Contrary to popular belief, baby octopuses are not larvae but rather a species of young, fully developed octopuses that do not grow much. Their meat is tasty, similar to lobster, and has a delicate, tender texture, which is why it is considered a delicacy. Baby octopus is a versatile seafood ingredient that works superbly in both hot and cold variations of recipes.
If you’ve always wanted to try octopus but were hesitant to experiment with this intimidating ingredient, these recipes will serve as a great start. These amazing baby octopus recipes are easy to make and will help you explore a whole new culinary world!
Featuring classic Mediterranean flavors, this simple grilled baby octopus recipe is the perfect appetizer or even a light meal. Make it by marinating baby octopus with fennel, chili, chorizo, parsley, garlic, and olive oil overnight and then grilling them until cooked through. Serve with lemon wedges for a stunning meal!
Make this quick and easy dish that tastes like it’s fresh out of a Greek restaurant. You just need to marinate some baby octopus with olive oil, lemon, and Italian seasoning for about 20 minutes. Broil until cooked through and then chop them up into small pieces. Serve with extra olive oil and lemon juice.
This chargrilled recipe is both delicious and easy to make. The baby octopus are marinated with tomatoes, thyme, lime and lemon zest, and oil, and then cooked over high heat. Pair with chargrilled red capsicum and rocket leaves. Drizzle some olive oil on top and serve with lime wedges for an extra tang.
If you love fried food, you must try this recipe! You will need to tenderize the baby octopus with kosher salt and milk to make them more succulent. Season the flour batter with some black pepper, cayenne, and oregano will pack a punch of flavor. Fried to golden-brown perfection, this tasty appetizer is best served with some lemon wedges.
These baby octopus taste amazing grilled on their own, but pair them with the Vietnamese nuoc cham dipping sauce and you take this simple dish to a whole new level! This sauce features fish sauce, garlic, mint, olive oil, lime zest, brown sugar, cilantro, shallots, and sambal oelek. The crunchy baby octopus paired with the sweet and spicy nuoc cham will blow your mind!
This protein-packed meal looks just as good as it tastes. The baby octopus, squid rings, and shrimp are all seasoned with cayenne pepper and garlic before grilling Served on a salad made with romaine hearts, baby red radishes, and a creamy Greek yogurt dressing, this seafood salad will elevate the appeal of your dinner spread like no other!
Don’t let the lengthy ingredient list deter you from trying this dish! One bite and you’ll know it’s well worth the extra work! The baby octopus are cooked with carrots, Korean zucchini, and lots of spices and seasonings. Once cooked, you can serve it with somyeon, sesame leaves, and toasted sesame seeds to enjoy a divine, ultra-satisfying meal.
Striking the perfect balance of sweet and spicy, this Korean octopus stir fry is insanely addictive! Korean red chili paste, minced garlic, grated ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce, and a few other spices are used to season the baby octopus and veggies to deliver a complex flavor profile. Add some rice cakes into the mix to make it more filling. Serve with beer or soju, and dig in!
This traditional Neapolitan seafood dish will soon be a popular favorite in your household. Make it by seasoning baby octopus with garlic, parsley, capers, white wine, black olives, tomatoes, and seasonings, then toss it with boiled pasta. Add a sprinkle of chopped parsley to give it a pop of color before serving.
This recipe will give you mouthwatering flavors in every bite! It calls for simmering baby octopus with rosemary sprigs, cloves, black peppercorns, and bay leaves. You then cut them into bite-sized pieces and marinate them with olive oil, seasonings, oregano, and balsamic vinegar for extra flavor. It keeps well in the fridge, so make a big batch to enjoy later.
This stew is pure perfection. To prepare this delicacy, you just have to sauté chopped-up baby octopus with fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, onion, olive oil, garlic, and garlic. Add some veggies, flavorings, and clams and simmer for a few more minutes. You can garnish it with parsley and serve it as-is or with some crusty bread to mop up the delicious stew!
12. Smoked Octopus
This simple recipe shows you how to make perfectly tender and succulent smoked octopus. The brine used to marinate the baby octopus infuses them with incredible flavor. Smoked for 1 to 1.5 hours, the octopus gets a wonderful texture and flavor. You can even smoke them for longer if you love a good char. Enjoy as-is or add it to a salad for a light dinner!
Chargrilled baby octopus paired with creamy hummus and crunchy fried chickpeas, this is a meal that’ll leave you wanting seconds and thirds! Season the baby octopus with your favorite spices and grill them until you get those char marks. Serve with homemade hummus and pan-fried golden chickpeas for a wonderful medley of flavors and textures!
Bring home some rustic Italian flavors with this bruschetta recipe. Grill whole baby octopus for about 10 minutes until it’s almost done and you get that slightly rubbery texture. Chop them up and toss them in the bruschetta mixture with tomatoes, basil, garlic, and some lemon juice. Assemble on toasted crostini with a drizzle of balsamic glaze, and serve!