Fried Octopus (Better Than It Sounds!)

The other day we were shopping at the major grocery store in the next town over.   Our spring CSA boxes hadn’t started arriving and our stocked pantry had dwindled down to a few jars of apricots, nectarines and tomatoes so we were picking up some essentials.   We rarely frequent big chains, preferring to keep our dollars in the local economy where possible.   Our son, that adventerous eater I told you about in my recent post on redefining kids’ menus, fell in love with the whole octopus sitting on ice at the fish counter.   At $12 / lb, it was a little out of our price range – especially a whole octopus, but I found some wild-caught frozen baby octopus for just $3.49 for two pounds and purchased that instead.   I explained that if he liked the less expensive octopus, we might invest in the whole octopus at some point.

Just a touch intimidated, I worked on this recipe for fried octopus and served it over greens with my favorite seafood accompaniment: preserved lemon and parsley tapenade.   While it doesn’t contain a lot of fat, it has a fantastic omega-3 to omega-6 ratio although that’s likely hindered through frying as in this recipe.   You can also serve octopus stir-fried, braised or sashimi-style.   And octopus earns a “Good” rating from the Seafood Watch Program.

And my wiley 3-year old who desperately wanted to try the whole octopus announced that this recipe is, of course, his favorite.

fried octopus (better than it sounds!)

By Jenny Published: June 2, 2009

    The other day we were shopping at the major grocery store in the next town over.   Our spring CSA boxes hadn't started arriving and …


    • 2 lbs Octopus Pieces
    • 1 Bay Leaf
    • 1 1/2 cups Masa Harina
    • 2 Pastured Eggs
    • 1/4 cup Fresh Milk
    • Unrefined Sea Salt (to Taste)
    • Ghee, Palm Oil or Coconut Oil (as needed)


    1. Boil octopus and bay leaf in water until cooked through and as tender as you can get it.
    2. Mix remaining ingredients together to form a batter.
    3. Heat ghee, palm or coconut oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
    4. Mix the octopus pieces into the batter until they’re fully coated.
    5. Add battered octopus to the oil and reduce heat.
    6. Fry octopus until golden brown, stirring and turning as needed.
    7. Serve with Preserved Lemon and Parsley Tapenade for some vitamin C and probiotic goodness.

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    What people are saying

    1. says

      Wow, Jenny. This sounds amazing. I have to admit a weakness for fried food, and I love octopus. I always have reservations about preparing seafood, but you are giving me courage with this one!

    2. Jenny says

      You guys should try it – it’s really tasty. My son was asking for it again! Love adventerous toddlers.

    3. Nicole says

      I have some duck fat I could use for frying. But would coconut oil be better?
      Could I re-use either of these fats after frying the octopus?


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