the soy sauce, sake, and fish stock. Lay the bay leaves and herbs on top. Bring that to a boil.

Gently lower the octopus into the pot.

Nestle the octopus into the liquid. Bring the liquid back to a boil.

Cover and lower heat to a simmer. Let the octopus braise for 4 to 5 hours. The longer you let it cook, the more tender it will be.

Remove the octopus from the pot and let cool slightly. Slice the octopus into 1" chunks. Set aside.

Bring the sauce to a rolling boil and reduce until the sauce has a syrupy consistency. Roll the octopus in the reduced sauce before serving. I served the octopus with a side of brown rice and grilled baby bok choy.

Here's what the Fish Friday Foodies created...

Join Us...
Would you like to join Fish Friday Foodies?  We post and share new seafood/fish recipes on the third Friday of the month.  To join our group please email Wendy at Visit our Pinterest page for more wonderful fish and seafood recipe ideas.


  1. How lovely Camilla! Your daring choice of Whole Octopus wins FIRST PRIZE in this month's event! Love it and especially love the 'Eat Adventurously' approach with your kids. Your son seems to enjoy the octopus :)! Thank you for choosing this theme.

  2. Thanks so much for hosting this month Cam. Here in Michigan the only thing whole octopus is used for is throwing on the ice before a RedWings game LOL>

    1. That's a waste of a perfectly good whole octopus!

  3. I think I need to finally cook octopus too - I have cooked so many things it's bout time and I love the flavor and my eldest loved it when we were in Greece too. This looks delicious!

  4. I don't know if I could cook a whole octopus, but I do love Calamari, so maybe? I love your approach to kids eating adventurously, that is the only way to go.

  5. Sounds delicious! I haven't had braised octopus but love squid. I did see some sushi grade octopus tentacles recently that were beautiful but way more than I could use. Sometimes they have the octopus available- I'll keep this recipe in mind!

    1. That's great, Sue. Yes, definitely give this a try if you have a chance.

  6. This is so incredible. I've always wanted to try this but have been intimidated! Love it! Thanks for hosting and getting me to flex some new cooking muscles.

  7. Geezus!!! You are a brave woman! I don't think I could handle an octopus…EVER! The sauce sounds amazing though. Do you think this recipe would work with squid?

    1. I DO think it would work with squid! Give it a try.

  8. The amazing color that it got from braising is beautiful to behold! I will try this! P~

  9. Never had octopus. Seeing your children enjoying it, feel I should try eating.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Jamaican Stew Peas #EattheWorld

  Here we are at November #EattheWorld event. What a year this has been! This challenge has been one that gave us some excuse for virtual travel as we've been sheltered-in-place with the coronavirus epidemic for most of 2020. So, we've been able to read about different parts of the world and create a dinner, or at least a dish, with that cuisine. This Eat the World project is spearheaded by Evelyne of  CulturEatz . Read more about  her challenge . This month, Evelyne had us heading to somewhere tropical: Jamaica. I have actually been to Jamaica, but it was almost thirty years ago...and it was just a jumping off point for the rest of our Caribbean exploration. I don't remember eating anything at all! Pandemonium Noshery: Pumpkin Rice   Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Jamaican Stew Peas  Amy’s Cooking Adventures: Jamaican Chicken & Pumpkin Soup   Palatable Pastime: Jamaican Jerk Chicken Burger   Sneha’s Recipe: Jamaican Saucy Jerk Chicken Wings With Homemade Jerk Seas

Lamskoteletten op zijn oud-Hollands for #TheBookClubCookbookCC

Here we are at April's #thebookclubcookbookCC event. It's hard to believe that we only have three more months in this year-long journey to explore - and cook from -  The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors  by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp.* Judy, Vicki, and their publisher,  Tarcher-Penguin ,  have provided the hosting bloggers with copies of the book plus copies to giveaway each month of the project. Woohoo. Incredibly generous. This month Sarah at  Things I Make (for Dinner)  has selected  Girl With a Pearl Earring  by Tracy Chevalier.** Click to read  Sarah's invitation . She shared the recipe for Griet's Vegetable Soup, but invited us to find inspiration in any of the pages. On the Page... While the boys were playing around the lake during our week in Tahoe earlier in the month, I stayed by the fire and finished this book in one sitting. Loved it. photo by R

Pistachio Dukkah for #HandCraftedEdibles

In an effort to make all of my holiday gifts this year, we are sharing recipes for hand-crafted edibles. Over the course of twelve weeks, we'll be sharing recipes that you can make at home to give to friends and loved ones, or things to serve at holiday parties. We hope you'll follow along for inspiration. You can find out more information, including the schedule:  here . This week, we are "going nuts" and sharing all sorts of recipes with nuts. Think spiced nuts or nutty fruit cake or whatever floats your nutty boat! Here's what we're posting this week... Amy's Cooking Adventures  shared her Salted Chocolate Cashew Butter Cookaholic Wife  cooked up Slow Cooker Cinnamon Almonds Making Miracles  made Honey Roasted Almonds Christmas Tree Lane  posted Crockpot Spiced Nuts A Day in the Life on the Farm  wrote about the Easiest Nut Brittle in the World Sew You Think You Can Cook  prepared Orange Rosemary Roasted Almonds Culinary Adventur