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Bento Recipe: Garlic butter octopus


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Shrimp are delicious in garlic butter. So are escargot. Octopus too, as I found out!

What you need:

    1/2 pound of small or baby octopi, cleaned
    2 tbsp of butter
    1 tsp of minced garlic from a jar, or finely chopped cloves

Rinse the octopi and pat them dry with paper towels. Cut the heads off, then cut them into rings. You can cut the tentacle-y part into bite-sized pieces for easier eating too, but I like to keep this whole for maximum visual appeal (and to gross out my coworkers.) Melt the butter over medium low heat and add the garlic. When the garlic softens, mush it up with the back of a spoon. After a few minutes more, add some octopus and stir it around to coat it in the garlic butter. Likely you won't be able to cook all the octopus in one batch, but that's fine; you can do it in two shifts.

Anyway, if you're cooking the tentacle bit whole, first put it former-head-side-down and let it cook for a minute, then turn it over and continue cooking. If you've cut it up into bite-sized pieces, just stir-fry those. In both cases, watch as the tentacles writhe and curl all by themselves. When the flesh changes color and becomes firm it's done, so take it out of the pan. Don't overcook it or it will become rubbery! (Octopus is chewy anyway, but your teeth will bounce off overcooked octopus.)

You can also cook periwinkles - the mollusc, not the flower - this way. Or, come to think of it, anything that you want to drown in garlic butter.