Marinated Octopus Souvlaki

These marinated octopus skewers may also be grilled on an outdoor barbecue. Either way, leftover tentacles may be cut into one-inch chunks and preserved in a combination of extra-virgin olive oil and red-wine vinegar seasoned with 2 crushed garlic cloves.

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1 medium sized octopus, about 3 lbs

1/2 cup octopus broth
1/2 cup dry red wine
3 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tsp cracked black peppercorns
1 scant tbs dried marjoram

For Garnish
1 medium-sized firm, ripe tomato, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh flat-leaf parsley


  • Clean the octopus: Hold the octopus from the base of its head, just at the point where the tentacles begin, and cut off the sack-like head. Using a paring knife, cut out and discard the beak, which is a small, sharp little piece.

1.  Rinse the octopus and place it in a large sauce pan. Cover the pan and cook the octopus over very low heat for about 30-40 minutes, until it is al dente in texture and deep blackish-pink. It will have exuded its own liquid, which is delicious. Remove from heat.

2.  Remove the octopus from the pot and pour off the juice, reserving it. Cut the octopus into eight pieces, separating each of the tentacles, in other words.

3.  In a stainless steel bowl, combine half a cup of the octopus pan juices with the other ingredients in the marinade. Marinate the tentacles in this mixture for at least two hours, or overnight.

 Preheat the broiler.

4.  Take 8 thin skewers, and pass one through each of the tentacles along several parts. Each skewered tentacles will look a little like a snake.

5.  Place on a rack over a shallow pan and broil about four to six inches from the heat source. Brush with the marinade every few minutes, and turn once to grill on both sides. Total grilling time should be around 12-15 minutes.

6.  As the octopus is broiling, dice the tomatoes.

7.  Place the octopus skewers on a platter and fleck with the tomato and parsley. Serve hot.

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