Octopus Bacon

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Original poster
May 21, 2006
Highlands Ranch, Colorado
I really like smoked oyster and clams. I first had octopus in DC where they fry baby octopus with calamari as an appetizer. Our local King Soopers used to sell the baby octopus as Teriaki Octopus, which was really tasty. We have a local Korean market that sells octopus and I've tried some of their Korean style barbecue that was excellent (couldn't get my wife to believe that though.)

I saw a reference to Octopus Bacon in Nico's Food Adventures, a food blog written by a Chilean grad student in Vancouver writing his thesis on Vancouver restaurants serving sustainable seafood. It looked interesting and I found the following recipe using a Google search.

Octopus Bacon
Serves 12

12 pounds octopus, washed well
8 ounces course kosher salt
4 ounces sugar
32 ounces water
2 pounds course pickling salt for washing the meat

Using 1/3 of the pickling salt as an abrasive, scrub the octopus to remove the protective outer membrane. Rinse. Repeat this step three times using the rest of the pickling salt. Rinse well then place in a non-reactive container and cover with the salt, sugar and water mixture. Brine for 14-18 hours. Rinse. In a warm smoker, using maple chips, treat octopus for about two hours. When the meat is smoked, place in a large pot and cover with canola oil. Cook slowly, as you would for confit, for about 1 ½ to 2 hours, depending on the size of the octopus. Let the meat cool in the oil. When cold enough to handle, drain off the oil. Wearing rubber gloves, remove the suction cups from the tentacles, by running your closed hand down the arm from the head to the tips. The octopus is done when the suction cups can be easily removed from the flesh. Cut the arms into 6 to 8 inch lengths and then slice rashers of “bacon†from these tubes.
I'm intrigued by this. Have you tried making this bacon and if you have I'd be interested in your thoughts about it. When I seen this post I did give it a "One eyebrow raise" :) The wife and I are very adverturous when it comes to food .. there are many ethnic restraunts here.. Korean, Japan, Indian, soul, Buddhist, Italian and the list goes on .. and it's all within walking distance from our home.

I just ran across the idea of smoking octopus last night and found the recipe. Octopus is one of those things that it is best I make it when my wfe is at work. Her olifactory capabilities are equal to the German shepard we had when we first got married and she doesn't like the smell of seafood cooking. She also doesn't like the look of octopus. I'm thinking a nice fall day would be perfect for making octopus bacon.
I spent several months in Japan courtesy of Uncle Sam and used to buy little packages of Smoked Octopus at the store. They were packaged like potato chips or beef jerkey are around here. They tasted good other than being kind of chewy. They also had some little small fish that were fried whole and looked like minnows. Being the curteous Americans as always :roll: , my buddies and I used to order them from the clerk as "a package of that fried fish bait".
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