Citizen Kitchen

“This recipe is for the more adventurous foodie willing to tackle the prep and cooking of octopus!” – Chef Zach Geerson

Yield:  4 portions


For the Octopus

  • 1 ea. Octopus, Head on Beak removed (about 1 ½ – 2 pounds)
  • 1 ea. Yellow onions, peeled and cut in half
  • 2 ea. Dried Bay Leaves
  • As Needed Kosher Salt (If you have sea salt, that would be really nice)
  • Enough water to cover octopus in a large stock pot

For the “Mole Negro”

(this recipe makes extra that you can freeze and use later in tacos or for enchiladas or on a steak)

  • 1835 g. Water
  • 100 g. Pumpkin seeds
  • 7 ea. Whole cloves
  • 4 ea. Dried bay leaves
  • 20 g. Black Sesame Seeds
  • 50 g. White Sesame Seeds
  • 5g. Whole Black Peppercorns
  • 6 g. Whole White Peppercorn
  • 30 g. Whole mustard seeds
  • 7 g. Fennel Seeds
  • 30 g. Dried Mexican Oregano
  • 8 g. Red Pepper Flakes
  • 6 g. Allspice
  • 15 g. Caraway Seeds
  • 1 ea. Star Anise
  • 50 g. Smoked Paprika
  • 1 g. Ground Nutmeg
  • 50 g. Ground Cumin
  • 5 g. Ground Cinnamon
  • 15 g. Coriander Seeds
  • 100 g. Raisins
  • 100 g. Cocoa Powder (we use Ghiradelli)
  • 3 ea. 5” Corn Tortillas, Burnt on a grill
  • 4 Tbsp. Squid Ink

For the Tomato-Corn Relish and Garnishes

  • 1 ea. Small Shallot, Sliced thin
  • ½ ea. Garlic Clove, Sliced thin
  • ½ bu. Parsley, chopped fine
  • 1 ea. Corn cut from one Cob
  • 16 ea. Grape tomatoes, cut in half top to bottom
  • ½  ea. Lemon juice, fresh squeezed.
  • To Taste Kosher Salt
  • 16 ea. Cilantro Leaves, for garnishing
  • As Needed Extra-Virgin Olive Oil


To Cook the Octopus

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil with the onion and bay leaves and a handful of salt.
  2. Using tongs to hold the octopus, dip the octopus in the boiling water for 20 seconds and then take it out of the water for 20 seconds. Repeat this step three times. (This “blanching” is how you get the octopus tentacles to curl up really nice and even).
  3. After blanching the octopus, place the octopus completely in the boiling water and turn the heat down to a medium-low.
  4. Cook the octopus for about 1 ½ – 2 Hours, or until tender. (You can test the tenderness by cutting with the side of a spoon. There should be only a small amount of resistance and then give with a small amount of pressure, but the octopus should not be mushy or that means its overcooked).
  5. After the octopus is cooked, remove the pot from the heat and let the octopus rest in the water for about 10 minutes.
  6. Remove the octopus from the water to a lined tray and let it cool slightly.
  7. Portion the octopus by cutting in between the tentacles towards the head in a slight “V” shape to get the most meat possible. (You can save the head to throw in with some rice and Paella spice for another dinner!)
  8. Reserve the octopus in the refrigerator until you are ready to throw it on the grill.
  9. While cooking the octopus, you can prepare the mole.

For the “Mole Negro”

  1. Add all the ingredients together in a sauce pot and bring up to a simmer and let the mole cook for about 30 minutes at a low simmer.
  2. Once the mole is cooked, blend it. With the cover on the blender and a towel covering it with slight pressure to ensure the lid stays down. (Just in case of an accident, you are blending a hot liquid. Remember that the force of blending and the steam building in the blender creates pressure.  Please be cautious in this step).  Start at a low speed and slowly increase the speed until you get to the highest setting possible.
  3. Once the mole is blended, pour into a separate container and reserve.
  4. Now you are ready for cooking…

For Assembly

  1. Preheat your grill for the octopus.
  2. While waiting for the grill to heat up, in a sauté pan over medium heat, pour in about 2 oz. of extra-virgin olive oil, the sliced shallots, sliced garlic, half of the chopped parsley and let cook for about 3-4 minutes, or until the shallots turn translucent and their sweet aroma reaches your nose.
  3. At this point, add the corn kernels and cook for another minute, then add the tomatoes and a pinch of salt and the lemon juice.
  4. Reserve this mixture warm while you grill the octopus.
  5. To grill the octopus, toss the chilled tentacles in a medium bowl with some olive oil, salt and fresh ground black pepper.
  6. Place the tentacles on the grill cross-wise of the grills direction to make sure they don’t fall through the cracks.
  7. After about 1 -2 minutes flip the tentacles. There should be a good char on the first side, but they should not be burnt.
  8. Cook the tentacles on the other side for another minute.
  9. Remove the tentacles from the grill and set a side.
  10. Splash some Mole on the plate. (you can make the splash like we do by spooning a small amount of sauce in the middle of the plate and then gently tapping the back of a spoon several times until the sauce splashes outward from the center).
  11. Cut the cooked tentacles in half and serve two tentacles per plate arranged in a Teepee fashion in the center of the plate on top of the mole.
  12. Top the tentacles with the cooked corn and tomato mixture.
  13. Garnish with four cilantro leaves per plate and drizzle with a little bit more extra-virgin olive oil.
  14. Serve with a ice cold light beer to go with the salty-sweet-spicy octopus and enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of Citizen Kitchen. Photo courtesy of 100eats.

The Resort at Pelican Hill VISIT PELICAN HILL