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Catching, cleaning and cooking an OCTOPUS

“Are you ready to learn the art of catching, cleaning, and cooking an octopus? In this captivating video by Spearfishing Life, you’ll discover the tricks behind making the octopus fully tender without the need to repeatedly smack it against rocks. Octopuses are fascinating creatures, and the diver in this video has great respect for them. He shares his experience of releasing every single octopus he found in the past year, but when he came across a large one, he couldn’t resist catching it with his bare hands. Join him on this adventure as he teaches you the best method to prepare a tender octopus and shares his thoughts on catching these incredible creatures. Respect for the sea is key, so let’s dive right in and explore the wonders of catching and cooking an octopus!”

“Let’s travel to the Chalkida area, near Athens, and embark on a fishing journey like no other. Imagine being on a remote island, surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of nature. In this Spearfishing Life video, you’ll hear about the excitement and challenges faced by the diver as he explores the underwater world in search of fish. After many dives without spotting any fish, the sea surprises him with a record-sized Bluefish. However, a slight mishap causes the fish to escape. Despite this setback, his determination never wavers. Back home, he reflects on his recent dives and discovers that the only thing he managed to find was an octopus. Stay tuned as he shares his octopus recipe, revealing some unique tips and techniques to make it the most tender and flavorful dish you’ve ever tasted. Get ready to savor the fruits of the sea and embark on an unforgettable culinary adventure!”

Catching, cleaning and cooking an OCTOPUS

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Catching an Octopus

Catching an octopus using bare hands can be an exhilarating experience. The key is to be patient and observe the octopus’s behavior before making your move. Octopuses are highly intelligent creatures and can quickly escape if they sense danger. It’s important to approach them slowly and carefully.

Once you have located an octopus, gently reach out your hand and slowly move it towards the octopus. Be mindful of its body language – if the octopus starts to recoil or tense up, it may be a sign that it is about to retreat. In that case, you should stop your approach and give the octopus space. However, if the octopus remains calm, you can inch closer and carefully wrap your hand around its body.

It’s worth noting that some areas have regulations or restrictions when it comes to catching octopuses. It’s important to be aware of these rules and make sure you are acting within the bounds of the law. Respecting the environment and its inhabitants is crucial for maintaining the delicate balance of marine ecosystems.

Proper preparation is also essential when catching an octopus. Make sure you have a suitable container or bag to hold the octopus once caught. It’s also a good idea to have a knife or scissors on hand for cleaning the octopus later.

Cleaning an Octopus

Cleaning an octopus properly is crucial for ensuring a delicious final dish. The first step is to wash the octopus thoroughly under cold running water. This helps remove any residual sand or debris that may be clinging to its body. Pay extra attention to the suckers and tentacles, as these areas tend to accumulate sand.

While cleaning the suckers, it is important to remove any sand or foreign particles that may be trapped inside. Gently squeeze each sucker, and if you notice any grittiness, use your fingers or a small brush to remove the sand. This step is crucial, as consuming sandy octopus can ruin the dining experience.

Leaving the beak on during the cleaning process is recommended. The beak is the hard, parrot-like mouthpart of the octopus, and removing it can be quite challenging. By leaving the beak intact, you avoid the risk of damaging the delicate flesh while trying to extract it. However, be cautious when handling the beak, as it can be sharp.

Preserving moisture and flavor is another important aspect of cleaning an octopus. After washing, pat the octopus dry with a paper towel to remove excess water. Keeping moisture in the octopus helps prevent it from drying out during cooking, resulting in a more tender and flavorful dish.

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Cooking an Octopus

Choosing the right pot for cooking octopus is essential. Opt for a large pot with a lid, as the octopus will release its natural juices during the cooking process and the lid will help retain moisture. Avoid using a pot that is too small, as overcrowding can lead to uneven cooking.

When placing the octopus in the pot, it’s important to arrange the tentacles in a way that prevents them from touching the bottom directly. This is because the tentacles can easily burn if they come into direct contact with the heat source. You can achieve this by coiling the tentacles or using a trivet at the bottom of the pot.

To enhance the flavor of the octopus, consider adding a splash of wine and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar to the pot. The wine helps tenderize the octopus while adding a subtle acidity, and the balsamic vinegar brings a touch of sweetness and complexity to the dish. Be sure to use a dry white wine and a high-quality balsamic vinegar for the best results.

Cook the octopus over low heat, allowing it to simmer gently. Cooking time will vary depending on the size of the octopus, but a general rule of thumb is to cook it for approximately 1 hour per kilogram. The octopus should become tender and easily pierced with a fork.

To preserve the cooking juices and flavors, it’s recommended to let the octopus cool down in its own liquid before cutting and serving. This helps maintain the moisture and ensures that each bite is succulent and full of flavor.

Cutting and Serving

Before cutting the octopus, it’s important to test its tenderness. A simple technique involves using a spoon to press against the flesh. If the spoon easily goes through the flesh without resistance, the octopus is tender and ready to be cut. If there is resistance, continue simmering the octopus until it reaches the desired tenderness.

When cutting the octopus, pay attention to its melting texture. Octopus flesh should be soft and delicate, easily yielding to the knife. The tentacles can be cut into bite-sized pieces or left whole, depending on your preference. Remember to slice against the grain for a more tender eating experience.

One distinctive feature of octopus is its visible muscles. These muscular fibers run along the length of each tentacle and are responsible for the chewiness of the octopus. By cutting across these fibers, you can achieve a more tender texture in each bite. It’s also an opportunity to appreciate the intricate patterns that nature has created.

To add additional flavors to the octopus, consider sautéing onions, drizzling honey, or sprinkling sesame seeds on top. These ingredients complement the natural flavors of the octopus and add depth to the dish. Experiment with different seasonings and toppings to discover your preferred combination.

Catching, cleaning and cooking an OCTOPUS

Respect for Octopus

When it comes to octopuses, there is an ongoing debate between releasing them back into the wild or catching them for consumption. Each perspective has its merits, and it ultimately comes down to personal choices and beliefs.

Releasing an octopus back into the wild allows it to continue its natural life cycle and contribute to the ecosystem. By letting it go, you are promoting the conservation of the species and respecting its role in the environment. Observing and appreciating an octopus in its natural habitat can be a rewarding experience on its own.

On the other hand, catching an octopus for consumption can provide a unique culinary adventure and a chance to connect with nature through food. It allows you to experience the flavors, textures, and traditions associated with octopus cuisine. When done responsibly and sustainably, enjoying octopus as part of our diet can be a celebration of marine biodiversity and a nod to the interconnectedness of our world.

Regardless of whether you release or catch an octopus, it’s important to approach these creatures with respect and consideration. Octopuses are sentient beings that deserve our admiration and protection. Being mindful of our actions and promoting responsible fishing practices can help ensure a healthy and balanced marine ecosystem for future generations.


Catching, cleaning, cooking, and serving an octopus is a labor of love that requires patience, skill, and respect. By following proper techniques and taking the time to prepare the octopus correctly, you can achieve a tender and flavorful dish that highlights the unique qualities of this ocean-dwelling creature.

The process of catching an octopus by hand provides an exciting connection to nature and a deeper appreciation for the ingredients we consume. Properly cleaning the octopus ensures a clean and sand-free experience, while leaving the beak on avoids damaging the tender flesh during cleaning.

Cooking the octopus in the right pot, arranging the tentacles properly to prevent burning, and adding wine and balsamic vinegar enhance the flavors and tenderness. Cutting the octopus with care, testing tenderness with a spoon, and adding additional flavors with onions, honey, or sesame seeds brings the dish to new heights.

Regardless of whether you choose to release or catch an octopus, it’s important to approach these creatures with respect and consider their impact on the environment. Balancing our seafood consumption with environmental sustainability is vital for the preservation of marine ecosystems. By appreciating and enjoying octopus in a responsible manner, we can savor the culinary delights it offers while promoting a healthy and balanced world.

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