As I dip my toes into middle age, I’m surprised I feel so Zen about conforming to so many generalizations about aging. For example, I can now withstand the near boiling temperatures of onsen better than ever, even if it means coming out the color of a well-cooked cephalopod.
Luckily, my growing enthusiasm for dad jokes served as culinary inspiration in this case as well. Would like to tako (octopus) does as well after a long hot bath as I do?
Turns out long and slow is actually a fantastic way to cook octopus. Slow-cooked meat is common, but not with seafood, where speed is usually better. Fried quickly, calamari remains soft, but most seafood, especially squid, cuttlefish and octopus, becomes tough and chewy after cooking for an average time.
The problem with slow cooking is that not all of us have precision sous vide machines, but a solution presented itself to me when I bought a yogurt maker. In addition to its yogurt setting, it has a 60 degree Celsius setting for home-making. amazing (sweet sake with low alcohol content). Luckily, that’s exactly the temperature we need for a 24-hour cook that turns a tough octopus into tender tentacles, connective tissue, and skin. Depending on your rice cooker, the warming function may also work as long as it can reach between 60 and 65 degrees.
When slowly cooked, octopus is easy to slice and deliciously chewy to eat. This makes it a perfect addition to any number of recipes, including the ever popular takoyaki (octopus dumplings).
For a different take on tako, try using these as a taco filler with a Mexican version. sketches (grilled corn salad). In mine, the corn and cheese are thickened with a bit of popcorn for a sturdier center. If you can get masa (store-bought corn or wheat works just as well), I recommend making your own tortillas from scratch. Also feel free to add your own favorite taco toppings.
For 2 people (3 tacos each)
Preparation time: 1 day for sous vide plus 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
- 6 15 centimeters tortillas
- 250 grams octopus tentacle
- 50 milliliters Milk
- 15 milliliters rice bran oil
- 12 shishito peppers
- 250 grams corn kernels
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 30 grams green onions, chopped
- 4 oz goat cheese (or other soft cheese), crumbled
- 1 large lime, halved
- 10 grams popped, crumbled popcorn
- Hot sauce (optional)
1. The day before, place the octopus in an airtight freezer bag and add the milk. Be sure to squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing.
2. Fill your yogurt maker or rice cooker to the top with lukewarm water. Set to 60 or 65 celsius and submerge the airtight bag with your octopus. Let stand 24 hours.
3. Remove the octopus and pat it dry. Save the milk for later.
4. In a very hot skillet, sear the octopus until it browns, then let it rest.
5. To make the lamb’s lettuce, blister the outside of your shishito and lime, then set aside.
6. In the same skillet, add corn and garlic and sauté until golden.
7. Add half the milk to deglaze. Turn off the heat, then stir in the green onions.
8. Remove the pan from the heat, then add the cheese and crumbled popcorn with the juice of half a lime and mix lightly.
9. Heat your tortillas in a dry skillet (for softer tortillas, use a microwave) and top each with a large spoonful of lamb’s lettuce.
10. Thinly slice the octopus and arrange it on the corn salad, then season. Finer tentacles can be left whole.
11. Garnish with the shishito and finish with another squeeze of lime. Add hot sauce to taste.
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