A Caribbean octopus ceviche recipe Caribbean Journal

A fresh and delicious way to enjoy the summer heat is with this easy octopus recipe. A lot of people are very intimidated by the idea of ​​cooking octopus, but it’s actually very easy to master.

Just start with a great product and the rest will be pretty easy. Most large octopuses only need an hour in boiling water to produce a tender product, which can then be used in many different recipes with great results.

After this first boiling in water, then cooling in the refrigerator, it is then possible to sear in a hot pan, to pass on a hot grill, or to bake in the oven.

In this particular recipe, I decided to combine the octopus with some summer citrus flavors, which is very refreshing in the mouth on a hot summer day!


Octopus ceviche with Leche de Tigre

Octopus recipe:

1 whole fresh octopus

½ onion, peeled

6 garlic cloves, whole

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon of salt

Add the octopus to a large pot and cover with water. Add the salted onion, garlic and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to maintain a simmer for about an hour or until the octopus is tender. Check by piercing the thickest part of the tentacle with a knife, which should have minimal resistance.

Let the octopus cool in the cooking water. Then remove from the water and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight until the octopus has cooled. This helps to tighten the skin so that it does not slip off during further handling. Save half a cup of cooking liquid for the tiger milk recipe.

Remove the hard beak that sits in the center of the base of the octopus body, where the tentacles meet. Cut out the eyes; the rest of the head is edible. Separate the tentacles into individual pieces.

Cut the tentacles crosswise into ¼-inch circles and the head into small strips.

The recipe for tiger milk:

½ cup of octopus broth

½ cup of coconut milk

½ large red onion, roughly chopped

2 stalks of celery, roughly chopped

8 stems of cilantro, roughly chopped along with the stems

3 limes, juice

Combine all the ingredients in the blender and blend for up to 30 seconds to extract as much juice and flavor as possible. Pass through a fine mesh sieve, discard the solids and season to taste. Put aside.


½ Cucumber, finely diced

Red onion, minced

½ fresh Scotch bonnet pepper, minced

4 stems of cilantro, leaves torn off the stems

1 cup of tiger’s milk

¼ cup of fresh passion fruit pulp

High quality olive oil

Sea salt

Trim and plating:

Combine the cucumber, red onion and scotch bonnet in a mixing bowl with a drizzle of olive oil and season to taste.

Mix the octopus with the tiger’s milk and marinate for 5 minutes, then check the seasoning. It should have a strong citrus and salt flavor.

Place the octopus in the serving dish of your choice then garnish with the cucumber salad, then garnish with the passion fruit pulp and coriander leaves.

Serve immediately for best flavor.

Nigel Spence, a Culinary Institute of America alumnus, was born in Kingston, Jamaica. Nigel worked as a freelance at the Television Food Network for 3 years where he worked with culinary luminaries such as Bobby Flay and Emeril Lagasse. Chef Spence has appeared twice on Throwdown With Bobby Flay where he emerged victorious in cooking contests against the Food Network star and was featured on CBS when he appeared on Tony’s Table as well as ABC’s Neighborhood Eats, NBC’s The Today Show, Sirius’ Everyday Living with Martha Stewart and Chopped from TVFN. The famous and reviewed by the New York Times Ripe kitchen and sea bass is Mr. Spence’s first entrepreneurial venture.

Michael M. Tomlin

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