Octopus,bacon & foraged greens.

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Master of the Pit
Original poster
OTBS Member
Jul 26, 2011
Sydney &Greenwell Point Australia
Haven't posted much because I have been away from Sydney until the last week.

I am making dinner to take to girlfriends house tonight,so it has to be a reheat job there.

So I ran down to the big fish market ,its summer the fish selection is way broader.

So is it going to be barramundi?

Bit tricky to do a whole fish.

So that rules out Leah's favourite as well,Cobia.

And this guy

 And these guys

 So its octopus,

I have made this before,I use my own bacon,leeks,garlic,lemon,white wine& fennel. . 

Fennel is out of season but the wild version is in good supply.It grows up near the railway line.All stalk,tall,yellow flower.I will get through the hole in the fence & get some nice young fronds from the top of the plant. The old timers put fronds inside baked fish,or in a pasta sauce with sardines. The dry stalks go on top of charcoal fired BBQ.A green branch wound into a circle will hold your olives under the brine . 

I love all that sort of old school foraged seasonal wild stuff.

I had to go down a size in the O'pus ,that one in photo was 4kg!

I will get cooking soon. Got to go out to get wild fennel.
Fennel is one of my favorite vegetables. I use it instead of celery in almost any dish that calls for celery (except when making stock), and it is also great sliced paper thin and tossed with bitter greens in a salad. Bacon, leeks, garlic, lemon, white wine, fennel....I love the sound of all of those together. I don't have any experience cooking with octopus, but I'm really looking forward to seeing how your finished dish comes together!

Dang, but you've got a great looking fish market! I'd do more fish cookery if I had access to a market like yours!

Have a great night!
It is a great market & its 10 minutes but safely out of smell range.

There were Asian tour groups there today. 

There are oysters opened to order,cold seafood & lots of fried stuff if you want to eat right there.I can't believe the size of the plates some of these little Asian guys carry to their tables let alone eat
.Good for them,must be cheap compared to home.

Summer means warmer currents so there is cobia,big mackerel,kingfish,as well as the more regular fish.

I love fennel,my favourite veg. But its out of season. The wild fennel fronds will give me that anise flavour.

Last night we ate at a greek restaurant,they did a great dish of twice cooked octopus on white beans & greens.Boil O first then char grill it  to order,white beans etc made separate I assume. It was a combination of really clean flavours,lemon ,garlic,olive oil,oregano,simple food done really well.
Sounds like ya will be eating good, post some pics. Can't wait to see them and good luck. WHB
OK I had 2 x O'PUS about 1 kg each.2 leeks ,2 onions ,a bit of homemade speck(cooking bacon),garlic,fennel fronds.

I cut bacon into biggish cubes. Fried that in EVO. Took that out put onions ,leeks & garlic in.Fried until soft,good pinch black pepper ,no salt.

Took that out,put O in cut in 3,chucked in bacon skin for good measure. Let all that colour up.

When it had enough colour,

I put everything back in + chopped fennel tops.

Then added some chicken stock,because I had it,& couple of glasses of dry  white wine.I will simmer that for an hour.

Then cool it off enough to transport it the 40 minutes to girlfriends.

I made this dish up ,its got a bit of a mediteranean feel. That French mussels ,leeks,white wine dish.I just like the O & bacon combination,frying it in the bacon drippings hard to beat.
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Looking nice, very nice... As far as the bacon drippings go, I would probably eat my own foot if it were cooked in bacon drippings. :laugh1: WHB
Looking nice, very nice... As far as the bacon drippings go, I would probably eat my own foot if it were cooked in bacon drippings.
All vegetables are improved by bacon drippings

This dish has juice of 2 x lemons as well.White wine is out of a box by De Bortoli,they  were wine pioneers down where I grew up.

I will try to get plate shot from iPad tonight. It smells brilliant,I left the bacon skin in the pot .Old school ,cholesterol police won't approve but its about flavour. Nice silky mouth feel to the sauce.
That's it plated ,really nice meal. Really clean flavours,wouldn't change a thing. Left salt out of everything because O throws a bit f salt when you cook it.
It had that anise touch from the wild fennel,lovely smokey flavour from the bacon,sweetness from the leeks.
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I love the plated shots, and what is that on the side? Sauteed bok choy? There is nothing like some sauteed greens to cut the richness of a meal.

I noticed 3 plates in your picture. Exactly how many girlfriends do you have, Mick?? LOL :thumbsup:

Thanks for a beautiful post! Have a great day!
Nice job on the O. The fish market looks great. I'll be in Sydney CBD in about 2 weeks, on holiday, and it looks like a great place to visit and have lunch. Could you give me an address/direction to it? Much appreciated! Thanks for the beautiful post. 
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The easy way is to just catch the light rail from Chinatown south end of the city straight to the market,about $4 max. It's just on the western edge of the city about ten minutes.
Chinatown is really good place for lunch as well.
Just my 2 cents of course but the fried stuff at the markets is nothing special .Great oysters,cooked prawns,cooked crayfish,grilled fish.A lot of the fried stuff is imported from Asia..It's the wholesale market for Sydney as well as retail.
Anywhere near the harbour you pay for the view.Yes the Opera House is a must but its expensive to eat at that end of town.
If it was me I would catch the ferry to Manly it goes right across the harbour costs $6 I think.You get a great view Manly is the classic Sydney beach,lovely stroll along the beachfront ,great feel on a weekday. Trip is about 25 minutes each way,sit out on the deck in the sun.
Our dollar is now 88 cents US so you will get value but be warned this is not a cheap city.
If you need any more information let me know.
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Mick - Oh my God, this is so magnificent and beautiful!!! Where do I begin?????

First off - fantastic finished meal, photos, and all! WON-DER-FUL!!!!!! You are a Master, Sensei and food Guru and to the nth degree! BEAUTIFUL!!!

Now your Greek meal out and about sounded tremendous as well! Your fish market has such a come hither allure to me that a trip down under is mighty tempting - if even for the fish and fantastic kangaroo abundance!!!! AMAZING!!!

But your doings, step by step, were just so lovely to see - colors, flavors, textures all jumping off the screen! I LOVED THIS!!! Just LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT!!!!

I imagine your dinner guests were just beyond thrilled!!!!

How very incredible to log on this morning and see such!!!

Cheers to you - great Chef!!!!! - Leah
My friend,

You are so fortunate to have such a spectacular fish market close by.

Octopus. Always a good choice.  And you did the perp on the fly? Outstanding. 

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