Spicy Octopus
with
Garlic Pineapple Sauce

This spicy octopus recipe is a fusion of Asian and South African cuisine that makes me come for more. Although Octopus and squid are looking similar and are actually

related they are not prepared the same way. In the western world as well as in South Africa squid are mostly enjoyed as calamari rings, that are usually covered with a batter and then deep fried for just a few minutes in hot oil.

However if the same method of preparation would be applied to octopus we would end up with very tough and rubbery pieces of meat which would greatly reduce the joy in the meal. But it is actually quite easy to make this octopus recipe an outstanding tasty affair. It just takes a little longer than preparing squid.



Preparation time: 20 minutes 
---------
Cooking time: at least 70 minutes
---------
Resting time: 0 minutes
----------
Total time needed: at least 1 H 30 minutes
----------
Grade of Difficulty: standard


Ingredients
for
Spicy octopus with Garlic Pineapple Sauce

  • 2 tbs. red palm oil or oil of your choice
  • 500 gram / 1.1 lbs fresh octopus, hard parts of the head and ink sack removed, tentacles cut into 5cm / 2 inch pieces and excess liquid dripped off
  • 1/2 cup of 1.25 cm / 1/2 inch fresh pineapple cubes
  • 10 cloves of garlic (optional - use less to suit your taste)
  • 1 medium sized tomato, diced
  • 1 5cm / 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup of fresh parsley leaves, chopped
  • 3 peri-peri chillies (African bird's eye) chopped fine
  • 1 medium sized onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup of water (optional)
  • 1 cup of fresh spinach or chard leaves, roughly chopped 
  • 1/4 cup of freshly chopped chives
  • 1 tbs. terryaki sauce
  • 1 tsp. fish sauce
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste 



Directions

  • Add oil to a large frying pan and switch stove onto medium hot heat
  • Add onion, garlic, ginger and chillies to pan, cover with lid and braise for about 5 minutes or till the onions have become soft and translucent, stirring the contents of the pan twice. 
  • Add octopus, cover with lid and braise it for about 3 minutes
  • Add pineapple, tomato, salt, pepper, cumin powder, teriyaki sauce and fish sauce, mix all ingredients, cover with lid and once the sauce is beginning to boil, reduce the heat to small and let the octopus gently simmer for 15 minutes
  • The octopus, tomato and onion should have released quite a bit of liquid into the sauce, however if you feel there is not enough sauce add a little water to it, stir, cover with lid and gently simmer the contents of the pan for another 25 minutes
  • Remove the lid, increase heat slightly till sauce begins to simmer again and gently cook the octopus for another 15 minutes with an open lid to reduce some of the liquids
  • Add spinach and parsley, cover with lid, reduce the heat to low again and simmer all for another 5 minutes

Switch of the stove, take of the heat and serve spicy octopus hot either with rice or pasta of your choice





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